Last night a man in Buffalo New York was brutalized by the police. He’s a man with a long history of peacemaking and peaceful protest. He was standing on a sidewalk attempting to peacefully engage police officers when one of them brutally shoved him causing him to lose his balance and fall. As he fell the older gentleman hit his head on the sidewalk and newsreel footage of the incident showed blood running out of his right ear as he lay on the ground. The video was captured by WBFO in Buffalo and in the audio you can hear someone asking for an ambulance for the victim. There is a terse reply that there is an EMT present presumably with the police.
Last week George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police. Breonna Taylor was killed on March 13 in Louisville, another brutal killing that didn’t have to be. She would have been twenty-seven today. All of these are hateful crimes. The officers in Minneapolis have been arrested and charged, two officers in Buffalo have been suspended. No one has been charged in Breonna’s death. The list of killings by law enforcement in the United States is staggering. The first reaction in all of these incidents is retribution and while that might bring temporary relief to the grieving it is not the solution. We can’t break the cycle of violence with more violence. “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind,” according to Gandhi.
What are the real solutions to all this violence? How can we turn the corner on racism and fear of the other? We need a conversion experience en masse.