Members of Parliament have condemned the murder of Mr George Floyd, the unarmed African-American, who was killed by the Minneapolis police on May 25 this year, and called for justice and an end to racism.
They said the murder of Mr Floyd should be a sad moment for humanity which should urge people to stand up against intolerable global widespread of racial discrimination, exclusion and injustice in any form.
According to the legislators, human life and dignity should be respected anywhere and everywhere in the world, since people from all backgrounds belonged to one human race and were the same.
The House, led by the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, later stood up to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Mr Floyd.
Mr Floyd was pinned to the ground by police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on the deceased’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, until he became unconscious and died.
Members of Parliament (MPs) who spoke were the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the MP for Kumbungu, Mr Ras Mubarak.
They expressed these views after the MP for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, had presented a paper titled: “Condemnation of the killing of George Floyd and a demand for justice and an end to racism.”
War against racism not won
Presenting the statement, Mr Ablakwa said the gruesome and extremely painful murder of Mr Floyd was carried out in broad daylight and was captured on camera.
“Those distressing and extremely agonising circumstances are forever etched in memory,” he said, adding that the awful and depressing killing of Mr Floyd must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and with all the force the House could muster.
Mr Ablakwa pointed out that data collected by the Washington Post revealed that though blacks made up 12 per cent of the United States population, from 2015 to 2019 blacks accounted for 26.4 per cent of those killed by police.
“May this become a watershed moment in history and a positive turning point for blacks in that country,” he said.
Eschew acts of racism
Mr Mubarak, who shared his personal experience with racism in London in 2002, said the canker was taking place all over the world where racial slurs were held at black footballers, landlords in China wrongfully evicted Africans and well-educated African-Americans were denied job opportunities.
He expressed worry about how people of African descent were profiled and discriminated against all over the world over the years, saying “this must not be entertained”.
The Majority Leader, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the murder of Mr Floyd was the latest of injustice against black people in America, where racism against minority groups, especially African-Americans, were deep-seated.
“Yet America, paradoxically, is supposed to be the beacon of democracy; it is supposed to be the epitome of democratic governance and it is heinous that this crime should happen on an American soil,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the American society, based on their democratic practice, to reflect on constitutional right to life and demonstrate deep respect for human dignity.
The Minority Leader, who stressed how Ghana’s constitutional dispensation had been informed by the US constitution, said Africans had suffered three traumatic events in a row over decades in the areas of slavery, colonialism and racism.