I am not American. Nor am I black, nor male.
But my heart broke in a new way while watching the slow, agonized death of George Floyd, as for nine minutes a police officer kneeled on his neck, crushing his face into the pavement.
I did not sleep that night. And as with so many others, it’s still there when I awake each morning.
Men being led to execution often call out for their mothers. Millions watching this video heard Floyd’s desperate cries for his mother.
The human heart has no defence against such cold-blooded injustice. Hearts around the planet are breaking for George Floyd.
Justice is a core value in the fabric of life: Even domestic animals treated unjustly will look at us in bewilderment.
Trappist monk Thomas Merton coined the phrase, “the unspeakable”. It is a void in the human heart. Empty of compassion, the vacuum fills with violence. It is what we saw in the officers who killed Floyd.
It is also what we saw in the murder of JFK, orchestrated by the CIA. (3)
We cannot unsee what we witnessed in the Floyd video. This unspeakable murder is the only story that has broken through the Covid-19 headlines – showing that justice is as important as life itself.
Officials need to understand that the protests across America represent a core value of humanity: The need for justice that is embedded in the human heart.
The riots will continue until this understanding of our humanity is declared – and acted upon in an unprecedented and powerfully open way.
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