Today, we remember the catastrophic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Racism is once again in the forefront of America.
This anniversary of the high profile murder of an American Black man stirs our emotions yet again. Hopefully we can find it in our hearts to seek healing from our broken hearts by seeking God’s help.
As the family of George Floyd gathered in Minneapolis over the weekend, expecting to meet with President Biden in the White House today to mark the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin, I have been praying for eyes to open wide.
We need God’s help to break through both pain — and hate.
In a rare example of swift justice, Chauvin has been tried and convicted of second-degree unintentional murder; third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
He sits in prison awaiting sentencing. A 40-year term is possible.
A measure of justice has prevailed; bringing some comfort to the Floyd family.
This helps our divided nation to heal as well.
Yes, the sentencing of Chauvin and the prayerfully peaceful marches today are steps in the right direction.
Yet — there is so much more which needs to be done.
In America and globally, we need to acknowledge the existence of racism.
Additonally, we need to retreat from and repent; discarding racism across the board; sincerely apologizing to one another for our mutual hatred.
We must now work together to repair the breach in America and globally.
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, so profoundly, "We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters], and not perish together as fools."
After George Floyd was killed last year I reached out to his family to say I had some idea of their pain. I know it’s terrible to lose a family member to violence, to have to grieve publicly. I was 17 years old when I got my first lesson on that when my uncle, Dr. King was shot to death in Memphis, Tenessee on April 4, 1968.
The next year my father was strangled, beaten, and thrown into a pool.
The medical examiner found no water in his lungs, thus, this was no suicide or accidental drowning. This too was murder.
I was 23 when my grandmother, Alberta Williams King, was shot as she played organ during Sunday morning services at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, on June 30, 1974.
My family and I were like the members of the Floyd family — bewildered, broken-hearted, and expected to inspire a nation as we blazed a path forward.
I commended George’s brother Terrence last year for calling on protesters to resist violence. It’s what my grandfather, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., did after both of his sons and his wife were killed.
It’s what my father did when our house, with all of us inside, was firebombed.
Hate fueled all of these acts of violence, including the murder of George Floyd.
What we need to do now as a nation is put aside hate and find a different way to proceed.
There will always be injustice because we are all human; we are all sinners.
But, what we are not is different races.
We are different colors and as a result, we have experienced different realities.
A Black teen growing up in an inner-city has little in common with a white teenager in a wealthy enclave.
The reality of a Black baby in the womb also can be very different from that of a white baby, with the Black baby several times more likely to die by abortion before ever having a birthday.
But events don’t change the fact that we are one race, one blood.
There can only be one critical race theory; that is for the one human race.
This firm belief in Acts 17:26 — God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth – is what prompted Ginger Howard and I to reach out to each other across this socially constructed racial divide to write "We’re Not Colorblind."
It’s a message I share whenever I am given a platform.
I’m more than happy to have a chance to do it today, as our screens are likely filled yet again with the video of George Floyd’s last moments, a video now unforgettable to me and the rest of the nation with just one viewing.
In many ways, our nation remains segregated. Sometimes this is by circumstance, sometimes it's by choice.
My prayer today is that we learn to be kinder to all humanity; from the womb to the tomb.
It’s also my prayer that today we all take a moment to reach out to a one race, one blood human being we otherwise might have overlooked or shunned and say simply, "I love you. God bless you. Peace."
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father's church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read Dr. Alveda C. King's Reports — More Here.
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