The team at Virgin Orbit published a statement this week expressing its support for “peaceful protests and demonstrations” following the death of George Floyd.
The 46-year-old African American died from asphyxiation on Memorial Day after being handcuffed by Minneapolis police and pinned down on the street for almost nine minutes with a knee on his neck. Floyd was stopped for allegedly passing a fake $20 bill.
The loss of George Floyd’s life adds to the heartbreaking list of African Americans who have been been killed at the hands of systemic racism in the last decade alone. From Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice to Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Prejudice in this country is deadly, and despite NASA’s best framing, this weekend’s historic launch may grab the nation’s attention, but the achievement does nothing toward healing the hearts of all who are heartbroken over each new tragedy.
That sentiment is one reflected in Virgin Orbit’s statement. It’s difficult to focus on the challenges of tomorrow without pausing to recognize the challenges of the day.