Black Lives Matter in Gloucester

Yesterday there was an event in Gloucester Park for the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was deeply moving.  About 300 (?) people gathered, with respect for the need for social distancing as we listened to a number of people talking about the need for change.  The BAME community is still grossly under represented on councils, and over represented when you look at statistics for poverty, housing and stop and search.

There was a call to action, as well as a recognition of lives lost.  We were asked to kneel for the 8 minutes 46 seconds that the Minneapolis policeman had his knee on George Floyd’s neck. 

There was complete silence for the whole time we were kneeling.  I have never experienced being amongst hundreds of other people in silence for that length of time.

When I saw the name of the man who was responsible for George Floyd’s death, I was shocked.  Derek Chauvin !

This link is inescapable – Chauvin – Chauvinism.  The most common use I have come across is male chauvinism, but it has a much wider meaning.  The term chauvinism possibly has its origins in a frenchman Nicolas Chauvin.  Whatever the source, it came to be connected with extreme patriotism and nationalism. 

Think about the racism that is all around us, which for many is based on a historical belief in white superiority, and in white dominance.

Sadly, one of the features of chauvinism is the way that it blinds people to their faults.  I pray that we may all be open to self examination, to see the faults that lie within our hearts, and to work for change.

Grace and peace.

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