"Why are you crying, Delaine?"
My younger sister responded, "Why is there so much hate?"
Watching George Floyd's memorial service, Delaine and I respectfully stood in silence for 8 minutes and 46 second reflecting on Floyd's last words, "I can't breathe!"
George Floyd could not breathe because a law enforcement officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck, blocking his airway. Taking his last breath, he cried out, "Mama."
As Delaine and I stood in solidarity with those who had gathered for Floyd's memorial service, Delaine started crying uncontrollably, "Why is there so much hatred?"
Unable to give her a definitive answer, I said, "Delaine, God can take the most horrendous situation and use it for His glory."
Floyd's death was the catalyst that galvanized the worldwide family to abandon passivity. We became advocates for the voiceless and those who are victims of systemic racism.
We marched and highlighted our issues on homemade signs, but that is not enough. Planning, building coalitions, seeking advice from the elders and maintaining focus are also required.
Hatred can not be eradicated by the collective actions of the masses. Releasing tension and assuaging guilt by participating in rallies and Zoom conferences help us confront our prejudices; however, I challenge you to adopt a personal response.
Chip away at hatred every time you encounter it. Embrace opportunities to advocate for the least of these. Then you become an effective instrument of authentic change.
BEVERLY DIANE FRIERSON
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