Outraged by the death of George Floyd in the State of Minnesota, the former boxer Eric Martel-Bahoeli sees this as a huge step backward for the United States and the proof that it is not necessary to lower the guard against racism here in Quebec.
George Floyd is this black American 46-year-old who died after having agonized over it for long minutes under the constraint of the knee of a white policeman in the city of Minneapolis, in the United States, on Monday last, as we have seen in an amateur video that was widely circulated. “Honestly, I’ve never seen something so disgusting. […] It makes no sense that it happens again in 2020, ” growls Eric Martel-Bahoeli.
In regard to the riots that broke out then, ” this is really a shame, a shame “, said the man, 39-year-old, now retired from boxing for 2018, saying it was opposed to violence.
“But at the same time, it is extremely distressing” to see a police officer treat a man with dark skin in this way, he adds, in the hope that this causes a profound reflection among our neighbours to the south.
Frustration pent up
In a publication on Facebook, the one who grew up in Quebec, has recognized that “what happened in recent days in the case of George Floyd has re-edit a lot of anger repressed” in him.
In an interview with The Journal, Eric Martel-Bahoeli explains that he has never been a victim of physical violence or of police killing, but being young, he has sometimes suffered the words or situations offensive due to his complexion, he still has not forgotten in later years.
Words such as ” hockey, this is not for small negroes like you “, spoken by some of the young people with whom he practiced this sport when he was a teenager, and even their parents. Situations such as this interview that he never got to the grocery store in his neighborhood, at the same time, while her white friends were working there. “I blocked it out this frustration-there,” he recalls.
Perhaps this is why, today adult, “injustices like that, compared to the color of the skin, it just hit me at the highest point,” says one who is involved in the youth centre.
Fortunately, Mr. Martel-Bahoeli notes that quebec society is made “elsewhere” and that it is more tolerant today. According to him, if there is a lesson to be learned, here, racial tensions erupted in the United States, it is that it is necessary to protect the achievements of the past decades.
“It should never create a distance between different communities in Quebec “, pleaded he.