My daughter lives in a Minneapolis neighborhood affected by rioters and looters. She is afraid to stay in her home.
The death of George Floyd by a policeman was an unnecessary and brutal accident. His treatment joins a long line of African American men who have been treated poorly and even murderously by police officers.
We are necessarily appalled by what happened on that Minneapolis street corner.
The United States has laws and courts and law enforcement agencies to handle such cases. Reason and the rule of law must prevail. We repudiate the present lynch mob mentality evident in our streets.
The riots and looting which followed Floyd’s death is another matter. Two wrong don’t make a right. There is no justification for the nation-wide violence that followed his demise.
The rioters and looters are opportunistic criminals. The full weight of our police and military forces must be used against them. These individuals who attack businesses and bystanders must be dealt with forcefully.
We all understand racism in our society has a long and violent history. The riots, vandalism and looting do not advance the cause of racial justice, but set that cause back precipitously.
Christianity is based on a theology of non-violence, starting with Jesus himself in his trial before Pontius Pilate. That theology was expressed in the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King. King clearly advanced the cause of racial justice thru non-violence. Violence repudiates all that King stood for and achieved. It creates a back lash.
May we stand for racial equality and non-violence and by doing so create a more just and equitable society.
Pastor Richard Pokora