BRIDGE Maryland uses intentional relationship building, organizing and intensive leadership development in order to strengthen congregations and faith leaders to demonstrate and advance justice in the world.
The Audacity of Evil Demands Swift Justice and A Righteous Response --
Murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery
The violent expression of racial hatred or indifference is pure unadulterated evil. The nation witnessed the murder of an unarmed black man in broad daylight on a public street in the presence of onlookers who pleaded with a Minneapolis police officer to lift his knee from the neck of George Floyd to allow him to breathe. George Floyd was already handcuffed, subdued and showing no signs of physical or verbal resistance. He pleaded for nearly 10 minutes to be allowed to BREATHE!
Video recordings from the personal cellphones of witnesses show officer Derek Chauvin using his knee and body weight to pin George Floyd’s neck to the ground. A video also shows another police officer standing nearly two feet away callously observing his colleague murder George Floyd.
In a different video recording, two other police officers were seen kneeling on other parts of Mr. Floyd’s body as Chauvin remained kneeling on his neck. All four of the officers at the scene failed to serve the community and protect the life of George Floyd. Not one police officer made any attempt to intervene and save Floyd’s life despite the pleas of onlookers. All of them are responsible for the murder of George Floyd.
The callously casual indifference and passivity of all the officers involved suggest this may not have been the first time they have been engaged in such conduct. However, George Floyd’s murder had multiple eyewitnesses and multiple video recordings. The evil present that day did not care who was watching and was unmoved by the pleas and screams of eyewitnesses to merely let the man breathe. Evil felt no need to be the least bit circumspect about its dastardly acts.
This nation has a serious problem with evil manifested in racial violence. Ahmaud Arbery, another unarmed black man, was hunted, detained, videoed and murdered in cold blood by white men who felt that their whiteness authorized them to charge, adjudicate and execute Arbery for jogging while black. They felt Arbery was out of place in a certain neighborhood because of his blackness. So, they chased him, cornered him, and shot him to death.
Last week, Christian Cooper, an unarmed black man, went to New York’s Central Park to enjoy birdwatching. When he asked Karen Cooper, a white woman (no relation) to place her dog on a leash (according to a posted park rule), she was defiant. He offered her dog a treat in a nonconfrontational effort to encourage the woman to be more responsible in the handling of her dog. She became irate and called the police claiming that she was being threatened by an angry black man. Historically, such an encounter with a white woman would have been fatal for a black man. If it were not for Christian Cooper’s savvy to video the event, the outcome could have been deadly for him. In this instance, the black man was not arrested or physically abused.
In each situation, race, bias, and a disregard for life were the motivating factors. The three different incidents exposed an attitude of whiteness that is rooted in the belief that white people are entitled to assert power and privilege over anyone of color – even at the risk of death for the person of color. Their attitude of whiteness was audacious and unapologetic. Intentional sin is the manifestation of evil!
The public is being told not to rush to judgement concerning the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd but to be patient. Evil does not deserve our patience. In fact, the audacity of evil should prompt swift and commensurate legal justice along with loud outcries by citizens and law enforcement officials alike.
Righteousness demands that our laws, policies, practices, and distribution of resources be fashioned to ensure that the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is available to all regardless of ethnicity. Righteousness demands that the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd (all four officers) are fully prosecuted. There must be no leniency based upon the race, position, or gender of persons who perpetrate racial violence.
In a country that says, “In God We Trust,” time is past due for the righteous to be bold and unrelenting in the eradication of racial privilege and racial violence.
|Rev. Angelique Mason|
Bridge Maryland, Inc.
|Rev. Brian Murray|
Bridge Maryland, Inc.
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BRIDGE MARYLAND, INC.
3200 Garrison Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21216
(929) 274-3430 www.bridgemd.org
For more information, contact Rev. Gayle Briscoe, BRIDGE MD Organizer, (443) 220-4003 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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"PROTECT OUR MINORS" -- BRIDGE Maryland's Legislative Initiative
Our regular meeting schedule is:
1st Thursday, 7 PM -- General Assembly (open to all, lay and clergy, for organizing mini-trainings and determination on issues and actions to pursue.
2nd Thursday, 7 PM -- Board of Directors' meeting
3rd Thursday, 10 AM-12 noon -- Religious Leaders' Caucus (open to clergy and religious leaders of any faith, for spirit-led mini-trainings and mutual support in the mission of furthering God's "Beloved Community")
Task Forces set their own meetings.
Know Your Why by Michael Jr.
BRIDGE Maryland will offer online training this summer in Integrated Voter Engagement (through phone banking, during the pandemic).
Watch this space for faith-based community organizing training opportunities!
Training Leaders in Community Organizing
BRIDGE Maryland provides training for members of faith-based organizations, on the principle that the people experiencing injustice, given the right tools, are most effective in challenging it. Training includes identifying self-interest, relationship building, power analysis and strategic planning.
Some training is offered at every meeting of the General Assembly and of the Religious Leaders' Caucus. More intensive and extensive training is offered through a local 1-2 day training.
All organizational and individual members are eligible and partially subsidized for the longer trainings offered by our national organizing, Gamaliel Network. Updates on Gamaliel Training can be found on their website: Gamaliel Training 2020
Due to Covid 19, in person trainings are currently on hold.