argument top image

How do we think about the George Floyd murder?
Back to question

The George Floyd debate is really about the right to life

The state has failed to protect our most fundamental freedom: the right to life. This crisis has unfolded as a last resort, after decades in which the right to life can no longer be guaranteed by the law. In fact, it is often those meant to uphold it that who threaten it most. Proponents include the New York Times Editorial board.
George Floyd

The Argument

The case of George Floyd goes beyond the American Constitution as it defies the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which outlines that each and every person has the right to life. Whilst Floyd had a criminal past this does not make him any less human and does not nullify his right to life. Allyson McKinney Timm writes of the inhumane cruel murder describing it as a “mournful window into America’s shameful human rights crisis.” [1] Regardless of the suspicion cast upon him, George Floyd’s status as a human being demands that he be treated as such. The violence exercised under governmental instruction during BLM protests only fuels the view that the government of the United States of America is one plagued by systemic racism. As Andrea Jenkins states, “This is about the violation of human rights.” [1] If the police are allowed to act with reckless abandon as they did in this case then we run the risk of a power tripped police force who care little for those whom they are supposed to serve and protect.

Counter arguments

The issue surrounding George Floyd’s concerns racism more than the right to life. Whilst it could be argued that the two are often intertwined, the prejudice suffered by the black community in America does not always result in death. A common denominator in the innumerable cases of injustices against black people, that is as prevalent as ever, is that there is racial prejudice against them – a prejudice that is engendered in the police force. A revaluation of the attitudes held by much of the police force as well as society as a whole is needed. Ultimately, George Floyd’s murder was, of course, a violation of the right to life. However, it goes beyond murder as it reflects the fact that there is still a prevalent level of racism within the police force.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 22:47 UTC

Explore related arguments