We support the voicing of human frustration with respect to the lack of justice and concern for black lives. We uphold that all people should be treated with dignity, human rights and respect. Freedom and human rights cannot coexist with discrimination.
We also recognise that this senseless loss of life is a symbol of something even more fractious that still affects too many Americans and people around the world today.
It may be hard to relate to such evil because we do not hold such thoughts within our own hearts, but we may find ourselves guilty of not recognising that discrimination is still afflicting many people.
We also note that this killing comes at a time when there is untold suffering of African Americans disproportionately affected by the corona virus pandemic.
This crisis demonstrates that leadership is needed in four areas and requires all of us to address these.
First, governmental institutions and civil society organisations need to listen to the frustration of people about injustices and racial or other forms of discrimination.
The painful images of the peoples of the USA expressing their frustration and outpouring of anguish needs to be voiced and listened to. Leadership is immediately needed to assure the frustrated and concerned, that reason will prevail and proactive measures will be taken to restore peace, equality, and love.
Second, after listening, leaders of all communities need to address the issues. To do this they must lead with spiritual and moral values. Values drive culture and values drive good leadership and solutions. Leadership is about fostering values and unity, not division.
Third, there is a need for leaders to devise solutions from a local community level, building outwards. Greater diplomacy, dialogue and emotional intelligence needs to be deployed at every level in order to address the frustration and anger that is an outcome of injustice.
Fourth, there is a need for a clear values perspective. A lack of values perspective causes conflict. The current tensions as a result of the wrong values in the US demonstrate this.
What killed George Floyd are the wrong values. Democracy serves as a political system, but it does not provide a clear and comprehensive worldview. We need a new vision based on shared universal values.
Additionally, values education and social and emotional skills need to be better incorporated into law enforcement and all aspects of society. Clearly, as a society, we need the resources that a values perspective can provide.
We can’t just react to issues when they come up. Values education needs to be part of a proactive approach.
Nelson Mandela argued that people can learn to hate, but they can also learn to love. We all need to forgive, love and unite. Our voice does matter and our actions are needed.