I am sure many of you were like me during the trial and when the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd. We were in Missouri as the testimony was ongoing and the bits and pieces I could see had me concerned that a conviction might not be forthcoming. Yesterday, waiting for the verdict to be read, I was nervous and concerned that no matter what; a full conviction, a conviction of the lesser charge, a hung jury, or an innocent on all charges verdict we might see considerable unrest. When the verdict was handed down I felt relief but also a great deal of sadness. My sadness was that things had gotten so out of hand with the systemic racism prevalent in our systems and society. Sadness that so many lives had been destroyed and changed.
As many people on TV said this is a good but small step. We have much work to do in changing things so that everybody is treated equally and fairly. My fear is that many people will be tempted to sigh with relief and just return to things as normal, especially white people. Right now is a moment for us as a country to work to change the systems and attitudes that cause discrimination and oppression of people of color.
We collectively need to continue to listen to others, educate ourselves, engage with others, and work for change as I wrote about last summer after the death of George Floyd.
If you have not taken the last year to pursue these actions, I would bluntly ask you why not? Being a disciple of Jesus is exactly about doing these actions on behalf of those who are being oppressed. Now is the time for the Church and people of God to be a critical mass in pushing for political reform and in reaching out to our brothers and sisters of color.
If not now, when????
Peace, Love, and Blessings