Anyone who has seen the graphic video of George Floyd being pinned down and suffocated by a Minneapolis police officer cannot help but be horrified.
There is no justification for this violence. This incident follows the recent shooting of Ahmaud Arbery as he was jogging through a Georgia neighborhood, as well as the case of Christian Cooper, who was wrongly accused of threatening a woman while he was bird watching in New York City. The detrimental effects these incidents have on our society, and especially on black communities, should not and cannot be underestimated.
The Academy respects the lives of every person regardless of race, religion, gender, creed, or sexual orientation, and we strongly condemn what has recently occurred.
To our Academy members of color, we stand with you. Every human life matters to us. As the poet John Donne wrote: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
We believe that although words are important, deeds matter most. I have always believed that our Academy and its leadership ought to look more like the population we serve. This is reflected in one of the three goals of our Strategic Plan: to evolve the culture and governance of AAOS’ board and volunteer structure to become more strategic, innovative, and diverse.
A more diverse Academy will lead to better care for our patients, including those of color. Your Academy will respond to these episodes by demonstrating the very best of human nature and compassion—values we continue to uphold as we face our future together.
Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS