The New York Faith and Freedom Coalition condemns the misuse of authority as seen in the video recording the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officers.
We also condemn the lawlessness we have seen throughout the nation resulting in the destruction of private property as well as injury and death to civilians and law enforcement officers. All illegal activity must be condemned without rationalization or justification.
The death of George Floyd as appeared in the video does not, in itself, speak to systemic racism or prejudice in the nation’s law enforcement institutions.
As of this writing, there has been no apparent evidence that this crime was racially motivated. The victim and his accused murderer were reported to have worked for the same employer at one time, so it is possible that they may have known each other, and there may have been other reasons for the murder. We don’t know. All the information has not yet been made known. Jumping to the conclusion that it was motivated by racism, is in itself, a racist judgment. It presumes that racism is the default motive when a white police officer kills a black man. This is unfounded prejudice, and must also be condemned.
Racism and prejudice is not a group sin. It resides in the heart of men and women of every ethnic background and has throughout the ages. It is part of the innate sinful nature of man generated by pride and envy. Every ethnic group that has immigrated to this country has overcome racism and prejudice to adequately assimilate into our American family. Black Americans should be particularly proud that their forebears have overcome more than other groups. They have a rich heritage.
As we have continued in our journey toward a more perfect union, overt racism has been, for the most part, legally eliminated from our civic institutions. Ongoing racism is found in the hearts of individuals and must be addressed as such. In this nation we do not identify the sins of an individual with the group they belong to. That may be true in nations that practice collective punishment; that is not America.
Lawlessness and riots simply perpetuate the lie that there is a separate group of Americans that have been denied the opportunities of other Americans of a different color. We are one nation under God, and any attempt to foster division is evil at its core. President Lincoln reminded us of the Biblical truth that a house divided cannot stand. President Theodore Roosevelt reminded us that in this nation there is no room for what he called “hyphenated Americans,” for we are all Americans. President Trump has repeatedly reminded us that we are one nation; we salute one beautiful flag; we serve one Almighty God.
We must put away divisive and accusatory labels, and continue our march together toward a more perfect union by celebrating our unity. Magnifying unity will displace the division and polarization that the enemy of our souls and of our nation thrives on. Let us live up to the creed of our motto: One Nation Under God!
Rev. Bill Banuchi