Recently, the president of a local university asked me “what can be done in light of the recent George Floyd incident?” I shared the following words. . .
“Thank you for your commitment to justice and having a heart of compassion. Literally, the last few days have been heartbreaking and disheartening. While the world deals with COVID 19, those kissed by the sun as usual find themselves dealing not only with the disparities revealed during these times in areas such as: technology, health care, and income, just to name a few, but the pandemic of African American men hanging from trees like strange fruit.
“I have asked myself what can be done? From Emmett Till to George Floyd, this vicious cycle keeps playing over like a record stuck on replay.
“Believing education is the tool toward alleviating so many woes of our society, I have personally been involved in hosting workshops with young Black boys and police officers in hopes of teaching that neither should be afraid of the other. Our congregation has participated in police ride-alongs in an attempt for both sides to learn the mindset of other.
“I have sat on and in task force meetings discussing what can be done to bridge the divide between Blue and Black. Colleagues across the nation have solicited my input as they have sat on Police Commissions giving input for the selection of incoming police chiefs, captains, and other high-ranking, law enforcement officials.
“And yet, after all those efforts and more, here we are as a nation watching the state of Minnesota and other areas burn down at the hands of people tired of being unheard and denied. To summarize CNN news anchor Don Lemon, ‘until the ones issuing injustice realize their fault, the hill remains hard to climb for those victimized by such actions.’
“Forgive the length of my reply, it’s therapeutic to get these thoughts and feelings out my head onto paper. I’m not sure what can be done that hasn’t already been done, but I’m open to suggestions. If it’s another public forum, I stand ready to call upon panelists across the spectrum of this quandary. Whatever, whenever I’m there. Meanwhile, ‘I can’t breathe!’”
I now ask all who will read this open letter, what can we do? Feel free to reach me at [email protected]
Bishop Sherman A. Gordon is the founder and pastor of Family of Faith Christian Center in Long Beach and a metropolitan bishop in the Global United Fellowship. GUF comprises more than 1,400 churches in 42 countries including 49 members in California. As bishop, Gordon oversees the 17 West Coast states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and the parts of Africa.