Over the past month I’ve been very emotional and it’s not just because of events around and since the murder of George Floyd. I don’t have the space here to go into detail about why but if you are interested please look up Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Christian and Amy Cooper Central Park (which actually happened the same day as George Floyd’s murder) to find out more. I could give you several more examples of how politicians and police in America have shown disregard for black lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, but again I don’t have the space to do that here.
Police (and wannabe police) killing black people in America is nothing new, it’s been going on almost as long as America has existed. The anger that prompted the protests and riots are a response to the circumstances we’ve been dealing with long before George Floyd was murdered. We are constantly shown by the country we were born in and expected to love (and in some cases die for) that our lives have little value. Every so often a black person is killed by police, we protest for a few days then everything goes back to normal. The murderer whether cop or vigilante rarely gets convicted, justice is almost never served. The police (and president’s) reaction to the protests only fanned the flames. How can you respond to protests of police brutality with police brutality? I have seen a few things that make me hopeful; a few police departments taking part in the protests, in Philadelphia (where I come from) the statue of a brutal former police chief and mayor was taken down after years of protest. But what touched me the most was a video I saw of protests around the world in response to the murder of George Floyd. From Berlin to Syria, many people, some facing troubles of their own (some caused or exacerbated by America), are trying to appeal to the country that claims to be the exemplar of freedom and democracy. I hope things will change this time, but I fear they will not.
Robyn May Harris(If you are able, please join us for Prayer Against Racism, online, Sunday at 7pm. See below for more details)