Bob Dylan has offered his thoughts on the current racial tension sweeping the globe following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd.
George Floyd, an African-American man from Minnesota, was murdered by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest. Floyd, who was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, was unresponsive for 2 minutes and 53 seconds while the officer held his knee down on his neck.
Three other arresting officers, Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, also held Floyd down for this period. The incident, caught both on local CCTV and by video recordings secured bystanders, showed Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” while the officer held his knee on the back of his neck.
The death has sparked mass protests across the United States with all four officers involved being fired the next day. Chauvin, the white officer who held down his knee, has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining serious support in what might be the most important uprisings in modern times, Bob Dylan has offered his thoughts on the subject in a rare interview with The New York Times. “It sickened me no end to see George tortured to death like that,” he said. “It was beyond ugly. Let’s hope that justice comes swift for the Floyd family and for the nation.”
Elsewhere in the conversation Dylan was in a reflective mood in regards to the current pandemic which has forced the ways in which we create, work and interact on a daily basis. “Extreme arrogance can have some disastrous penalties. Maybe we are on the eve of destruction,” he said as a direct Barry McGuire quote.
Asked about the pandemic “in biblical terms” by the interviewer, Dylan replies: “You mean like some kind of warning sign for people to repent of their wrongdoings? That would imply that the world is in line for some sort of divine punishment.”
Read the full Dylan interview with New York Times here.