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Don’t you think if George Floyd wasn’t breaking the law, he’d still be alive?

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Imagine if George Floyd was your father, brother or son. You watched him slowly suffocate to death. Now imagine someone said, “Well, he shouldn’t have passed a phony twenty-dollar bill?” How would you feel? Probably you’d be infuriated. Nothing could be less relevant in light of the injustice inflicted upon your loved one! When people point out the shortcomings of those who have been unjustly killed by white police officers, they are revealing their lack of empathy towards the victims and their loved ones and reinforcing a racist narrative.

So why are these irrelevant considerations so frequently brought up? The most basic answer is that whites are generally socialized into believing that the system is good and that the police justly enforce this system. They are thus socialized into believing that whenever anyone is harmed by police, they must have deserved it. This idea that “they had it coming” is just a way to try and protect the system.

Out of allegiance to Jesus, we encourage followers of Jesus to empathize fully with victims of injustice. When a white person can see those who are dehumanized and oppressed by the system as your own father or mother or brother or sister, they are better able to see through the shallowness and irrelevance of the system-protecting assumption that victims deserved what was coming to them.

4 thoughts on “Don’t you think if George Floyd wasn’t breaking the law, he’d still be alive?

  1. Jesse says:

    You stated,

    “Imagine if George Floyd was your father, brother or son. You watched him slowly suffocate to death. Now imagine someone said, “Well, he shouldn’t have passed a phony twenty-dollar bill?” How would you feel? Probably you’d be infuriated.”

    — Yes, I would be infuriated if that was brought up in my time of grief. However, my emotion doesn’t change the fact that my loved one *committed a crime* and therefore exposed him/herself to consequences. It’s not wrong to acknowledge this and I wouldn’t call it victim blaming. I’d call it being an active participant in the natural consequences of sin. Wouldn’t you?

    “When people point out the shortcomings of those who have been unjustly killed by white police officers, they are revealing their lack of empathy towards the victims and their loved ones and reinforcing a racist narrative.”

    — Couldn’t disagree more. How can you make that judgment against me? Are you saying that by acknowledging shortcomings means I can’t be empathetic? That’s nonsensical. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Or are you arguing that they are? And pointing out shortcomings means that the racist narrative is being reinforced? Are you saying that we should never acknowledge the shortcomings of those we view as victims of unjust actions? And if we do, we are racists? Please explain further. Also, asphyxiation wasn’t the cause of death for Floyd per the autopsy.

    “Out of allegiance to Jesus, we encourage followers of Jesus to empathize fully with victims of injustice.”

    — Jesus also acknowledge correctable shortcomings which balanced his position. Where’s your balance?

  2. Steph says:

    The BLM movement is largely focused on why these so called ‘law enforcement’ responses are ending up in deaths; I’m encouraged by the conversations around the re-imagining of police intervention on these calls that quite frankly shouldn’t require police response at all, and therefore increasing the likelihood of the use of unneccesary and more often deadly force; adding the disproportionality where it involves poc.

    1. John says:

      The BLM movement is an Marxist organization that has little to do with Black lives, other than put them in a bad light. We came to a judgement on George Floyds death before we had all the facts. He would have died in his car from overdose, which in fact it appears he did. That is the results of the autopsy, plus there was no bruising on his body. If you didn’t see the second video of the bodycam, you need too. He was complaining that he couldn’t breath will he was standing up. The cops were actually trying to accommodate him. I also think that Dr. Boyd needs to address this and walk it back from his original emotional message on George Floyds death. In 2019, 10 unarmed black men were killed, many more whites were killed by cops. In the same year 48 cops were killed. I believe much of this is political. Most of the protesting is done by whites. The majority of blacks are not in favor of ‘defunding the police’. Most important, All Black LIves Matter. Why is there no outrage about all the black on black killing in Chicago. In the last year, 321 black men, not hispanic, have been killed. Mostly by other blacks. This has been going on for years, and it is just ignored.

  3. Emily says:

    Thank you all for your comments and feedback! We believe this conversation is worth continuing, but are closing the comment section for now as we hope to engage individually with those of you who would like to discuss these topics in more detail. If you have further thoughts, please email us at info@whchurch.org.

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