Air Force Chief Master Sergeant: “I Am George Floyd”
George Floyd may be gone, but his memory will not be forgotten. It has already impacted the United States and beyond in a major way, sending thousands upon thousands to the streets in protest of systemic racism and police brutality against the Black community. For many, George Floyd and the countless other Black Americans killed at the hands of police have become reminders of a tragic reality, one that must change before its too late.
Many voices from politicians to entertainers, police officers to military members, have already spoken up about the impact of Floyd’s passing. Yesterday, Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth O. Wright took to Twitter to voice a powerful declaration in Floyd’s honor. “Who am I?” he writes. “I am a Black man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. I am George Floyd…I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice.”
“Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks…I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes,” he continues. “What happens all too often in this country to Black men who are subjected to police brutality that ends in death…could happen to me. As shocking as that may sound to some of you, I hope you realize that racism/discrimination/exclusion does not care much about position, titles or stature…. so yes, it could happen to you, or one of your friends, or your Airmen, or your NCOIC, your Flight Chief, your Squadron Commander or even your Wing Commander.”
Be sure to check out Wright’s powerful 31-part reflection at his Twitter page, including an initiative he intends on taking within his own ranks. “I’m working with @GenDaveGoldfein first and foremost to have a full and thorough independent review of our military justice system,” he reveals. “We will look to uncover where the problem lies, and how we can fix it. We are also working to improve the diversity of our force, especially within the senior ranks. I hope this message triggers responses and ideas from each of you on things we can do better.”