George Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day 2020. This was not coincidental; for we need to memorialize him. He was, as the words of Scripture say, “a man of many sorrows”. He was flawed, a man with feet of clay. He was, as it is and was with so many of our brothers, a martyr…who received capital punishment for an unproved, petty crime.
As we memorialize him, we will not give voice or attention to his murderer. His murderer was simply a gross and disgusting manifestation of an evil reality that black and brown people face every day. George fell at the hands of an insidious system which names itself justice but metes out injustice every day.
George’s baby girl has been quoted as saying, “my Daddy changed the world”. My earnest prayer is that this might be so. I implore the Creator that the change of which she spoke might begin with a just verdict. I ask Him that this change might be the beginning of the dismantling of a system founded on an malevolent precept that dishonors the humanity of black and brown bodies.
As people of color, we must not neglect to honor our martyrs; nor must we forget the diabolical elements that snuffs out their lives. As we mourn them, we must find the strength, through our tears, to confront and condemn that which took them from us. When we say “no justice, no peace” we must do so with a commitment to resist injustice whenever and wherever it is found.
There can be no peace without justice. Not in our hearts and minds. Not in our highways and byways. Not in our neighborhoods. Not in our courts. Not in our politics. Not in our communities. Not in our very lives.
To memorialize it to remember. With remembering, there is a practice. Our practice must be active and not passive. It has to be grounded in holy boldness that refuses to accept the injustice perpetrated upon our bodies. It has to proclaim that we are creatures—or creations—possessing the same measure of divinity as everyone and anyone else, deserving of fair and humane treatment.
The only fitting memorial to George Floyd is not just to remember, but to resist, resist, RESIST!