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Will George Floyd’s life bring the change we want?

Will George Floyd’s life bring the change we want? Or will we miss our chance?   What happened is intolerable. It is repugnant. It demands action. It reminds us not only of our country’s shameful racist past, but the way racism persists in our society today.   I hurt…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Will George Floyd’s life bring the change we want? Or will we miss our chance?
 
What happened is intolerable. It is repugnant. It demands action. It reminds us not only of our country’s shameful racist past, but the way racism persists in our society today.
 
I hurt for Floyd’s family, for the countless others who have suffered as he suffered, and for those caught in a cycle of oppression and violence that haunts our nation. We cannot stay silent. The injustice cries out to be addressed.
 
Those of us who have privilege or power cannot speak for those who don’t have power. We can speak to others who have power and we can challenge the systems that allow them to abuse their power.
 
We can also subordinate our power and allow the disempowered to represent us. 
 
Those of us who follow Jesus want to look closely at his model to understand how we can respond today. Jesus was a man of color oppressed by an abusive government run by white people. He was persecuted and tortured by them.
 
His non-violent, loving response changed the course of history. And it continues to change the course of history today.
 
Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King are examples of followers of Jesus who helped empower the powerless. Can we follow them?
 
Those of us who have had the responsibility of leading groups of primarily white young people to go and serve people of color around the world in the name of Jesus need to respond with radical affinity. 
 
Change must happen this time. Those in power must humble themselves and bring the change that the world is crying out for. We must come alongside the movement that identifies with Jesus and seeks to follow his example.
 
How will we respond? 

Comments (2)

  • Thank you for writing this! You are courageous and I applaud you! I know I can’t be easy as a white man to speak against the racial injustice that has plagued this country. I think it puts both black & white in difficult positions to speak on for the sake of offense. i am a single African American mom of a 24yr son

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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