All of us are fully aware that over the last few weeks the news have been dominated by the story of George Floyd. A black American whose life was ended at the hands of the US Police, all in the name of racism.
When I hear the story repeated again and again, words such as outrage, anger, disgust and sadness spring to mind, all of which sum up the opinion of the nation whether you are black, white, or any other skin colour, for that matter.
As a Christian living in the year 2020, I fail to comprehend how acts of racism can still be prevalent in society over 40 years after the Race Relations Act was introduced as far back as 1976.
Sadly this issue can be seen not just in the USA but recently in the UK we watch the TV program Coronation Street and witness this occurring to a black family who are humiliated by their employer however in this case, tables are turned and the father public humiliates his white boss after hearing him make derogatory comments about him to his friends after comparing him to a monkey.
In addition, back in 2003, I had the opportunity to holiday in the beautiful country of South Africa and learn of the story of Apartheid, visiting Robben Island near Cape Town seeing at first hand where Nelson Mandela was in prison. We are all familiar with the role of this legendary figure in bringing an end to Apartheid after years of discrimination, injustice and racism.
As a consequence of the George Floyd murder, we see mass protests in the streets of the US with people looting shops, fighting with Police and causing havoc. More recently we also witness on the news in the UK, in cities like Bristol, Manchester, London, Nottingham and Glasgow huge protests with large number of people breaking social distancing guidelines walking side by side chanting ” Black Lives Matter.”
As a believer, I am in support of peaceful protests where people seek to promote justice however these must be civilised with no violence and adhering the COVID social distance guidelines otherwise they are of little benefit to the wider public.
In terms of George Floyd, as a Christian, I believe we are all equal to God irrespective of skin colour or race and that we must love everyone. As a town and as a nation, we live with a wide spectrum of people who we must treat with respect, love and care at all times.
Jesus broke down barriers and associated himself with all people, we see the story of Jesus meeting Samaritans, Tax Collectors, Prostitutes and those from all types of background.
We must also pray for our leaders, politicians and those in positions of Authority who strive to end racism in society. We must also try and stand up to people who are uneducated and do not know any better than to indulge in racist acts and not tolerate unacceptable or inappropriate conduct such as that described above.
So as we conclude let us appreciate that we are all loved by God and that the colour of your skin is irrelevant. Let us strive for justice and live in harmony with our neighbours and those we come into contact with day by day. Amen