401“The world needed to see what I was seeing, Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”
Day 401 Wednesday April 21st, 2021
“The world needed to see what I was seeing,
Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”
“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”
"the verdict affirms what has been shouted on our streets for nearly a year, George Floyd's life matters, Black lives matter."
Bishop Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky
It takes so much courage to stand up to the police – so much more courage if you’re a Black teenager. But one young woman did and we owe a debt to Darnella Frazier the 17 year old who had the presence of mind to use the video camera on her smart phone to record George Floyd’s last moments.
Darnella stood, checked back her emotions, and kept the recorder running all through George Floyd's brutal murder. Although police officers ordered her to stop she persisted.
The teenager’s video, watched more than a billion times worldwide shaped the Chauvin trial and, many believe, was the primary evidence that led to a conviction.
Darnella is motivated by a sense of deep kinship with her family and her community. She reacted to the violent scene by pushing her young cousin into the food market so the child wouldn't witness the brutality.
Then she picked up her phone and started recording. At one point weeks later Darnella said
“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they’re all Black,” Ms. Frazier said. “I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. I look at how that could have been one of them.”
Her attorney Seth Cobin said “Darnella had no idea she would witness and document one of the most important and high-profile police murders in American history, If it wasn’t for her bravery, presence of mind and steady hand, and her willingness to post the video on Facebook and share her trauma with the world, all four of those police officers would still be on the streets, possibly terrorizing other members of the community.”
(Darnella in High School chatting with her resource officer)
Cobin described Frazier as “just a 17-year-old high school student, with a boyfriend and a job at the mall, who did the right thing.”
“She’s the Rosa Parks of her generation,” he added, referring to the famed civil rights activist.
Here is part of Darnella’s testimony during the murder trial:
“When you walk past the squad car there, did you see anything happening there on the ground as you were walking towards Cup Foods with your cousin?”
“Yes, I see a man on the ground and I see a cop kneeling down on him.”
“Was there anything about the scene that you didn’t want your cousin to see?” “Yes” “And what was that?”
“A man terrified, scared, begging for his life.”
“Is that why you directed your cousin to go into Cup Foods?”
Prosecutor: “And, and then when you saw what was happening there, at the scene, what was it about the scene that caused you to come back?”
“He wasn’t right. He was he was suffering. He was in pain. I heard George Floyd saying, ‘I can’t breathe. Please get off of me. I can’t breathe.’ He cried for his mom. He was in pain. It seemed like he knew. It seemed like he knew it was over for him. He was terrified.”
the weight of what she witnessed and felt responsible:
“It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. The world needed to see what I was seeing, Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”
Let us not be silent!
Next Sunday's Celebration by Steve Lyman
The Cosmic Christ-Jesus as Mother Earth Crucified
Yet Rising Daily
Hope Moving Forward
This Sunday’s liturgy falls in the post-Easter period of the liturgical cycle as well as in the week we celebrate Earth Day. Therefore, I would like us to reflect on Matthew Fox’s idea that ‘the appropriate symbol of the Cosmic Christ who became incarnate in Jesus is that of “Jesus as Mother Earth crucified yet rising daily.”’ Fox goes on to cite the human assault on our Mother Earth even though she has remained completely loyal, supportive, and nurturing to us humans for 4.5 billion years.
Our liturgy will be shorter on song and longer on video. My hope is that the notion of an emerging new life and explosion of human creativity will leave us with a sense of great hope for the future. That the matricide of Mother Earth will be transformed into a great faith that the Resurrected Mother Earth can become a reality. Our consciousness is undergoing tremendous change. My dream is that today’s liturgy can open up our thinking just a little bit more.
Important Note: The video portions of the liturgy are taken from “The Journey of the Universe Educational Series.” This is a comprehensive educational series as a follow up to the movie that Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker developed a few years ago based around Thomas Berry’s work, “The Great Work.” It reveals progressive ideas regarding eco-social justice and care of the planet.
If at all possible, I hope you will take the time to watch the attached video in its entirety. There will be snippets of this video during the liturgy but I think the experience will be much enhanced by watching the unedited version prior to the liturgy.
Also, this is an educational series that our Educational Committee would like me to facilitate for those who are interested in the future. My hope is that this will generate interest in this most important topic.
Video: Breakthrough Communities