What do I say to you about the murder of George Floyd and the destruction that followed?
The situation is unbelievable in so many ways. How could he have been killed? How could other officers have watched and done nothing? How could rioting and destroying the businesses of innocent people have been seen as a solution?
So much sadness. So much anger. As a Minnesotan, it has hit me in my heart and where I live.
It is 8:30 pm and hauntingly quiet. No one is out walking in the neighborhood. No cars are returning from Saturday night errands or a trip for ice cream. We are under curfew in this small northern Minnesota town.
The murder and the destruction that followed have reverberated not only across the state but across the nation. As it should.
And I wonder, “What can I do? What can we Minnesotans do? What can we people of faith do? Are you wondering what you can do too? I’ve been reflecting on these questions all day. The problem is so big and I am so small.
The first thing I came up with is praying. This problem is too big for us humans to handle alone. We need someone bigger than us. We need to ask someone bigger than us to intervene.
Secondly, we need to work for justice. We need to stand and speak against injustice, cruelty, and evil. There was a protest here in town. One sign was different it said, “We can not fight darkness with darkness”.
How can we as parents stand against evil and injustice? We can start with our own attitude of “us vs. them”. We can reach out and work to understand our differences.
I cry for my African American and Native American neighbors. It is wrong that the color of my skin makes me safer and gives me less to be anxious about.
I do not need to worry about my sons being suspected of a crime, because of the color of their skin. I can feel safe in my home. I can be out driving without worrying I will be pulled over and suspected of running drugs because I have the wrong kind of license plates (reservation plates) on my car. I am not followed when I am in a store because it is assumed I will be shoplifting.
I’ve heard these stories from my neighbors and been appalled…………………….but somehow tonight the reality that the color of my skin makes me safer and makes my sons safer hits me hard and I cry for my neighbors who are less safe because of the color of their skin.
A friend told me about an older woman standing witness when a black man was stopped and questioned. We can all stand witness, be alert, and show kindness. We can all bring light and stand witness instead of pretending we do not see.
The police are here to protect us and there are many good people in law enforcement. They are husbands, wives, sons, and daughters, brothers, and sisters too.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing. ― Edmund Burke.
We can be respectful, kind, and focus on solving problems peacefully. We can raise our children to show respect, be kind, and be problem solvers. When I hear of the murder and riots I think what would your parents and grandparents think?
We can seek to understand. Evil gets a foothold when we dehumanize people by looking at them as other, as less than because of how they are different from who we are. Make an effort to get to know someone who thinks different or looks different than you do.
True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice. Jane Addams
I am still struggling with how I can respond to the current situation of our world. What do you think? Tell me in the comments how you are responding.