More than 1,200 miles, by car, separate the Rivertowns from the intersection in Minneapolis where 46-year-old George Floyd died as police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on this neck on May 25.
Despite that considerable distance, Floyd’s death continues to result in demonstrations here. So far, one has been held in Dobbs Ferry, two in Ardsley, two in Irvington, and three in Hastings.
This weekend, that total will increase by at least one as teenagers host a peaceful protest at Draper Park in Hastings this Sunday, June 14, from noon to 2 p.m.
“Peaceful” describes every demonstration in the Rivertowns. So does “emotional.” Despite that emotion, none of the events resulted in arrests, or injures, or property damage.
During all of the demonstrations, neighbors of all colors stood side by side. In the above photo, pandemic and protest intersect as attendees spread their arms in an effort to maintain proper social distancing at Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry on June 4.
In recent months, the term “social distancing” has become part of everyday conversation. In recent weeks, so has the term “white privilege.” In the Rivertowns, the latter is especially relevant since most residents are Caucasian.
Most residents also tend to lean left on political issues. Nevertheless, there is racism here. Residents of color, including teenagers, continue to state that fact in speech after speech at event after event. Thanks to them for sharing their stories.
Several demonstrations were led by students, such as the three whose effort packed Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry on June 4, and the range of grade-schoolers who stood at the forefront at VFW Plaza in Hastings on June 7. To see so many step up, even before they’re able to vote, reflects the fact that the impact of the present pushback will last beyond 2020.