Christians respond to George Floyd’s death with outrage, rallies and calls for justice.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
Warren G. Blakney Sr.’s long fight for racial equality stretches back to 1961.
At age 9, Blakney met civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and passed out voter registration handbills door to door.
“I saw a lot of things,” said the 67-year-old senior minister for the North Peoria Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla. “I’ve seen acid thrown at people. I’ve been in the crowd when dogs were turned on us. … I’ve seen white guys jump out of cars with baseball bats to beat 12- and 13-year-old kids down and kill them.”
But nothing in the last 50 years, he said, has shaken him like the video of a white Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed black man complained, “I can’t breathe.”
“I sat there, and I prayed, and I wished that he would get his knee off that guy’s neck so he could breathe,” said Blakney, president of the Tulsa Urban League and past president of the local NAACP. “There was no sense of humanity.”
Floyd’s May 25 death in police custody stirred Blakney to urge fellow Christians — black and white — to join the battle against racial injustice.
“As a person, I’m outraged,” said Russell Pointer Sr., minister for the predominantly black congregation. “As a city, we’re trying to grieve.”
This story appears in the July edition of The Christian Chronicle.