As the family of George Floyd gathered Monday in his Houston hometown for one of the last memorial services prior to his burial there Tuesday next to his mother, Rev. T.D. Jakes, founder and senior pastor of the Potter’s House, talked about the role both Black and white churches are obligated to play in stemming the tide of violence.
Jakes said that while he believes churches have an obligation not to look the other way on the issue, it’s particularly incumbent upon the African American community to become involved as a significant part of providing solutions.
“We’re looking at deterioration of trust in the community, and when you lose trust as a leader the consequences can be absolutely devastating,” Jakes told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And they’re too high for us to pay, so we must do something to restore trust,” said Jakes, who pointed out that Black clergy have long led the fight for social justice.”
However, Jakes said he is “very encouraged by a growing portion of white clergy becoming involved, recognizing that this is not just a Black problem to be segregated and relegated off to our community, but that it is an American problem.”
“When you look at some of the atrocities that have happened, even in Buffalo with the 75-year-old white man, it’s not just us,” he said. “It’s a derelict of responsibility and duty and an insensitivity to use the least amount of force necessary to handle a situation. And so it’s everybody’s problem and everybody all over the world is starting to speak out about it.”
Jakes said that while numerous ideas are being thrown against the wall, the restoration of the pursuit of equality and correction of hundreds and hundreds of years of injustice have ultimately been swept under the rug.
“We have been taught too much to suck it up and be forgiving and go about our business,” Jakes said. “But it’s hard to forgive somebody who’s still stomping on your foot. I think it took a knee on the neck to wake America up.”