As the protest over the death of George Floyd continue to spread, New York Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz engaged Bishop T.D. Jakes in a discussion over issues of racism surrounding the death which has been one of the more distress in America.
After listing out name of African-Americans are victims of this issue, Jakes explained that those names are “triggers” for some people who have experienced racial violence.
“When those triggers go off, that trauma comes back,” Jakes said. “And the anger that you see is not about one incident alone, but it’s about the multiplicity of many incidents.”
Talking about his personal experience on racism, how supremacists murdered his grandfather; “I remember my father going to the backs of the restaurants to get food because we couldn’t eat on the inside,” he said. “I remember the colored water fountains…history isn’t as far back as we’d like to throw it, but we have short memories about this sort of thing.”
“When you start looking at the amount of devastation that has occurred to us as a people, it’s very difficult to articulate to people from other historical backgrounds the magnitude of the suffering,” he added.
Bishop Jakes however noted that the church has a role to play in addressing the act of racism positively, “I think that the church has a responsibility, an obligation, and a calling to respond to it. The church has a tendency to look away. Not just white people, brown people, poor people, and people in cages on the border – anything that gets ugly that we don’t want to deal with, we look away.”
He frowned as violence which he said; “I don’t think violence is the answer. History has taught us that violence is not the cure,” Jakes said. “But as Dr. King said, who led a non-violent movement, ‘It is not the atrocities nor the wickedness of evil men that is most appalling, it is in fact the silence of the good men’.”
He however noted that anybody that commit crime should be arrested but not killing someone by the sidewalk.
“There are some people that are black that get arrested that absolutely should be arrested – they did a crime or they’re out of control. We are not asking to not be arrested. We are just asking not to be tried on the sidewalk.”
In reference to this, Bishop Jakes talked about Dylann Roof who killed nine blacks inside the church in 2015 but was treated to Burger King after he was arrested.
“Just don’t arrest me, try me, convict me and kill me on the sidewalk while you take the other victim who killed nine people in a church and you take them out to get something to eat. As far as I can tell, George Floyd did not get anything from Burger King and he didn’t kill anybody,” the bishop explained.
“We want to live, we want a chance at opportunities, we want better education, we want equal access to opportunities. We just want to live,” he concluded.
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