White police wash Black faith leaders, protestors’ feet
Cops use the humbling illustration of Jesus to express solidarity with the Black community.
A group of white police officers in North Carolina attended the Black Lives Matters demonstrations on Saturday, where they washed the feet of Black men and women to show solidarity.
The officers came together with Black religious leaders to also ask for forgiveness for the nation’s history (and their part in) the oppression of Black people, TMZ reports.
Organized by pastors Faith Wokoma and Soboma Wokoma in Cary, North Carolina, rt.com reports that several white community members joined the officers in the washing of the feet ceremony. The ritual was part of a prayer walk for George Floyd and sparked immediate criticism across social media.
The image of a group of white police officers kneeling before Black clergy, washing their feet in buckets, almost broke the Internet.
“washing the feet of the organizers and asking for forgiveness.”
Cary, NC pic.twitter.com/TqSYBtt6Ky
— Jason Fuhrmann (@JasonFuhrmann3) June 7, 2020
Many took to social media to express their outrage over a moment intended to invoke the biblical story of Jesus cleansing the feet of his disciples. In one of the final acts of Jesus, he taught his followers a lesson of humility by the social role reversal and offered that act as an example of great love.
This is real. White people bowed and washed the feet of two black pastors at a march in NC. While washing the feet they apologized on behalf of the white race.
Let me be the first to say: you don’t apologize on my behalf. I don’t owe one and don’t offer one. This is lunacy. pic.twitter.com/ASEQaRKyWN
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 7, 2020
Photos and videos shared on social media show the pastors sitting on a bench with white folks kneeling in prayer and ready to wash their feet. While the scene touched a nerve with several online users, it also garnered much praise for what one Facebook user described as a “powerful display of what reconciliation looks like,” per Daily Mail.
— Nate Hendley (@natehendley) June 7, 2020
Saturday’s event also included a silent commemoration, during which demonstrators observed the eight minutes and 46 seconds that a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck, allegedly crushing the life out of him on Memorial Day.
In related news, during a Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block rally at Powderhorn Park on Sunday, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender announced that she and a group of her colleagues were proposing to disband the city’s police force, theGrio.com previously reported.
Their decision comes in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, also known as rapper Big Floyd, who died while in police custody. Bender shared that the council’s goal is to “end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department.”
“It’s our commitment to end policing as we know it,” she continued, “and recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”
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