Thoughts on George Floyd

The death of George Floyd was unconscionable, as are all the preceding deaths of unarmed African Americans.  We find ourselves in the very middle of structures which do not serve humanity, falling apart. Systemic racism is one of those structures. We cannot carry this systemic racism structure into the future we are now contemplating. It serves no one and brings untold misery to the African American community and to all of us. When one human being suffers, we all suffer. 

We’ve managed to convince ourselves “these people” are not us. And wherever that conviction has been or is allowed to stand, crimes against humanity take place. For too long, African Americans have carried the brunt of these convictions. Other groups we have marginalized have as well. Indigent Tribes, Hispanic peoples, Asians, Jews, Muslims, and Catholics have all been a part of “not us”.  What we ignore to our continued peril is that we are ALL a part of the Human family. We can no longer afford to ignore our humanity. We are hemorrhaging within our family and the loss we are experiencing can not be sustained. 

We have reached a turning point. It becomes for all of us now a choice of how to proceed. Do we make sure all voices are heard regardless of race, class, or creed? Raise those up who have been beaten down? Find a different way to embrace ourselves, truly, as brothers and sisters?

Be willing to listen, really listen, to those who have borne the systemic racism wounds so actual healing and restoration begins. More than that, be willing to come together to do the messy work of unwinding this system and creating one in which every one is free.  Free of fear, of violence, of hatred.  We are Family.  Healthy families collaborate and communicate.  We may not like everyone in our family, yet being willing to work for the greater whole even with those members we do not like brings advantages to all.  We definitely will not always agree, but, again, healthy disagreement does lend a third alternative — one none of us would have reached on our own.

As I said at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, nothing will be the same after as it was before.  In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, on top of all the other murders of unarmed African Americans, nothing will remain the same either.  We can answer this call with visioning wholeness for our future and take what actions come to hand, and/or go seek them out.  Whatever choice we make, this system of systemic racism can and will no longer stand.

Patrice Connelly