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Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds

Eight minutes and forty-six seconds—that is the amount of time George Floyd had as a last reprieve to stay in this world. The murderer was told that George had no pulse and he could get up and get his knee off the carotid artery in Floyd’s neck. But he did not. Why? Because he did not care—not just about George but about many other things. You can’t both care and do what this murderer did. He was already a walking dead man himself. He did what dead men walking always do—try to take life from the living.

Was this just about race? Probably not. The murderer was a dehumanized man. His fellow officers knew he was dangerous, as we know from the many complaints previously reported by those who had witnessed his proclivity for “force.” He was a dead man walking with a badge, gun, and an indifference towards people. That is a very, very dangerous combination… a bomb waiting to go off. Some decades ago, I realized just how difficult it is for “dead people” to change. Their hearts are dead, and nothing, even pain, can change their hearts. Nevertheless, there remains a great deal of blame to go around. The media will see to that. The media themselves have more than their share of calloused people who get paid to incite fear, hate, and division, further hardening people’s hearts and perspectives on life so as to become like them—dead.

Tony L. Clark holds a photo of George Floyd outside the Cup Food convenience store on May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis (Photo Credit: Jerry Holt / Star Tribune via AP – NBC News)

Racism, indeed. I have witnessed it around the world, and it has driven history with its poisonous, ethnic venom. Americans, because we tend to be provincial and country-centered, tend to think racism is a black-white ethnic exploitation. But it is much wider than that. We could list the history of ethnic cleansing, and it goes far beyond just the poison we institutionalized with American slavery. Racism (the notion of ethnic “superiority”) will never change until we commonly recognize that our Creator made us one race from one common blood line. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26). This will not happen until the secular world accepts both Scripture, the shouting scientific genome studies that prove this, and a Creator origin rather than the belief that we are the product of “time plus slime” (evolution). The Antichrist spirit hates the reality of humanity’s true identity, origin, and destiny.

So, what about the current protests? As a veteran of many protest marches during the civil rights movement, we sought to bring change and were able to make some progress. Yet, here we are still struggling with many of the same issues, and with even more flame added to the fires in this incendiary era of social media warfare. Shall we rehash rioting, looting, and the destruction of innocent people’s property? Why, when it hasn’t served to help countless times before? What about Trump’s role? Many would argue his inflammatory remarks on some issues combined with his seemingly complicit silence on others should have given the devil a prolonged vacation by now. How about such issues as socioeconomics, education, or gentrification? Shall I go through the mandated lists of blame? While important to address, would any of these “enlightened” conversations have helped George Floyd? Do they really address the heart of the issue?

The fact is, until we see the commonness of our humanity, no external change will take place. This change must begin inside of us. At the heart of it all, we have devalued human life and dehumanized one another. What is clear to me is that George, much like Samson in the Bible, affected masses of people through his death. Perhaps, if we can observe those last eight minutes and forty-six seconds of his life as an entry point to challenging us all at a heart level, he might say his death was worth it. May it be so, and that is…


One response to “Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds”

  1. Hi Dennis, thanks for this Bottom Line, I couldn’t agree with it more. It is so sad to be observing “from afar” the events of the last week, layered on top of the all the suffering that this world wide pandemic is creating and revealing, not only in the USA but worldwide. One thing that has definitely become very clear, during these last few months, is that we are all connected, “one nation of mankind”, all in this together.

    This evening I stumbled across this interview with the Police Chief of the City of Houston. I know that this is only one mans view, but he is at the coal face of these current tragedies and therefore someone, in my view, worth listening to. From where I stand, I think he gets to the heart of at least some of the issues, and he gives me hope. Just a few thoughts from “down under”, for what that are worth…..


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