Will rioters listen to George Floyd’s brother?

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Julie Reeder
Julie Reeder

This week has been horrific and unforgettable for everyone, starting with George Floyd’s family.

With the nation in upheaval over the wrongful and murderous death of Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, tensions and emotions are high. Very sadly, people have used this man’s death as an excuse to murder, loot, destroy and set their cities on fire, hurt local business owners and beat up senior citizens. Nine people have died so far. Those being hurt are not to blame, even if they are white people, unless they are participating in the criminal behavior too. Let’s have the courage to speak that truth.

George Floyd’s brother spoke to a crowd recently asking for peaceful protest and to put an end to the violence.

“If I’m not blowing up stuff, messing up my community, then what are y’all doin?” he said. “You’re doing nothing, because that is not going to bring my brother back. My family is a peaceful family, a God fearing family.

“Let’s do this another way. Let’s stop thinking our voice doesn’t matter and vote! Educate yourself. Don’t wait for someone to tell you who is who, educate yourself and know who you are voting for. It’s a lot of us, and we still are going to do this peacefully,” he said.

They ended the protest by chanting, “Peace on the left, justice on the right.”

On behalf of the Floyd family, thank you for the love and the flowers.

While it seems that many just want a peaceful protest, activist groups are fueling the violence with organizing race-baiting, looting, rioting and blaming riots on anyone but the looters who are actually committing the crimes. And we wonder why lawlessness grows?

The truth remains that this country has made terrible mistakes in the past, which it has paid dearly for, and we continue to make mistakes for we are human. History is full of people mistreating others. People of all races have enslaved and mistreated each other, including Europeans, Irish, Chinese, etc. Even African slavery at the hands of other African people. It’s all abhorrent, and our country has gone to deadly ends to right the wrongs of slavery, including thousands of white people who fought and died in the Civil War. People of all colors stood side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

African Americans have prospered as leaders in America, becoming mayors, police chiefs, congressmen, judges, Supreme Court Justices, top paid entertainers, sports figures, business owners, and we voted for President Barack Obama twice!

If we were a racist nation, millions of white people would not have voted for Obama. We have tried to right the wrongs with affirmative action and the abolition of Jim Crow laws. If anyone is fired or suffers a crime and racism is suspected, there is a zero tolerance. If you doubt it, how do you explain all the reactions across the nation this week?

We are a nation of free people, no matter our skin color, with inalienable rights given to us by God alone and justice for all. We hate injustice as a culture.

Does that mean racism doesn’t exist? No. Are we finished? No. But should we riot and loot and hurt people? No.

The answer is tolerance, kindness, supporting the rule of law and transparency. We need to keep listening to each other and keep moving forward. And we need to root out the wrongs and have the courage to call it out when we see it.

Whether it is bad cops in Minneapolis or elsewhere in the country, the rule of law has to be upheld from our communities all the way to the leadership in our top law enforcement agencies.

Why didn’t one of the cops near George Floyd stop what was happening? We will likely not know the answer to that question until these officers appear in court, but the only way our democratic republic can continue to work is with the participation of good people at all levels who are honest and willing to confront wrongs at every level. We need good mothers, fathers, teachers, cops, judges, journalists, business leaders, pastors and honest politicians.

Criminal anarchy by political groups does not help the situation, it only hurts everyone involved. My hope is that people listen to George Floyd’s brother. Their voices and their votes are powerful.

Julie Reeder can be reached by email at jreeder@reedermedia.com.