"Turn to the Path of Love" - The Dean's Response to the George Floyd Protests in Chicago

May 31, 2020

The following is a statement about this weekend's protests in Chicago in response to the murder of George Floyd, written by the Very Rev. Dominic Barrington on May 31st.

George Floyd could not breathe - a fact of which nobody was in any doubt, including the man charged with his murder, and many bystanders. Derek Chauvin’s knee remained a crushing force on Floyd’s neck for very nearly three minutes after he had already become unresponsive. The end result was inevitable.

It was a moment when the Minneapolis Police Department, if not the entire nation, went very low - and not just because of Mr Floyd’s murder, but because it was far from being a one-off event. As President Obama observed two days ago, “for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’…. We can and must be better.”

And that ‘better’ is well described by our Presiding Bishop, as being a call to follow ‘the path of love’ - because “Love does not look like the harm being caused by some police or some protestors in our cities… Love looks like all of us…standing up and saying ‘We can do better than this. We can be better than this.”

At a time when we are all too conscious of racial inequality, both through last week’s events in Minneapolis, let alone the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color, let’s strive to follow Michelle Obama’s call to “go high”, which she defines as ‘not seeking revenge’ or responding ‘from a place of anger or vengefulness’, but seeking to ‘reflect the solution’. 

On this day that the church celebrates the breath of the Holy Spirit offering the world a new vision of unity and harmony, may those of any faith and none turn to the path of love, and help us all to ‘go high’. Nothing could be more needed in our nation and our world.