The video of the callous and brutal murder by a Minneapolis police officer of George Floyd, with his pain, terror and pleading so obvious to see, calls up the images of lynchings as well as bringing to mind the deaths at police hands of so many other African Americans. With the people of Trinity Episcopal Church, and my sisters and brothers throughout our church in every state, I hope and pray that this horrific act and the massive heartfelt demonstrations which have followed will bring forth a spirit of justice and reconciliation. We hope and pray it will bring real change to our fractured nation. We must do all in our power that police officers and all of us will become aware of the racism staining our country from even before its birth, our national original sin. I hope we will do all in our power to make a reality of the ideal that all people are created equal. Now is the time.
We commit ourselves in the wake of this horrific death to a “new birth of freedom,” in the words of Abraham Lincoln: freedom from discrimination, freedom for people of color to walk the streets, drive their cars, do their shopping without the fear that injury or death may fall on them, or their children, because of the color of their skin. An assault on the life and dignity of any human being is an attack on us all, a betrayal of our common humanity.
In the words this week of the Episcopal Bishops of Connecticut, “The injustice against people of color we have seen in recent weeks is not tolerable. It is contrary to the will of God and our Christian witness. We must speak up. We must work for change. And we must repent for the ways we are complicit in the ongoing violence in our society. We do this work together. We do this work for God. And we do this work so that all God’s people may know safety, hope, and love.”
The Rev. Norman MacLeod
Trinity Episcopal Church
120 Sigourney Street