The current turmoil in the US is the backdrop of an inspiring article published today on Medium.com, where President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and three leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are calling on all Americans to embrace Jesus Christ’s simple but challenging model that can lead to racial peace and harmony.
Under the title George Floyd protests Wikipedia explains that
the George Floyd protests are an ongoing series of protests and demonstrations against police brutality and racism in policing. The protests began in the United States in Minneapolis on May 26, 2020, following the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest the previous day.
The unrest began as local protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota before quickly spreading across the entire nation and internationally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the majority of protests have been peaceful, demonstrations in some cities descended into riots and widespread looting, with more being marked by street skirmishes and significant police brutality, notably against peaceful protesters and reporters.
At least 200 cities imposed curfews by 3 June, while at least 27 states and Washington, D.C, activated over 74,000 National Guard personnel due to the mass unrest.
From the beginning of the protests to June 3, at least 11,000 people had been arrested, including all four police officers involved in the arrest which led to Floyd’s death.
The unrest is also occurring during the global COVID-19 pandemic, with health experts as well as public authorities warning that the protests will likely facilitate an accelerated or rebounding spread of the virus.
The protests’ economic impact exacerbated the 2020 coronavirus recession by sharply curtailing consumer demand, destabilizing local businesses, disrupting nation-wide supply chains, and sustaining large-scale public infrastructure damage.
The George Floyd protests have led to the passage of numerous laws and public directives, on both state and federal levels, to combat police misconduct, systemic racial bias, and police brutality in the United States.
In the article of today President Russell M. Nelson is joined by Derrick Johnson (NAACP president and CEO), Leon Russell (NAACP chairman of the board) and the Rev. Amos C. Brown (NAACP chairman emeritus of religious affairs) and together they make a public declaration about what they believe to be the only true solution to the racial problems in the US and elsewhere:
“Unitedly we declare that the answers to racism, prejudice, discrimination and hate will not come from government or law enforcement alone,” they write. “Solutions will come as we open our hearts to those whose lives are different than our own, as we work to build bonds of genuine friendship, and as we see each other as the brothers and sisters we are — for we are all children of a loving God. … Oneness is not sameness in America. We must all learn to value the differences.”
“We share deep sorrow for the senseless, heinous act of violence that needlessly took the life of George Floyd. We mourn with his family, friends and community. We likewise look on with sadness at the anger, hate, contempt and violence spilling onto America’s streets, devastating cities across the nation, and creating fear and anxiety in citizens across this great land….
What is the solution? Whether you are a believer or not, Jesus Christ taught an inspired model that leads to peace and harmony — to love God first, and then to love our neighbor as ourselves. We don’t pretend that either of these pursuits is easy, but we do declare that they yield the fruits the Lord promised.”