And George Floyd is more than a hashtag!
Don’t get me wrong. The recent tragic death of George Floyd cannot be called anything other than murder, injustice and racism. It is a terrible day when the people that are meant to protect, kill a detained man in cold blood.
The reason that this has resonated across our newsfeeds and our hearts is because we see a terrible injustice taking place. But it would be even worse if we relegate this tragedy to a far-off distant problem and if we equate racism to murder. Racism is so much more than just murder and it’s on our doorsteps.
What has shocked me even more than this recent event, is the surprise of many people that this type of injustice even takes place, in “2020”. That’s because most racism isn’t “news-worthy”, its subtle. In reality for many BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people, like me, we face racist comments, slurs and assumptions on a daily basis - many from well-meaning individuals that carry unconscious bias. Unconscious bias is when we see someone and make all sorts of assumptions which play out in our interactions (or lack of) throughout our day to day lives.
This is not a new problem. From the class system in India, to the trouble in the Baltic’s, to the very recent dominant view of people fleeing terrifying situations to land on our shores. We see racism flow through the river of life day by day.
Throughout history, it has been the biblical view of equality that has broken barriers down in societies around the world. Right from the very start of the bible God declares that we are ALL made in his image. There is value, dignity, purpose and significance in every single human being. The God of creativity poured that out into his creation throughout the world and in human beings. Black, White, Asian, Oriental, Hispanic – we celebrate cultural similarities and differences because they were all given by God.
God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them
So what’s our response?
Why not take time this week to reflect on your own heart and ask yourself- where do I hold negative views against people from other cultures/backgrounds?
Take an opportunity to come before God and to say sorry for when you have displayed unjust behaviour towards someone else. Ask him to reveal to you the unconscious bias you have towards others.
As a diverse community it’s important that we respond in unity. That we call out this and other injustice for what it is but that we also reflect Gods love in our lives and pour that out into our community. It's important that in any anger we might feel that we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
These 3 things help us to take responsibility
In Proverbs 31:8 God calls us to defend the right of every individual to have dignity.
George Floyd is more than just a hashtag, but a man whose dignity was stolen from him in those awful last moments of his life. It will be easy in 2 or 3 weeks time to forget this tragic incident and to think racism is a thing of the past. Let’s consciously mark this moment. A moment for us to take responsibility and look at our hearts, thoughts, words and deeds towards others. A moment to speak up for individuals who have had their dignity taken from them.
Let’s all take steps of change because racism is more than just murder.