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Words from the Bishop: Praying 500 Mississippi's
Eight minutes and twenty-six seconds. That’s over 500 Mississippi’s. Count them out…1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi…all the way to 500. Now imagine a knee on your neck as you count, each attempted breath one of those Mississippi’s, each breath harder to suck in than the last. Imagine that knee on the neck of your child, your parent, your friend as they try to breathe…1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi. Imagine.
That’s what happened to George Floyd – a son of God, a brother in Christ created in the image of God, a human being worthy of dignity and respect -- last week. A knee pressed George’s neck against the unforgiving cement of a Minneapolis city street not far from where the Mississippi River runs through and George died, another black person murdered by a white police officer while other officers ignored George’s cries for breath and the pleas of the bystanders watching.
It's hard for those of us who click the Caucasian/white box on our census form to understand the experience of George Floyd and other black, brown and indigenous human beings. It’s hard for us to understand being consistently singled out, stereotyped, threatened, and attacked for having a different skin-tone. It’s hard for us to understand why George Floyd might fear for his life as he is approached by four police officers in a city already known for the systemically permitted abusive behavior by some of its officers. It’s hard for us to understand Ahmed Aubrey’s experience of jogging in a middle-class neighborhood ten minutes from your home and being attacked and shot by two men who think you a criminal simply because of the color of your skin. It’s hard for us to understand the experience of indigenous women like Hanna Harris or Ashley Heavy Runner and their families in our state who are murdered, go missing or are routinely sexually assaulted in a social system that seems to want to do little about it.
The Montana Synod Assembly has been cancelled