SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It has been just over a month since George Floyd died in Minneapolis at the hands of police, and since then we have seen demonstrations in South Dakota and around the world asking for change and justice.
Floyd’s uncle Selwyn Jones lives in Gettysburg, S.D.; George Floyd was his sister’s son. When Jones spoke with KELOLAND News on Friday via FaceTime, he said that his heart remains broken, and his nephew’s name is part of a demand for real change.
“I’ve seen 65-, 70-year-old Caucasian ladies with signs: ‘Black Lives Matter,'” Selwyn Jones said. “I’ve seen little kids with signs: ‘Am I going to be next.'”
The ways in which race and policing are discussed have already changed in the wake of Floyd’s death. Jones says he is not angry with any person.
“To think that my nephew had to die for this type of situation to evolve, hey, I’m not mad,” Jones said. “I’m not mad anymore at anybody- way, shape or form. What I am is mad about the system, and how things have gone over all these years.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find many people who haven’t seen the image of his Black nephew under the knee of a white officer. For Jones, that picture shows a lot.
“Police brutality, racism, hatred is pretty much what we all saw coming out on my nephew,” Jones said. “Every bad thing in the world: hatred, racism, prejudice, anger, control.”
He sees a future where these can be overcome, and he points out that racism isn’t innate.
“I do believe that we can fix a lot of this by communication and having peaceful rallies and people just getting together and hanging out and realizing, hey man, just because you’re darker than I am, don’t mean anything,” Jones said.