The last week and a half have been hard. I had a nice little blog post written up last week that I had planned on sharing. I was really excited about it. Then later that day I heard about what happened to George Floyd and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It has truly broken my heart.
George Floyd was a Black man that was thought to have committed forgery. On May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he was pinned to the ground by his neck by a White police officer. He died. Since that day, protests have erupted throughout the nation, with some inciting violence, riots, fires, and looting. On Friday, May 29th, the officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder. Most recently the other three officers that were with Officer Chauvin have also been charged.
I cry when I think about what happened to George Floyd for an extended period of time. I cried when I told my husband what happened. I cried when I told a group of friends on Zoom what happened. It has shattered me. And I don’t know why. There have been several incidents in recent years that have garnered some national attention and others that did not. They were all sad but this one has me experiencing a new level of sorrow. Maybe it’s because there is already so much uncertainty in pandemic life and this is just another thing to add to the list of what’s wrong with the world right now.
Very seldom have I taken time out on my blog to talk about my opinion on current events. I think the last time I did was the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. The point of my blogging has always been to encourage and uplift. I HATE confrontation and would much rather keep my opinions to myself. I know that there are many schools of thought and mine is not 100% correct. I don’t know how much sharing my opinion will help others, but because this has been weighing on me so much I decided to speak up.
Let me begin by saying what happened to George Floyd was wrong. There is no reason to treat someone that way no matter what crime they are suspected of committing. Unfortunately, I have seen a few articles (very few but still) of people claiming that the way Mr. Floyd was treated was deserved. It was not. Regardless of race, gender, class, etc. a person is, no one should be treated that way.
There has been a divide regarding race in America for a long time. A looooong time. Much longer than my 32 years on earth. As a Black person, I have seen it, even as a kid. I remember once in third grade another little Brown girl in my class was called out by a White girl for having chocolate on her face. And then the girl said, “Wait, that’s just your skin.” And no she didn’t say unknowingly. It was meant as an insult. I don’t remember the outcome of the situation but I remember there was talk among the girls of color about “how racist” that was, and I was only 8 years old.
Fast forward to today and I have always tried to fit in and be on my best behavior while out in public. I don’t want people to judge me for any missteps I might make, and then use those missteps to reinforce potential negative opinions. For example: “She’s Black and her kids were acting crazy.” I don’t want to add to the narrative that Black people are not good parents and cannot take care of their children. That is not true. There are bad parents in every skin tone. Regardless, I don’t want my actions to add to that story. In all honesty, it’s exhausting. I do have a few friends where I can truly be at ease, but otherwise, I have my “game face on” if you will.
I do not condone the violent protests that have come out of what has happened in Minneapolis. That takes away from the focus of what happened to George Floyd, as well as calls for equality. That being said, I can see why it is happening. People are angry, hurt, and afraid. I am not giving a pass to that sort of behavior. I’m sure there are some that have jumped into looting and crime just to do it, but I think there are others that are doing these things to express their frustration. However, that does not make it right. Again, I understand it but I do not condone it.
Lastly, I am glad to see people drawing attention to what happened. However, I would like to see more people of faith share their views. If you have been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that my relationship with Jesus Christ as my savior is the cornerstone of my life. A man that walked the earth loving people, forgiving people, healing people, giving attention to marginalized people. Women. Children. The Poor. The Sick. Anyone that wanted to humble themselves and change their ways. He was there for them. Jesus is awesome. That’s why I love Him. Love is who He is.
And now is the time to show love to each other. I’m not sure what the answer is to eradicating race-related issues but I know that it starts with what is in your heart and how you teach the next generation. My husband and I have had many honest, raw conversations about race lately. They have not always been easy and we don’t see eye to eye on everything. We agree that racism is wrong (DUH!) but the details building off of that foundation can differ somewhat. But our love for each other, our love of Christ, the bonds and vows that we took in our marriage bind us together in love. And love is more powerful than hate.
I encourage you to look in your heart and see what’s there. Please do not turn a blind eye to what is and has gone on in the past. Educate yourself. (I saw a Facebook post the other day with many books on the topic. You can find that here.) Be aware of what is going on. How do you feel when you see or interact with a person of color? Why? Have you experienced racism or race-related issues? Have you witnessed that toward someone else? Ask yourself some questions. Have some conversations. Pretending that these incidents will just disappear is wishful thinking. And boy have I wished for it. But now is the time to speak out and stand up for what is right and it starts with YOU.
I hope that people will still be talking about how we can put an end to racism and make changes for the future when Black Lives Matter is no longer a trending topic.
Thank you for reading. ❤️
“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King Jr.