• 45°

Now that you know better, do better

3 rallies held against racial injustice Sunday

POLK COUNTY—Hundreds of Polk County residents gathered on Sunday at 3 different events to show solidarity against racial injustice.

There was an event at Saluda’s McCreery Park that drew about 125 people, one at the Polk County Courthouse that drew more than 200 people and one later Sunday in downtown Tryon.

Columbus’ event was organized by a new organization called Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) of Polk County, and included local law enforcement officers in attendance, speaker Rev. Eleanor Miller and an ending prayer by Polk County Commissioner and Foothills Community Chapel Pastor Paul Beiler.

People were equipped with peaceful signs at all 3 events, with many children in attendance in Columbus.

Miller began her speech by talking about the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776.

“Far too long, to the African American people, that declaration has been viewed as mere words on paper, for it carried no weight for us,” Miller said. “We have not been given the right to live life to its fullest for we know that the unwritten laws relating to African Americans are different than those laws written relating to our white counterparts.”

She said African Americans have not been given the liberty to advance themselves in areas such as employment, health care and business because there is always some unwritten law holding them back.

“The African American people have been existing under a cloud and that cloud is racism,” Miller said. “Racism has caused so many African Americans to lose so much, yes, it has caused us to lose the very things that the declaration says we have a right to; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Racism is the unwritten law that has governed this country for so long. Instead of what President Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote says, ‘That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’ Many African Americans say for us government has not perished, for it never existed.”

The crowd cheered for much of Miller’s speech as she rose her hands at the end of her words.

“The death of George Floyd has pricked a lot of hearts,” said Miller. “Those who once had a blinded eye to the unwritten law of Racism see that it does exist.

Now those who refused to accept the fact that Racism is still prevalent even in the year 2020, can see that it really does. The blinders have been taken off their eyes.

All over this country, and around the world, people are saying Black Lives

Matter! Because of George Floyd’s death, a lot of eyes have been opened to the truth of what the African American people have been saying all along.”

Miller urged people to vote and to vote people into office who will help dissolve some of the unwritten laws that go against what the declaration says every American is entitled.

“To my African American brothers and sisters, I say to you, repent,” Miller said. “Repent of some of the anger you are holding in your heart against the white man or woman for things done in the past. I did not say forget, because some things will always remain with us, because they too are deeply embedded, but do not let the past prevent you from moving on.”

And lastly, she said, “pray to God, that he will stir the hearts of the people to replace hate and bitterness with love.”

Miller spoke of the book of Acts, saying Paul reminded the people of all the things they had done to Jesus, but then said they did it out of ignorance.

“As if to say, now that you know better, do better,” Miller said.

Visit this article on tryondailybulletin.com to read Miller’s full speech.

The local group ARC of Polk County was created shortly after Floyd’s death a couple of week’s ago, where in Minnesota 4 police officers have now been charged for his death, including former officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with second-degree murder after placing his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes. Sunday’s local events included a kneeling in Saluda for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time Floyd had a knee on his neck. Columbus’ event had a moment of silence for 4 minutes and 23 seconds, half the amount of time, with ARC organizer Carole Gassaway ending the silence by saying, “now breathe.”

 

 

Reverend Eleanor Miller’s speech on Sunday:

The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. That declaration contains a statement that says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.

Among those rights are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Far too long, to the African American people, that declaration has been viewed as mere words on paper, for it carried no weight for us. We have not been given the right to live life to its fullest for we know that the unwritten laws relating to African Americans are different than those laws written relating to our White Counterparts. We have not been given the liberty, to advance ourselves in varies areas, such as employment, health care, and business endeavors because there is always some unwritten law holding us back. When we are not given the first two of these unalienable rights that is written in the declaration, how can we pursue happiness?

The African American people have been existing under a cloud and that cloud is RACISM! Racism has caused so many African Americans to lose so much, yes it has caused us to lose the very things that the declaration says we have a right to, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Racism is the unwritten law that has governed this country for so long, instead of what President Abraham Lincoln famous quote says, “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. Many African American say for us government has not perished for it never existed.

