Media statement from Bob Shine, National Council Chair of Pax Christi USA, in response to the protests in cities all across the United States in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers:
“What we need to remember, what absolutely cannot be lost here is that a Black man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer after being detained for the alleged crime of passing off a counterfeit $20 bill. A man was killed when a police officer put his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes and didn’t relent even as Mr. Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Three other police officers just watched. This scene has played out with variations over hundreds of years in our country. People of color face such lethal threats every day, a truth now undeniably visible in the police reactions to protests. In a Los Angeles Times column, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke of the frustration and pain that black protesters live with as they see the faces of their loved ones in those murdered by police and wannabe police, like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, particularly transgender women of color.
“’What you should see when you see black protesters in the age of Trump and coronavirus is people pushed to the edge, not because they want bars and nail salons open, but because they want to live,’ Jabbar wrote. ‘To breathe.’
“The judgment here shouldn’t be on what is happening at some of the protests. It should be squarely on what has happened to people of color in this country over and over and over again, and in a particular way on anti-blackness. Our focus, and I speak here in a special way to white folks like myself, is that all of us should do all we can to stop these crimes from ever happening again. The focus should be on justice for those who have been killed.”