“Brothers and sisters of color, how do you wish your white brothers and sisters would respond when cases of racial injustice, violence, and murder hit the news?” That question was posed by my white sister in Christ to Twitter in the wake of #GeorgeFloyd being murdered.” Before I get into this post, let me say this, it took me seven whole days to write it because I struggled to find the best way to speak my heart without offending you, the reader. I’m asking you to receive my words with grace. And now on to the conversation that followed…
Me: Thank you for asking. I would like you to use your platform to say it’s wrong and needs to stop. Write a blog post if you’re a writer. Tweet about it. Whatever you do, don’t be silent. Silence in the face of wrong makes me angry! If you are my sister in Christ and believe we’re all made in God’s image, how can you be silent? How can you say nothing? Do nothing? #GeorgeFloyd is a child of God. What happened to him ought to break your heart and make you want to do something…anything including asking this question.
Her: Thank you, Yvonne. So much.
Me: Thank you. Would you mind saying a bit about why you asked?
Her: I want to listen and learn. Based on exactly what you shared, my friends and I decided our Friday theology chat needs to be about white privilege. May I read your reply during our live chat?
Me: Sure. What do you think about what I shared?
Her: Everything you said makes sense, and I agree. A biblical view of the Imago Dei leaves no room for racism or a cavalier attitude toward injustice. I am so grieved over the murder of George Floyd.
Me: Hearing this means something. Hopefully, the grief you feel moves you to keep listening, learning, and speaking up about it. When white people speak up and say white privilege must stop and they use their voices to speak up against white supremacy, then maybe just maybe we will see a change.
As I watched the video and heard George cry out for his mother not once but twice while yelling, “I can’t breathe”, a cry we heard from Eric Garner, another black man killed by white police officers, I was done! Tears streamed down my face! I was angry, disgusted…I wanted to fight. I still want to fight!
I know a lot of black men; tall, big, strong black men like George Floyd. My four remaining brothers are tall and big just like him. I have nephews that are big, tall, strong, strapping black men. This could be them. One of my closest friends is a 6’5 muscular black man. This could be him. My phone could ring any day with news that any of the black men in my life was killed by a white cop simply because he’s black.
I’m angry that the church is silent on this matter. That my white sisters in Christ have said nothing. Have not shared a tweet, written a blog post, or an IG post about it. I see you on my timeline tweeting about everything else under the sun yet nothing about George Floyd. How can you be silent? I’ve seen this repeatedly when an innocent black man or woman is killed. Silence! And that is why I appreciated her question so much.
We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Black people are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. While fighting for our lives and doing everything we can to make sure we don’t get the virus, we learn about the murder of Ahmaud Aubrey who was shot by police officers while jogging…jogging! Getting exercise! Taking care of his body! Then we hear about the murder of Breonna Taylor. Cops stormed into her home on March 13th and shot her eight times and now George Floyd; killed on May 25th. Enough is enough!
Derek, the cop who murdered George in broad daylight had 19 infractions on his record. How and why was he still a cop? I believe the only reason he was finally arrested is because of the rioting. They want it to stop. It is a slap in the face to us and a slap on the wrist for him that he was only charged with third-degree murder/manslaughter which means with a good lawyer, he could get off with probation. Meanwhile, the three remaining cops who were an accomplice to this murder have not been arrested.
On Friday morning, I woke up early. Couldn’t sleep. George was on my mind. I began to watch CNN, something I never do especially not at 4:30 in the morning but I needed to get an update. As I’m sitting there watching the news, I see a black male reporter and I say to myself, why do they have this black man in Minnesota reporting? I was concerned for his safety…worried that something bad would happen to him.
No sooner than I could finish the thought did I see him arrested on national TV. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He showed his credentials. They knew he worked for CNN yet it didn’t matter. Meanwhile, his white colleague who was reporting one block away was not arrested, as a matter of fact, he said the authorities were genuinely nice to him and didn’t bother him at all.
How do you arrest a black reporter on national TV while he’s doing his job before you arrest a murderer? How? That would never happen to a white person. If this doesn’t tell you clearly what’s happening to black people in America, then I don’t know what will.
In closing, I leave you with this; if we call ourselves Christians, our hearts must break for what breaks God’s heart. We need empathy, compassion and we need to see each other the way he sees us. Derek Chauvin didn’t have a heart when he killed George Floyd. Did you see the look on his face? It seems like he got pleasure from it. The law can’t change him and those who think like him; only Jesus Christ and the power of his Holy Spirit can and that is why it is imperative that the church, God’s people, followers of Jesus Christ speak up loudly and say that systemic racism, white supremacy, and white privilege is wrong. You can no longer be silent. We must be in this fight for equal treatment of all God’s people together. Black people cannot fight this battle alone. We need our white allies to come alongside us and fight with us until change comes because here’s the reality of it all, if George Floyd were your child, relative, or the child of someone you know, you would not be silent.
Something to think about…
What say you? What are your thoughts on the murder of George Floyd, the riots, protests, and the change that needs to come?
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