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360 blog: The George Floyd protests have changed things, but more can always be done

Images from Denver's George Floyd protests Thursday night
Posted at 9:58 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2021-05-03 12:55:25-04

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DENVER -- I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. While I'm fully aware of the anger, frustration and aching need to fix racism and all the sins that stem from it, the George Floyd protests have already brought about change.

Let's take a moment to assess some of it.

Colorado's largest police departments — Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs — have now banned so-called "chokeholds."

Similar bans are now in effect in Minneapolis and New York City.

The city of Cleveland has declared racism a public health crisis which will put into place guidelines to fix the disparities that have led blacks in that city to have poorer health.

Congress is working on police reform legislation.

Adidas pledged that at least 30% of all new hires would be Black or Latino.

The CEO of Crossfit resigned after making insensitive remarks about George Floyd.

The Carolina Panthers NFL team took down the statue of former owner Jerry Richardson who was fined for sexual and racial misconduct. It's not known yet whether that is permanent.

NASCAR just banned the Confederate flag at its races and events.

Confederate statues have been removed in Louisville, Ken.; Jacksonville, Fla. Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala.; as well as Nashville, Tenn.

Residents in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, took down a 150-year-old statue of King Leopold II, who killed, historians say, around 10 million Congolese in the 19th century.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary is changing the definition of "racism" to include "systemic oppression" at the suggestion of a young black woman from Missouri.

And maybe the most impactful thing of them of all, we are talking in our homes about racism and what we are or aren't doing about it.

All of these changes, and this is by no means a complete list, came about because of the protests that stemmed following the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody on Memorial Day.

If you marched, if you made signs, if you made phone calls or gave money or called out someone for making a racist remark or just talked with a family member - you accomplished this. In less than three weeks.

You can't get a city council to agree on which trees to plant in a park in three weeks.

This is unprecedented.

Is this enough? No. Not even close.

Will more be done? Sure seems like it.

Can more be done? Always.