A Response to the George Floyd Tragedy:
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African American, was murdered after Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, pinned his neck to the ground for over eight minutes while he was handcuffed and forced to lie face down on the pavement. There were repeated cries from George saying, “I can’t breath” and from onlookers asking the police officer to stop. The officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for four minutes even after Floyd was unresponsive.
It’s so hard to know what to say about this tragic situation other than we are sorry, and we are outraged. We are sorry that his life was cut short. We are sorry that his family and friends have to now weigh and walk through the grief of his needless death. We are sorry for our part in being blind and not speaking up at times when we should have as a part of the privileged majority.
Apart from his death, which is heartbreaking, we feel most angry that there were three other officers standing around watching who did nothing after the repeated cries from George Floyd and the onlookers. The fact that not one of them did what was right brought sadness and deep anger. We must get this right. Not only must there be justice for him and his family, but we must come together for our black brothers and sisters.
We must use our voices and our peaceful presence wherever and whenever it is called for. Like many of you, we don’t always know what to do. We don’t really know how to help, other than to speak up when it’s appropriate, stand when it’s necessary, and come alongside our brothers and sisters of any race and ethnicity that are being oppressed. We are in it for the long haul.
We are working on our response to this personally and as a church and asking this question like Carlos Whitaker recommended, “What would you do if it were your best friend?”
My kids asked us, “Why are we still here in 2020? Why are these things still happening?” Because racism is an ideology. It’s a belief system that is passed down from generation to generation, and belief systems aren’t easily uprooted. Honestly, we see no hope for belief systems to change apart from an inner transformation. Jesus Christ brings down the inner walls. He is the one who rejoiced to create different tribes, tongues, races, and ethnicities. He is the One who can break down the walls of our hearts and the lies we believe about ourselves and others. Therein lies our hope. #healourland #justiceforfloyd