By Dr. Michael Balcomb, Chair, FFWPU Europe and the Middle East
Members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Europe and the Middle East have been deeply disturbed by killing of George Floyd by a serving police officer in Minneapolis. We are horrified by the subsequent escalation of violence and rioting throughout the United States. We join with many UK religious, civic and public organizations and EUME region in calling for a halt to the violence, a full inquiry, the unequivocal pursuit of justice, and above all a commitment to eradicate the twin cancers of racism and discrimination from public and private life. This must happen not just in the United States but in the United Kingdom and in all of the 50 nations throughout Europe and the Middle East where the HPHC of Family Federation is established.
In a statement this morning, three leading UK police bodies said that they were “appalled and horrified” by the way George Floyd lost his life. They admitted that there is much to do in the United Kingdom as well but called for restraint and caution for those planning protests in light of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Many other organizations have made renewed commitments to examine their own practices and policies to make sure that we do not directly or indirectly contribute to this existential problem. We commend these organisations including the three UK Police Bodies for their courageous efforts.
What can we all do? We must start by speaking out and not remaining silent. This is not just an isolated incident but part of a pattern of abusive and disgraceful treatment against black people and other minorities that persists despite many, many public statements, and commitments to make a lasting change. We empathize and understand the frustration and anger expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement and by many others. And yet, we recognize that the solution cannot simply be judicial, legal, or practical. There is a limit to the effectiveness of retributive justice, no matter how much our hearts cry out.
The founders of the Family Federation, the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, often pointed to the example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi in responding to hatred, violence and injustice with love and forgiveness, not as a sign of weakness but of deep spiritual strength. As a young man, Rev. Moon practiced this himself. He stood up to prevent a mob of his Korean countrymen from attacking and revenge killing former Japanese police officers at the end of the Japanese occupation right after the end of WWII.
In this time of trouble, we call on all people to Forgive, Love, and Unite. Let us honestly admit to Almighty God that we have fallen short, sinned against God, and sinned against each other. Let us be willing to work together so that these horrors stop once and for all, and work to build a righteous, caring Holy Community where all the Heavenly Parent’s children are valued, loved and respected.
Dr. Michael Balcomb, Chair
FFWPU Europe and the Middle East