Dear Orkney News,
As Christians, and congregants and associates of St. Olaf’s Scottish Episcopal Church, we wish to express our support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
This anti-brutality movement was started in 2014 in response to the deaths of two African American men at the hands of white police officers, and now history has repeated itself yet again.
The events leading to the death of George Floyd have shocked and horrified people everywhere, especially as videos of the brutal killing have been shown around the world. The police forces of the USA have a long and well-documented history of racism and the use of excessive force against African Americans and this is the latest example.
We feel that we need to speak out against the attitudes that lead to this sort of brutality being targeted against anyone who is not of the same ethnicity as the perpetrator. There is also evidence of similar attitudes in some police forces in the United Kingdom, and we feel strongly that positive action needs to be taken to reduce and hopefully eliminate racism in any branch of government and law enforcement.
We are all damaged by the existence of racist attitudes and behaviour, and by the level of brutality shown in the manner of George Floyd’s death. Racism is never justified and mindless brutality degrades us all.