You kept a knee on our necks

I watched the moving and dignified service from Minneapolis on Thursday night for the late George Floyd. May he rest in peace.

I listened to the words of family members and friends and could not help but be moved by their loving tribute to a caring giant of a man. Outside, across the US and even across the world, people stood in solidarity. Many have taken a knee for the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that George was on the floor until he was murdered.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, in his address, spoke about many things, but two of them really struck me, made me think and also examine my mindset.

Firstly, he spoke of how George was heard calling for his mother. He reflected that his mother had died some years ago. Why was George going this? He believed that, in those last moments, it was his mother’s loving arms that were outstretched to George. As he struggled to breath, his mother was reaching out to embrace him, to bring him to her. For their is a Kingdom, Rev. Al preached, where there is no racism, no injustice, no harm of a human being by another human being.

Secondly, he spoke of how those of black origin were not allowed to flourish, have the same education, job opportunities, health care as those of a white origin. That it existed for over 400 years and was still tangible today. Why, because the white man had their knee on the black races neck.

It was powerful, engaging, educational, moving and certainly a rallying call for all to raise awareness, stand in solidarity, to demonstrate peacefully, to take a knee. I have pondered so much in these past weeks on life, death and everything in between. I have learnt so much about the psychological effect of feeling oppressed, having a knee on one’s neck, not being able to flourish and prosper as, I believe, the creator God intended for each and everyone of us.

If you have an opportunity to see that memorial service over the internet, then please do. May you grow as I have grown.

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Stephen Payne

Currently studying an MBA, discovering writing and engaging with people so I can listen, reflect and benefit from the wisdom of our current world and cultures.