Written by: Pearl Kupe
Article source: JOY! Magazine
On May 25th 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis, USA after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he was handcuffed face down in the street. Before dying, George Floyd had repeatedly told the officers that he could not breathe. Floyd’s death resulted in unprecedented protests around the world. Many of the protests evolved into full blown riots and violent destruction of property and cities.
What makes these protests different?
This brought the #BlackLivesMatter movement back into the spotlight and birthed a new movement called #ICantBreathe. The topic of racism was once again given mass global attention. These are by no means the first protests and demonstrations that have risen as a result of racist killings.
There must be a global pursuit of justice by all children of God.
What then, will make this one different?
1. Action must go beyond protests. There must be a global pursuit of justice by all and a global determination to end all travesties of justice and discriminatory practices. Deliberate and intentional plans must be put in place in the nations to deal with all types of direct, systemic, and institutional roots of racism and discrimination.
2. Amending the law is not enough! Changing legislation alone is not enough. Increasing punitive legislative sentences alone cannot change hearts and minds. In 1990, this option was tried in Botswana in relation to rape with increased prison sentences. They found that the rape crime statistics went even higher. Hearts and minds must be changed. The whole justice system and judicial process must be interrogated and amended, along with the educational and social systems.
3. Economic redistribution must be a part of the plan. Discrimination can never end when many have been deliberately and intentionally denied opportunities for equal participation in the economic system and business environment.
4. Church involvement: The Church, which is the Body of Christ, is ordained as the salt and light of society and must be at the forefront of developing strategic plans of action.
5. Opportunities for all: The #ICantBreathe movement was initiated because George Floyd was denied the opportunity to breathe. For discrimination to be uprooted, everyone must be given a chance to breathe. Opportunities in all aspects of life are to be given to all regardless of race, colour, or creed. The right to breathe and to live is a gift from God. Genesis 2:7 says “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”. God gave man breath and we all have this right to breathe. We have been given this right by the Creator Himself. Anyone who would dare take away that right must prepare to ultimately answer to the One who gave life.
6. Discrimination includes racism, xenophobia, and Afrophobia. As Africans, we need to interrogate any discrimination that we may have against one another, as it is unacceptable. To condemn racism and yet show afrophobic and xenophobic behaviour ourselves, is hypocritical at best.
When you look at someone, see them through God’s eyes. He created them, He loves them.
Reconciliation is possible
As we move towards reconciliation and unity, may we be reminded of Acts 17:26: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” We all come from one blood and belong to one earth!
A prayer for unity
Let us remember the prayer of Yeshua Hamashiach for unity in John 17:21: “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
#BlackLivesMatter #AfricanLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter
Date published: 08/07/2020
DR Pearl Kupe is an attorney and an international consultant to world leaders and international organisations. She is the international president of the Global Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her Facebook page, Kingdom Transformer Pearl Kupe
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