After watching the video of George Floyd being killed by a police officer who kneeled for nine minutes on his neck, I became numb and scared. I thought about my two sons, and began processing and planning what I needed to do to keep them alive. What will our relationship and communication look like going forward? I began recapping what I had always told them to do when they get stopped by police and whether I needed to add additional steps to the list.
I began to pray and ask God to protect my sons every minute of the day. I began to call them often during the day and in the evening to ask them to text me when they make it home every night so that I could rest and go to sleep. This process was exhausting and took a toll on my mental and physical health. How do we as people of color, as black mothers and fathers, operate in this terminal exhaustion every day? How do we continue to be mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and friends, etc., and still go to work and be productive? It’s almost impossible.
Then I said NO.
Because George Floyd and other African American men and women have done everything right and are still being killed by the police. The actions and behaviors are systemic and built into the foundation of white supremacy to maintain power and self-preservation. As Jemar Tisby said on The Witness, a Black Christian Collective podcast: “You can’t reform a landmine; you have to blow it up, abolish the police system, create community panels trained in restorative justice.”
The only way I conjure up strength every day is in the hope of God's promise to never leave us in the midst of chaos and to know that he has already won the battle against evil. I am asking for steadfast prayer in this time of racial unrest.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the Spanish translation, see Mis Reflexiones Tras Ver El Video Del Asesinato DE George Floyd.
Also, see Spanish translation.