The following is an excerpt from a recent social media post following some time watching the media footage of the Derek Chauvin trial.
Please understand, this was one of the hardest things I've ever had to watch. Certainly, the fact that Mr. Floyd died a horrible, needless death is overwhelming enough. Then the slow, methodical dissection of a horrible wrong. Hearing from the people who were eyewitnesses, seeing the footage from so many different directions, hearing the 911 calls, seeing the regret in their eyes and reliving the terrible last moments of Mr. Floyd's death in slow motion.
Over these many months, people have heard words like "systemic racism,” “police brutality,” and “injustice.” Frustrated, some have felt the need to react. Their reactions have included some of the following words:
"Don't judge too quickly."
"He was on drugs."
"He was resisting."
"Things are not always what they seem."
Adding to the challenge, well-meaning people have gathered links, videos and conversations from every Black and brown person they could find to argue these points, as if it would be a more acceptable argument hearing the rebuttal from a person resembling George Floyd.
I find it impossible for me to be silent at this time. This is not an attempt to understand or teach others about racism, prejudice, injustice or what should be done about these evils. It is a very deliberate choice not to turn away but to see the awful facts:the weight, baggage and sin that so easily besets us. I encourage you to watch the trial, read the transcripts and breathe this in slowly. Understand what happened as best as you can.
Recently, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reality of the empty tomb and the risen Lord is the most important truth I know. If Christ did not rise, we are hopeless. Thankfully He did rise again! There is hope! This reality compels us to live out our faith, especially when dealing with such diabolical wrongs.
As a Christian, husband, father and African American man, I am not only your brother, but I am a deeply hurting brother. Please try to understand that there are those among us who, though they never met Floyd, have identified with him in a deep way. This is not a time for rebuttals or to collect comments of affirmation. It is a time for necessary action. It is a time to live. We get that opportunity to live. Regrettably, Floyd does not. We must live out our faith even when it is not comfortable. We are called to live authentic lives, fighting against such evil deeds and helping those in authority and those under authority to find a way forward.