In so many instances the voices of the African American people have not been heard, the cries of African American for equality have not been heard, and all too often we say to God like David “How long O God how Long”?

As many of us watched what happened to George Floyd an African

American man killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis,

Minnesota while handcuffed lying face down on a city street during an arrest, that video showed many that racism is prevalent in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Although Abraham Lincoln declared the

African American free, by his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, we are not free. We are not free because of the unwritten laws of Racism that continue to keep us bound.

What happened to George Floyd reiterates loud and clear that this unwritten law called Racism must be eradicated.

When the legislature or congress on the state or federal level enacts rules and regulations, they are written down, and they become law. Those laws can be enforced, and when someone breaks the law they can be punished.

But how do you enforce an unwritten law such as racism because often it is done in a subtle way. How do you write a law that governs what lies in a person heart? The answer is we cannot, only God can deal with these unwritten laws.

These unwritten laws that cause discrimination and actions that spew hatred have been imbedded in the hearts of some children and youth beginning at an early age and as they become young adults, adults and elderly their words and actions toward another person different from themselves become the norm.

Something must prick the heart. I am reminded of what transpired in Acts chapter 2 after Peter had reminded a group of people how they mistreated

Jesus. After they heard what Peter said they were pricked in their hearts.

The truth had pierced their souls and when a person finds out that they have done something wrong to someone who has not done them harm, they grow sick at heart.

The death of George Floyd has pricked a lot of hearts. Those who once had a blinded eye to the unwritten law of Racism see that it does exist.

Now those who refused to accept the fact that Racism is still prevalent even in the year 2020, can see that it really does. The blinders have been taken off their eyes.

All over this country, and around the world, people are saying Black Lives

Matter! Because of George Floyd’s death, a lot of eyes have been opened to the truth of what the African American people have been saying all along.

 

After the people in Acts chapter 2 were pricked, they asked what they could do. They realize that they had done wrong and wanted to do whatever it took to correct the wrong.

Peter responded Repent. To repent means to recognize that a wrong has been done, you are sorry for what you have done, change and not do the wrong again.

George Floyd’s death, and the death of other men and women at the hands of those who have vowed to protect people, has opened a lot of eyes. Now that you see, now that you understand, what the African American man or woman has been proclaiming for years, that a lot of them have been targeted by the unwritten law of Racism, I say to you to Repent.

You may say, but I have never acted indifferent to an African American or any other race of people. But may I remind you when you did not speak out when you seen it carried out by your friends, your family members and co- workers, you became aiders and abetters, just like the ones who stood by and let the life of George Floyd be choked out of him.

Many people are angry, in other countries they are outraged that this tragedy took place. I urge you to use that anger that you are feeling in a constructive way.

Go to the polls and vote. Vote persons in office that will help dissolve some of these unwritten laws that go against what the declaration says every

American is entitled to.

To my African American brothers and sisters, I say to you Repent. Repent of some of the anger that you are holding in your heart against the White man or Woman for things done in the past. I did not say to forget, because some things will always remain with us, because they too are deeply imbedded, but do not let the past prevent you from moving on. In that same chapter of the book of Acts Paul reminded the people of all the tings they had done to Jesus; then he said you did it out of ignorance, as if to say now that you know better do better.

And lastly pray to God, that he will stir the hearts of the people to replace hate and bitterness with love.

I leave you with this:

 

Joseph’s brother had conspired to kill him, told his father he was dead. They sold him into slavery. He was falsely accused of doing something he did not do. He was put in prison. And after going through all this, things began to turn around for him. He was elevated and put in a position to save the very brothers that had done him wrong.

After revealing himself to them, they thought he meant them harm, but he didn’t, and this is what he told them. Genesis 50: 20. As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

This very thing, the killing of George Floyd was meant for evil, it was meant to divide the American People, it was meant to destroy our faith in God and confidence in America, but God is working it out for our good, not just African Americans but for all.

Today we stand in unity, we stand in agreement that George Floyd did not die in vain.