And Justice For All

I wasn’t sure I was going to address the elephant in the room. However, after careful consideration, I feel it’s only right to devote a concise post on the recent tragedy of George Floyd that took place last week in Minneapolis.

As we are fully aware, he was the victim of a racist act by a police officer. Whenever such senseless tragedies occur, I can’t make any sense out of it. This isn’t a political blog. It’s a hockey one. Hopefully pretty soon, we can get back to posting about hockey assuming it returns next month as planned.

Unfortunately, the unjust death of Floyd due to the disgusting actions of that awful cop along with his three peers, has resulted in plenty of protests around the country. No. I don’t care to mention the former cop by name. They’re charged with second degree murder and could face anywhere between 15 to 25 years if convicted. They must do the right thing and send a message. The other three deserve lighter sentences too to pay for their irresponsible non action. A life could’ve been saved.

Instead, here we are again following another one of these terrible incidents involving police. There are other cases that will get more media coverage too. At what point does the madness end? We live in America. The land of the free and home of the brave. That’s why I titled this post, “And Justice For All.” It is part of the pledge of allegiance. It’s not a reference to a great Metallica album. It’s about everyone being treated fairly in this country and getting justice.

Racism is Unacceptable. It isn’t only a issue with black Americans. However, they still suffer more indignities than any other race or ethnicity. In the year 2020 during the 21st century, it shouldn’t be like this anymore. There is too much hatred here. Way too much division. It’s not healthy.

As someone of Jewish descent who understands about persecution throughout history, I have always felt that you should treat others the way you want to be treated. That’s with respect. There should be more peace and love in the United States of America. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on politically. For the record, I’m not on either anymore. I’m an independent free thinker who isn’t going to be voting in the Presidential Election. For a simple reason. Neither candidate is worth supporting. I don’t think either can positively impact what plagues us as a society. Who knows. Maybe I’ll write in John F Kennedy. I’ll be voting locally.

That’s as far as I’ll go on the ugly word of politics. It’s destroying this country. There is no unity. Only chaos and lack of common sense and decency. I’m glad I have intelligent friends who understand that this trend can’t continue. They believe in good causes and want what’s best for everyone. I am proud to say I have friends of different colors, race and ethnicity. I can get along well with everyone.

It’s just very unsettling how things are. When I have to be concerned over an extremist group like Antifa, who’s rumored to be hitting our area prior to a organized peaceful protest this weekend in Tottenville by the historic Conference House, it’s worrisome. I just hope and pray for everyone’s safety.

I’m upset at the prevailing thought of some that generalizes cops as <insert ugly name>. That’s not true. I know good policemen who do the job and are out on the streets putting their lives on the line every day. Like it or not, we live in a cruel world. Crimes are committed. The looting and riots I saw on video thanks to NY 1’s Shannan Ferry was sickening. It’s unacceptable. I know it’s not the true protesters who want to have their voices heard. It’s the criminals who feed off the negativity and are hired guns, whose only purpose is to further divide by creating tension.

I think I speak for most when I say I don’t condone the despicable acts of those four cops that murdered George Floyd. He didn’t resist arrest and lied face down on the ground. Totally defenseless. There was no reason for him to lose his life. Just like Eric Garner out in Stapleton on the North Shore of Staten Island. Of course, I have a lot more knowledge on that case. There were different circumstances. He didn’t deserve to die. It wasn’t just the fired cop either. Similar to Minnesota.

It says a lot about the Floyd family when they have both spoken out and sounded more composed. Particularly his brother who relayed a strong message to protesters at a rally. He informed them that any kind of violence was wrong and not gonna bring his brother back. More violence creates a more toxic environment that doesn’t accomplish anything. Other than more uncivil behavior and possible casualties. Something no one wants.

I want to see better behavior. We shouldn’t need to have a early curfew in the city at this point. But this is where we are. It’s truly a sad time. A confusing one too that can cause grief and anxiety. When you have NYPD cops being shot and more controversy regarding a prisoner who died due to pepper spray in Brooklyn last night, it’s not pleasant for anybody.

Plenty of NHL players have spoken out on the serious issue of racism. The Devils were one of the first teams to put out a statement. My feeling on players and teams doing this is that it’s their choice. It does feel like there’s pressure on organizations to do it. Jim Dolan had to send out an email to clarify that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. He shouldn’t have to. It goes without saying.

Sports and politics should be separate. There are a lot of keyboard warriors who feel the need to express how they feel. I do it through my writing and podcast. I don’t mind discussing the issues. However, I don’t need to do a blackout on Instagram to show solidarity. A black screen isn’t doing anything. It’s our actions that speak louder than our words. We can have voices and be heard by signing petitions or showing support for our friends. Etc.

There are many ways to be active. I just want things to cool down. I know that’s not possible. Thanks to a few idiots, the summer is ruined. When I see people say you’re this for thinking All Lives Matter, I want to bang my head against the wall. I can’t relate to any black person. I don’t know what it’s like to be unfairly targeted. It’s wrong. But what I will say is that every life should matter. Unless you’re a hardened criminal, racist or bad person, you count. If one of us were killed tomorrow, wouldn’t we matter? I sure hope so.

I don’t want to live in a place that makes other people feel guilty. That’s unfair. Just like the ridiculous labels and name calling we see on social media. I think we can be more mature and have civil discussions without fighting like the buffoons in Washington DC. We are better than that.

Let’s show it! 💜💛👍🙏✌

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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