We Heart: Terrence Floyd’s Powerful Call to Action

We Heart: Terrence Floyd's Powerful Call to Action
Terrence Floyd—George Floyd’s brother—called on communities to express their outrage not through violence, but through voting. (@AlexHaganKARE11 / Twitter)

In the past week, activists have been mobilizing across the country to protest the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder, and the four officers involved, including Chauvin, have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.

While many protests in response to Floyd’s death have remained peaceful, others have turned violent and incited actions such as rioting, looting, arson and the destruction of property. 

On Sunday, George Floyd’s surviving brother, Terrence Floyd, gave an impassioned speech in the same spot that his brother, George Floyd, gasped for his last breath just a week before. At the impromptu memorial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Floyd gave a powerful address to the public, calling them to seek peace instead of violent revenge.

“I understand y’all are upset. But I doubt y’all are half as upset as I am,” Terrence Floyd began.

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Floyd urged the community not to riot, but to utilize their voices and seek political change through voting.

 “Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote,” he said. “Not just for the president, but vote for the preliminaries. Vote for everybody. Educate yourself. Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you who’s who. Educate yourself and know who you’re voting for.”  

He also encouraged the crowd to educate themselves in the fight against police brutality and institutionalized racism. “Let’s switch it up, y’all,” he continued, “Let’s switch it up and do this peacefully, please.” 

As the crowd began to chant for peace, Floyd spoke of his brother and the violence that has sparked in his name, telling the crowd, “I know he would not want y’all to be doing this.”

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Audrey Gibbs is a junior at Sewanee: The University of the South, majoring in English with minors in Shakespeare studies and politics. She hopes to continue her education through law or journalism school. In her free time, she is a singer/songwriter and an actress.