COVID19 RESOURCES

Selah

Communication Briefings

Edition:  June 2020 

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS TODAY

Rev. Dr. Timothy M. James

 

The consciousness of police brutality and violence on black men and women has always been in my awareness due to consecutive incidents reminding me through the years. It was deeply reinforced when our youngest son, Christopher, called home to tell Joyce and I that Tamir Rice, the Middle School African American youth killed by a policeman in Cleveland, Ohio, was one of his students. His pain and grief became ours in a most profound way. Part of the American Dream for African Americans is that our children will not have to face or endure the painful reality of America’s sinful shame, racism. The death of George Floyd, so inhumane, has opened the wounds of old. We remember Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Atatiana Jefferson, Freddie Gray and so many more. Dr. William Barber said, “Whether it’s police abuse of power or policy abuse of power, these deaths serve as a collective knee on the neck of people of color.” The public death of George Floyd shocked the conscience of America to acknowledge its complicity in and exercise of systemic and institutional racism. The response of major denominations and ecumenical bodies has been to honestly admit or confess the church’s role in perpetuating the myth of white supremacy and black inferiority. In the meantime, the world is facing the pandemic of COVID-19. Yet, protestors of the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism that allows it, are willing to risk the coronavirus to have their voice heard and to seek justice. Protests are not in America only, they are taking place in Italy, Germany, London and other parts of the world.

This is where the church comes in. We must work within the church to have honest dialogue, confession and deep conversation regarding the narrative that needs to be adjusted to bring about a change and the dismantling of racism.

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