Say his name (with a towel)

Jill Dennison posted something yesterday on her blog Filosofa’s Word that suddenly made me sit up and pay attention. Her post begins with a simple statement of fact:

Seven jurors were selected this week for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who, on May 25th, 2020 brutally murdered a Black man, George Floyd, by throwing Floyd facedown on the ground, handcuffed, and then keeping his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes.

This is how it appeared, for me, in the WordPress Reader:

Image of the post announcement on the WordPress Reader of Jill Dennison's post about George Floyd

And, yes, that date leapt out at me as though it were highlighted, for the simple reason that it coincides with Towel Day, the annual celebration of the life and works of the late Douglas Adams (1952-2001), author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I guess the reason that I didn’t didn’t spot that coincidence last year was because it would have taken a few days for the horror story about George Floyd to begin to spread, and the date itself was not, at the time, as important as the event itself.

Regular visitors to Wibble may have spotted the ‘Milestone widget’ I’ve had on the site for some time now, which acknowledges the time remaining until the next Towel Day. The Towel Day website provides a similar, though naturally more prominent, countdown.

Mitakuye Oyasin — we are all connected.

Connections, once made, are difficult to unmake — not that I’d want to forget this one. Though born from an horrific act of violence, I like to think that Douglas Adams would welcome this connection between his legacy and the ongoing struggle to improve humanity. In my mind, these two things — Towel Day and the murder of George Floyd — will now be forever linked. The race issue has been with us for a very, very long time, and it won’t be cured overnight. Because it is such an intractable problem, we need reminders of it, so that it can’t be kicked into the long grass; I think this is a particularly good one.

So, I’ll continue to carry my towel every 25th of May, but I will at the same time be haunted by the continuing spectre of racial prejudice and injustice. And, every year, I will hope that this year is the one that brings change.

The clock is ticking.

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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23 Responses to Say his name (with a towel)

  1. jilldennison says:

    Thank you so much for the mention and the link! You’re right … Rome wasn’t built in a day. It is time, however, for the people of this country to put away their bigotries and prejudices and realize that nobody is better than another because of the colour of their skin … or religion, or ethnicity, or gender. I, will now remember Towel Day, as it falls on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ShiraDest says:

    Nice: I never knew of Towel Day, but you are right, every year we must continue to renew our commitment to working to educate ourselves and our society in empathy and Critical Thinking.

    Otherwise, I doubt that the successive new years will bring much change for the better.
    But if carrying a towel and not panicking is the solution, then what is 42?




  3. Laurie says:

    My book club got into a discussion about Doug Adams the last time we met (virtually). We all agreed that we fell in love with his work at some point in our lives. I think you are right – Doug Adams would welcome the connection. It IS time for a change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great connection. I’m a little nervous about when that ruling gets handed down. He’s gonna get acquitted.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great seeing the connection, Let us hope justice will be served

    Laughter increases your face value

    Liked by 1 person

  6. davidatqcm says:

    With all the adverse press/videos/commentaries, one hopes Chauven’s defense team simply doesn’t throw in the Towel


    • pendantry says:

      I’m not entirely clear on what you mean. Are you suggesting that you believe that the accused is innocent of any wrongdoing, or just affirming that he is, as is any accused, entitled to a proper legal defence? (This one would agree with the latter… but not with the former.)


  7. leavergirl says:

    {cough} Floyd was full of fentanyl. Fentanyl depresses breathing. Maybe you could at least look for the autopsy. And the locality has already! At taxpayers expense, decided to award the family of this junkie and criminal lots of millions. No need to wait, right? I am sure it will be a totally just verdict. {cough}

    Meanwhile, a woman was shot and killed at the Capitol breach, and we still don’t know who did it. Maybe never will. After all, she was white and led a normal life.

    None of what I am saying excuses police brutality. Against anyone


    • mike w. says:

      While it’s true that fentanyl depresses breathing, it is also true that a 200lb policeman’s knee held on one’s neck for almost NINE minutes would challenge anyone’s respiratory system.

      Even “junkies” are entitled to not be suffocated for the relatively minor offense of passing bad paper.

      i also question how “normal” a life was led by anyone who thought it was a good idea to participate in violent insurrection.

      So, what’s your point?

      Liked by 1 person

      • leavergirl says:

        I already said I disapprove of police brutality against anyone. “Anyone” does include junkies and felons. What about that confuses you?

        Nor do I think that an unarmed woman trespassing on public property and threatening no one deserves to be shot without warning, and then have her death surrounded by silence from those responsible. Do you? Maybe if her supporters were willing to burn down a neighborhood there would be some response?

        I saw a long part of the video of Floyd being arrested. If my memory serves, he began to complain about his breathing when he was being pushed into the cop car. He was being merely obstreperous up to that point, and the cops were trying to maneuver him inside. I did not see the rest.

        My point? Stop turning this man into a dead celebrity. The cop should have a fair trial. I agree he (as far as I have heard the reports) acted with brutality.


        • pendantry says:

          PMJI “… and threatening no one” you say. I have heard the audio on the videos where the insurrectionists (who may, or may not be armed — but probably are) are chanting “Hang Mike Pence”. And I have seen the videos of members of that mob battering innocents with flagpoles. I for one am not at all surprised that a mob such as that, invading a public building, are met with deadly violence. To suggest, as a defence, that they should not have expected that, is a total phlyarologism. And to compare the shooting of a woman that was a member of such a mob with the barbaric murder of someone by another who has sworn to ‘serve and protect’ in order to get his job is another.

          Liked by 1 person

          • leavergirl says:

            She was a small woman, unarmed, foolishly climbing through a broken window into a largely empty hallway, threatening nobody, chanting nothing. As far as the videos I have seen (and I have seen many), no evidence of any warning given. If you think that is an occasion for lawful killing, then the George Floyds of the world might just as well be assassinated without a second thought and forgotten. Just like Ashli Babbit.

            There is no evidence she was any kind of an insurrectionist. There is plenty of evidence there were lots of agents provocateurs in the throng. (Naturally. If I was one, I would have gone too. What an opportunity! And by the way, F Trump, for leading his most devoted followers into a trap.) One of their leaders, John Sullivan, clearly a professional insurrectionist of the loony left, was apprehended and released, while people who were there but taking no part in any violence — having come for a rally — are being hunted down.

            And btw, I have heard from the MSM that no guns were ever found. There were two pipe bombs planted the night before, but nobody is saying there is evidence to tie them to the ralliers. Have you heard otherwise?


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