I am sure we were all relieved this week with the outcome of the trial charging a former police officer with the murder of George Floyd. It was an outcome which should have, in a democratic society, been treated as normal and expected. But it wasn’t! It was an historic moment – a first for a police officer to be brought to justice for killing a black man. And we all celebrate this fact. We celebrate because we hope once again that it is the beginning of the recognition that all are created equal under the law and in God’s eye. That people are awake to the systemic racism and discrimination that exists, and appropriate legislation will be passed.
But we recall the race riots of the 1960s, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Beulah Mae Donald taking the Ku Klux Klan to trial and winning in the 1980s, and on and on. Times when there were protests about racism and discrimination and the hope that something would be finally done. Is this the time? Are laws finally going to be put in place to ensure that justice is done.? We live in hope and have to have strong faith that love and peace will win out.
But then, just recently in Texas, a class of grade 9s held a mock ‘slave market’ to sell their fellow black friends and while one was down even suggested that someone ‘put a knee on his neck’.
Is this hate or merely ignorance? What were those young people thinking? The school at first named it harassment or bullying, but later recognized it as a hate crime. Granted, these are events in the USA, but It exists here in Canada as well.
In discussion it has been concluded that children have to be taught the history of anti-black racism so that they have an understanding of the background. But should children also learn at home and in our churches and other organizations as well as school – to understand just how harmful discrimination against ‘others’ is?
We may have a fine example of children accepting all as equal and friends, right here in our new subdivision on the north of Old Church Road. There is hope that love is winning.