My heart is so heavy. May light perpetual shine on the beautiful soul of George Floyd.
There is so much to grieve in these times. None of these is greater than the abuse of power against black people and other people of color (POC). The time has come to just tell it like it is and make change. So, I’m going to get “preachy”.
In the many phases and moods of grief, we find the energy of anger and the assertiveness of acceptance. This acceptance is not putting up with things the way they are, but acknowledging that POC have been aggrieved. The history of black people in America is so filled with injustices that there is no excuse for the pretense of ignorance.
I’ve done many things over the years that are racist. As a part of the caucasian people of the world, I have too often relied on my privilege and avoided being part of pressing people and governments to practice equality. In fact, because of the many years of injustice, I and all white folk have much to make up for.
Though the violations and killings of black people are too numerous to list, the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has become the latest focus of a movement for change. In addition to the mass protests across the USA and throughout the world, there are dozens of legal actions that have been initiated to shift the balance of justice.
I am a privileged white man. This gives me the task of making change among the people who perceive themselves to be “like me” in superficial terms.
My friends who are POC call me an ally. But that does not mean I’m finished changing myself nor am I done working for justice for people whose ethnicity or skin tone appears to be different from mine. I know that we share the same humanity, but clearly there are too many who don’t get this yet.
You’ll notice that the lament I created is named “A Lament for George Floyd“. I chose the indefinite article (“a”) purposefully. This is not the lament for George. It is one of many. We all grieve in our own way. It’s just that this murder calls for grieving that leads to action. This calls for racial justice.
Our lament and grief become purposeful when they enliven us to change our behavior. And that is where this lament is leading me: to change myself and our humanity for the better. I hope it is leading you there as well.