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OK: Onto tonight’s post!
If that name is unfamiliar with you, please allow me to remedy that.
George Floyd was the victim of a horrific act of police brutality on Monday in Minneapolis.
Floyd, 46, a black man, died after a police officer kneeled on his neck, pinning him to the ground for several minutes. He was in hand-cuffs, cooperating, face down on the pavement, all the while pleading, “Please, I can’t breathe” while bystanders recorded the heinous incident, begging the officer to release the man who was clearly dying.
This gut wrenching scene continued until Floyd became motionless, and died a short time later.
Police had been called to the scene for a non-violent incident — forgery. And police claim that Floyd “physically resisted” getting out of the car when instructed to.
There’s a video circulating online that shows the entire unspeakable incident, and watching it made me absolutely sick. Seeing George Floyd’s face smashed into the concrete, as an officer kneeled on his neck, as though Floyd were not even human — it is unconscionable that a person could deem this behavior as acceptable.
The inhumane treatment of this non-violent man is the epitome of deplorable. And has sparked nationwide outcry, as it very well should.
And sitting here, as a blogger, I could not let this atrocity go unspoken. But I’m going to be honest, knowing how to talk about something of such magnitude – I feel incredibly unqualified to even broach the topic.
It is arrogant to think that there’s possibly anything I could add of value to the conversation. I do not know what it is like to be black in America. I do not know what it is like to be targeted by authorities and society due to my race. Nor do I know what it is like to be a cop, and put my life on the line, serving the community every day.
And frankly, this is something that Christian niceties like, “Love your neighbor,” or “Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to me” – simply won’t cut it.
This is bigger than that. This was evil on display.
And sitting here as Christians, how do we respond?
Seriously — I’m asking you. Because I don’t know.
Yes, we can pray. But offering “thoughts and prayers” on social media just seems empty and completely out of touch.
The backwardness of society is laughable. We’ve got our politicians bickering over wearing masks — and the virtue signaling that brings — while in the streets — on the ground — where people live — there is such a disgusting attack on the dignity of man. On the dignity, value, and sanctity of life.
The value of life that each and every person possesses, regardless of skin color, or religion, or country of origin, or sexual orientation, or stage of life.
The dignity of the human person is something bestowed on us from God — that cannot be disposed of, diminished, or denied.
That dignity of life was completely disregarded for George Floyd, in a brutal act of completely unnecessary and unwarranted violence — which was outside of police protocol and technique, and resulted in death.
So, what are we, as Christians to do?
Say his name.
Give him the dignity that was stripped from him on that concrete, and use his name when you speak of his injustice.
Do not let his death be swept under the rug, or silenced, or forgotten, or hidden away. Because it matters.
It matters in a big way.
And the only way to make his death not be in vain is to learn from it. To use it as a learning opportunity to do better. To use it as a turning point to resolve to heal divisions brought about by differences in race, religion, background, etc. To use it to forge pathways of respect where we champion one another, and work to heal wounds, and prevent future disunity.
And one way to do that is to listen. Listen to those who have stories to tell. Hear their pain and injustice. Acknowledge what people have gone through. Because though you or I personally may not have experienced the bitter division or horrific persecution based on race, creed, or color — sadly, that is not the case for everyone. And the starting point, if we want to heal together and change the status quo, is to listen to those it has impacted. And hear the reality that is outside of your own.
Because if we want change, we have to have — not only compassion, empathy, and a willing heart — but also an awareness of the truth.
I want to close with one final thought.
It’s really easy to paint with broad strokes. Incredibly easy. And it’s equally as destructive.
It’s really easy to look at this story and instantly write off all cops as racist. As violent. As horrible people. But the fact is, in law enforcement — as with all professions and groups and organizations — there are simply “bad apples.” There are outliers that do not accurately represent the overwhelming majority, and yet make the biggest “splash,” therefore coloring the opinion of the masses.
And this is one of those regrettable instances. All cops are not this cop. This cop made despicable choices that are inexcusable, inhumane and downright evil. And I hope he is held to the full extent of the law and rightly punished for his actions that resulted in the death of George Floyd.
But this cop is not all police officers: men and women who truly want to protect and serve the community, and do so bravely every single day.
So in the protests and demonstrations — which are rightly so — I just hope that we can refrain from damning all those in uniform, and instead keep this focused on this incident.
May God rest the soul of George Floyd. May his loved ones and communities be comforted during this devastating time of injustice and grief. And may our country come together to demand just and fair treatment for all our brothers and sisters, no matter the color of their skin.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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