This morning, we physicians kneeled together in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the measure of time in which George Floyd was held down and asphyxiated until his death. It was a sobering and poignant gathering. To kneel for almost 9 minutes on our knees on the concrete pavement felt uncomfortably long… and to contemplate that Mr. Floyd was pinned for that amount of time while his airway was compressed, and his blood vessels were crushed… there was no comparison.
I began shaking with both anger and sorrow, visualizing his crushed trachea, his neck, his heart. And I thought about my colleagues that surrounded me. These humans with the most compassionate hearts and empathetic souls that I have ever seen. In my grief, I also felt hopeful in our unity. It is with deep sorrow, but hopeful hearts that we gathered together to kneel against racism, bigotry and injustice. We hope for a better world for our African-American brethren. We hope for a just world for all. We kneel in hope. .