Thoughts On Racism And The Murder Of George Floyd

I have been silent over the last several days as I have watched things unfold in this case. I just have not been able to articulate how I am feeling.

On Monday, May 25, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer. If you have not seen the video, the police officer held Floyd down with force by using his knee to press down on the neck of Floyd. You can hear Floyd say, “I can’t breathe” multiple times.

As I watched that video earlier this week, I had to gather my thoughts and it took nearly a week for me to pen down what I feel about the situation. So, here are my thoughts on racism and George Floyd.

1. America still has a ways to go

Listen, every time that I think we as a nation are beginning to put racism in the rear view mirror, something like this appears to jump on the scene.

It breaks my heart that my black brothers and sisters have to experience moments like this. It breaks my heart to know that in many ways my kids will be treated a bit different than their black friends growing up.

IT SHOULD NOT BE THAT WAY!

Racism is of the devil. Harsh? Maybe, but I am kind of angry about this. Racism and Christianity do not mix. You cannot have both at the same time.

As I survey the aftermath of this evil act, it further shows how far America has to go. When you look at the looting and protests, it shows that there is hatred on both sides. Don’t believe me, look at twitter or facebook. You will see the hatred and the racism in action.

It angers me because racism should not be a thing in this country. We have a long ways to go which breaks my heart.

2. The police officers involved in Floyd’s death should be behind bars today

The fact that this has not happened at the time of me writing this shows how far we as a nation are away from ending racism in our world.

The fact that it took months to arrest the murderers in the Ahmaud Arbery case is beyond me. One look at the video in either circumstances should be enough to arrest the individuals in both cases.

Now, I am not going to get into the legality or politics of the arrest, the rights of the murderers, etc. All I am saying is that after watching both videos, both were murders and they do not need a defense. In fact, there is nothing to defend.

3. If you were angry about looting but not the murder of Floyd, you are part of the problem

Listen, the looting was wrong and evil in and of itself. Setting a building on fire, graffiti on a wall about your dislike for the police officers, or stealing a tv is not going to bring justice in this situation.

But…People are angry and they have a right to be. You cannot fault the black community for what they have been through the last several weeks, but they need to handle this the right way and looting is not the right way to handle this.

As for us watching from a distance, I pray to God that you were way more angry about the murder of Floyd than you were the looting. If you weren’t, you may be part of the problem.

Target will be fine, but the Lloyd family will never be the same.

4. Lloyd was created in God’s image just like myself

This is where I can hardly type for the tears that are in my eyes.

I am not one bit more special, important, or loved than George Lloyd himself, and this is what makes the Gospel so beautiful.

We are all created EQUAL which means we should all be treated EQUAL.

Look, I stand by police officers, and you should as well. They put their lives on the line every single day for our protection, but if our government or law enforcement stereotypes people based on the color of their skin, that is wrong!

Our kids should not have to grow up in a world like that.

5. The church should be leading the way with all of this

Racism is evil. Racism is not of God. I get the world has race issues, because many in the world do not have Jesus which means that the place where racism should be non-existent is within the church.

We should be encouraging unity within the church. We should be encouraging racial equality within the church. We should be encouraging racial diversity within our leadership structures within the church.

Survey your church right now in your mind. What does it look like? Many of our churches are the complete opposite of what I just described which means that many of our churches are going to look much different than the church when we all get to Heaven (from every tribe and nation).

Church leader, you should be striving to create a church where black people are welcome, where Hispanic people are welcome, where white people are welcome, where everyone is welcome.

Your church should be a reflection of the community in which it lives. If there are black people in your community, there should be black people in your church. If there are white people in your community, there should be white people in your church.

I am thankful to say that I am a part of a church just like this, and I love it! I am grateful. Listen, we are not perfect, but when you come in on Sunday (skin color does not matter, because we are all family). {Insert heart emoji, ha}

6. Use your voice

Speak up if you hear racism.

Use social media to speak the truth about racism and how it must stop in our world.

The last thing that this world needs is for us to be silent about this. Now, rioting and looting is not the answer, but using your voice to speak out against racism may be.

7. To my black brothers and sisters…I love you!

I want to speak from my heart for a second…I love black people! I grew up in the country of NC in a church with no black people. We were not racist by any stretch, but my church did not have any black people and my high school only had a few. Here are a couple of things that radically changed my thinking about this:

  • One of my best friend’s in grade school was black (David) – In fact, my sister was best friends with David’s sister. They were the kindest family that I had ever met, and I love them to death to this day.
  • Funeral of a student of mine 10 years ago – When I was a student pastor, I opened up the gym at our church to high school kids to come play basketball. The majority who came were black. I had to show them up from time to time on the court (Okay, I am kidding, they destroyed me on the court to be honest). But, these guys became my friends. One of them had a death in their family, and I attended the funeral. I showed up and the place was packed (like 300 people crammed into a small country church). Here was the thing: I was the only white guy in the building. Seriously, I remember the awkwardness of that day at first, but then things changed. The student who had the death in his family saw me and invited me to sit with them. I will never forget it. I was an outsider, and this kid made me a part of his family. They welcomed me in. I will never forget the kindness that was shown to me. They did not notice me for my skin color at all, they noticed me as an individual. We need to do the same to them. Welcome them into your family.

To the black community, I am sorry for the actions of the people that I cannot control. Don’t judge all of us based on the ones that have hurt you. Please. Not all of us are like that. We love you and are behind you.

Listen, this must change. It has to change. We must treat one another equally. Let’s be a part of the change, and love one another.

Published by Josh Evans

Josh is the connections pastor of the Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Before that, Josh had been a mentor and pastor to students for 10 years. Josh is passionate about empowering church leaders to make a difference. Josh and his wife Abby have two children. You can connect further with Josh on this blog or send him a direct email at joshhevans@gmail.com.

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