Silence Won’t Work

By Reba Phelps

“In a world full of hate be a light….” were the lyrics of the Christian song I was just listening to while preparing supper for my little family. The image shown above has been burned in my mind constantly since this happened. There is no light in this image. I cannot get over the lifeless look on George Floyd’s face and the effortless disregard for life on the other face.

I normally dedicate time to finishing my weekly “Blessed” article for the Natchitoches Parish Journal on Thursday evenings, but my heart was just not in it. I couldn’t even focus on its completion thinking about how our country is hurting and how we are not living in equality.

Being raised by a preacher who visited every African American church in Natchitoches Parish with kids in tow (me and my siblings) and welcomed the very same preachers at his own church in Goldonna…..this image literally brought me to my knees. My dad was not a popular preacher in Goldonna during the late 80’s and early 90’s due to this decision but he showed his children what the love of the Lord looks like and how we were born to worship with all of our brothers and sisters. Not just the ones who had the same color of skin that we did. My dad and mom didn’t see color and that’s the way they raised their children.

This picture originally struck me because it was in black and white….if you scrolled quickly by you would almost believe it was taken during the violent and brutal days of the Civil Rights movement. Oh how I wish this was an archaic image of the way America used to be. Oh how it hurts me that we are still having brutality like this in 2020. Will we still be having these conversations with our grandchildren?

When does it stop? Please pray for our country. Pray without ceasing. I stand with my friends. I kneel to beg God to save our country.

#georgefloyd #icantbreathe

Ecclesiastes 5:8
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.


19 thoughts on “Silence Won’t Work

  1. Some folks just don’t get it. Racism is still rampant in America in 2020. Until we can admit that, things will never change.

    • Yes Vicki. Racism won’t change until it changes in the segregated churches. If these all white churches would extend an invitation to all black churches to come and worship together, that would be a start. Reba;s dad was truly on the right track. People we have to love one another.

  2. Beautifully written Reba.

    It is truly a shame that the world sees skin color as a division of race. When God created mankind, there was only one race – the human race. Because of the sinfulness of mankind, and the desire to reach God through physical means versus spiritual means of prayer and sacrifice, God scattered mankind across the land. Then during the flood, he broke up the land and scattered it across the globe with oceans to divide us. He did not create another race of mankind; the only difference is the amount of melatonin our skin produces, or doesn’t produce, in relation to where God scattered mankind and the land to be located on the globe. We all have brown skin, just differing shades of it from very light to very dark brown. One race, all brother and sisters under our Creator.
    Jesus came to show us a better way, and a way that shows love for one another. I’m deeply saddened by those who think rioting, pillaging, murder and destruction of property atones for the lack of love shown by this single police officer for the brother he has under submission. How cavalier he is in manner and deed.
    Jesus is the Light of the World; come to show the way unto the Father through his sacrifice unto Salvation.

  3. This is an all to common image in America. The combination of intrenched racism and the, in this case wrong, but also natural and understandable tendency for police departments and their officers to circle the wagons and defend their own is a powerful one. “Silence Won’t Work,” could not more aptly identify the problem or put forth a workable and accomplishable solution.

    I hear and read statements like — “I went to my black neighbor’s barbecue last weekend,” “My son’s black friend spent the night,” “My daughter went to prom with a black young man,” (even if grandparents and some parents on both sides tend to roll their eyes at this one), and “Our last President was African-American,” — whenever the problem of racism in America raises its ugly head. People say these things in an effort to state, or and in the false hope that, we are beyond the painful chapter of racism in our nation, in our communities and within ourselves. This picture belies that argument. Those statements demonstrate that we are making strides. It is the refusal to remain silent when we see it that will ultimately beat the scourge of racism out of our ranks. “See something, say something” applies to this enemy, racism, too. It is every bit as insidious as terrorism. In fact, in a very real sense they are one and the same.

  4. Sadly this behaviour by white police officers will not stop until they are arrested in a timely fashion, tried and sentenced.. just as you or I would be. This is pathetic. I could not watch the video. I don’t understand it. I’ll never be ok with it. One after another this happens. Even bird watching while black brings rage from a white woman as she strangles her dog. Skin color, gender, age, religion, financial state in life…none matters. Folks everyone deserves common respect and compassion. My heart goes out to Mr.Floyd’s family and to all the others that have died at the hands of overzealous officers. Overzealous isnt even the right word. This will not stop until officers are held accountable for their misdeeds. Care about your neighbor. Stay well.

      • ok, include black officers that deliberately kill white citizens while they are being white. I cant think of any. Maybe you can.

        • There is a black Minneapolis police officer who just went to prison for shooting and killing a white woman that called the police to report a crime. Oh yea, he only got 12.5 yrs. Police kill more whites every year than blacks and with that said the police officer that instigated this situation should go to prison for a long time and those that stood by and did nothing should go to prison also

  5. My heart is broken. We have to act. Yes, wenprat, but we have to a bit like your dad.
    “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”
    St Francis of Assisi

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