May I express my opinion on the “worship” of George Floyd?

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

There are many different ways to view the George Floyd phenomenon. Today, May 25, 2021, is the one-year anniversary of his death. There are obviously at least two ways — if not many more — to view the veneration that his death has granted him.
While I remember watching, in real time, what was going on in Minneapolis on the day he died, and what has been going on across this country in the year since, I can say that I understand the need for Black suspects (whether or not there is a reason for them to be considered suspects) to be wary that their interaction with the police may not end well. I can also see clearly that, considering the wariness on the part of many so-called Black suspects, that they might want to consider a different way of interacting with any and all police officers that get involved with them in any way, whether they really are considered “suspect” or not.
But here’s the real crux of the Black suspects-law enforcement interaction that is at the heart of all that wariness that those on both sides seem to experience: If the so-called suspect is really guilty of something, he may decide that he has to find a way to escape the police officer who is intent on questioning him, taking him in to the station, or arresting him, while the police officer is wary that the suspect that he has encountered, stopped, or accosted will hurt him in some way or start up an altercation, or worse, the exchange of energies that come together at that time are ripe for the worst to happen, especially if each side of this human equation opts only for what they perceive is the move that will be best to achieve their own end.
Law enforcement is taught how to handle any number of situations, but Black suspects are not necessarily taught how to respond to the police officers who are responding to them. I have written in several of my columns about that subject, based on what a Black father of several sons told me he has been forced to teach his children.
Because of all the underlying ill will, and even hatred, that some Blacks have been experiencing toward law enforcement, due to the way they have perceived their interaction with them, the explosive end result of many of those encounters has set the Black community afire.
The George Floyd encounter seems to have become the apex of all such encounters. The time was ripe for someone to represent everything the Black community wanted to stand for, even if the person who fell into that slot unbeknownst to himself as it was happening — and perhaps not really being the deliberate hero they were looking for — was not really qualified to carry the burden of what that “representative slot” had to stand for. He became somewhat worship-worthy to those who used him as the focal point of their cause. His name is now and probably for many years to come will stay a household word. He started a movement — and whatever that movement is truly about, it holds George Floyd up as its hero, its savior of sorts.
But however the Black community wants to see him, and whatever they may have made him into to support that cause, he IS that to them. And
the more anyone tries to disparage his glorified image, the more it will strengthen the feelings of those who do glorify him.
He may have had a checkered past that included prison, and an unstable personality that led him to do the unlawful and even the violent things that led him to prison, but apparently he also helped his community, and was some sort of a role model to the youth around him.
But he may never have been taught those painful lessons that I wrote about, that the Black father once shared with me about what he needed to teach his sons. It is how both sides of those who are involved in the law enforcement-suspect interaction act that creates the outcome, and I’m glad it’s not for me to say what George could have done differently, even though I might have ideas on that subject that may have allowed a different final resolution.
There is only one man that I have ever worshipped and only one man who taught me everything I ever needed to know about how to live, and he
came to show us all those same things. While great men, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Washington, may come and go, their popularity may also wax and wane, but Jesus — while he was put to death for things he did not do and was not even fully appreciated for the things he did do, or for how he lived his life — is here to stay.
Even his closest friends and associates, his apostles, never quite understood him or even always believed him, but after all those many, many hundreds of years, more than two thousand years after his death, he is still the greatest example and best role model for anyone to follow, no matter what religion one practices. Jesus and his teachings are not Christian, nor do they negate Judaism or Islam; they are for all people,
If we could all follow the things he taught us — boiled down to the golden rule, and the admonition to love our neighbor as we love ourself (or on the highest level of love, to love each other as our Father in heaven loves us), wars would dwindle down into lightweight disagreements, and any kind of racial hate would simply not exist at all, and this country would not need a George Floyd to use as their symbol for Black Lives Matter because Jesus already taught us the way to peace among all men is through love and understanding since all lives matter. The more we can get to know someone, the easier it will be to love them, and the more we love them, the sooner all that unnecessary hate that is harbored in hearts will disappear.
I believe in simplicity, and nothing can be simpler than the golden rule when it comes to everyday living.
If we teach our children that one simple “rule” that Jesus taught: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” someday Jesus may again be the one we look to for inspiration, the apex of a role model for all!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email
her at

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