Time Stood Still

Yesterday time stood still. Images of crowds of people staring at their phones all over the country. Those inside focused on television, cell phone, tablet or computer screens.

A collective silence. It’s almost too ironic to say a collective holding of breaths.

Because we knew what would happen if, once again, there were no consequences for police who continue to kill black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC).

We thought police body cameras might reduce police abuse, but studies haven’t found that to be the case. What has been effective are videos from bystanders’ cell phones. These videos make it difficult to ignore police abuse. Such videos brought attention to the killing of George Floyd. The police report made no mention of Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. There would have been no investigation were it not for the civilians’ videos.

Video after video clearly showing police killings, with no police accountability, and widespread public protests, finally sensitized White people’s awareness to what BIPOC people have always known.

The world changed following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black women and men. Millions of people were motivated to publicly protest these brutal murders and to proclaim that Black lives matter. Their deaths were the tipping point that roused the public’s conscience to confront racism publicly.

As people of faith, we believe that there is that of God in every person, and we are called to create a society free of racism. At the center of our witness is an unwavering commitment to “the fundamental equality of all members of the human race.”

The re-emergence of white supremacy today elevated the need to be vigilant and be more persistent in our anti-racist advocacy. We cannot afford to sit back as white supremacy wrecks our society, our democracy.

We Cannot Afford to Sit Back as White Supremacy Wrecks Our Society
By Adlai Amor, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), August 10, 2020

We, like our ancestors, believe in abolition. Our hope is that, one day, prisons and police will vanish from this earth. We believe that justice will be served when no more blood from Black peoples’ bodies is spilled in the street. One murderous cop’s conviction isn’t enough to ensure it will never happen again. We believe George Floy’s legacy to be more than another human put into prison, but to put an end to policing. To abolish a system the perpetuates the enslavement and slaughter of Black folks. To end the pigs ability to murder, manipulate, abuse, traumatize and terrorize our community. To eradicate all systems that uphold white supremacy.

Des Moines Black Liberation Movement

Des Moines Black Liberation Movement

Great Plains Action Society

4/20/2021 · Judiciary justice is not real justice. Though we used what we currently possess to prevent one corrupt pig from causing further harm, we know that white supremacist systems remain in place–murderously violent systems that have actively targeted black and brown bodies for centuries out of fear, hate, and greed.

And the mass imbalance of power remains. In the end, colonial-capitalism sacrificed only one foot soldier to ensure its survival.

May this encourage us to keep up the fight.
May we win so we can see authentic justice.
Rest in Power, George Floyd.


Great Plains Action Society

Blog posts on abolition abolition | Search Results

What would it mean for us to take seriously and collectively as a Religious Society a call to finish the work of abolition, hand in hand and side by side with those affected  and their loved ones? What would it mean for us to stand fully with the calls to abolish the police and fully fund community needs instead? What would it mean to reckon with our past complicity with harm and fully dedicate ourselves to the creation of a liberating Quaker faith that commits to build the revolutionary and healing faith we long to see come to fruition? What would it look like to finally and fully abolish slavery?

A Quaker Call to Abolition and Creation by Lucy Duncan, Friends Journal, Friends Journal, April 1, 2021

Photo from the “Back the Black” protest at the Des Moines City Hall, 4/17. 2021

“Back the Black” protest at the Des Moines City Hall, 4/17. 2021
This entry was posted in abolition, Black Lives, Des Moines Black Lives Matter, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Great Plains Action Society, prison, race, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time Stood Still

  1. Liz Opp says:

    I thought you and your readers would like to see what those who have been most impacted by George Floyd’s murder have been lifting up since May 2020. The Minneapolis residents and caretakers of George Floyd Square have a list of 24 demands, enumerated at the end of this document, which provides important context:

    I also think it is important to follow local media that centers the experiences of the BIPOC community. Look into the Twitter feed or website of Unicorn Riot, for example, or the Black-owned newspaper Minnesota Spokesman Recorder.

    Here’s one quote from a grassroots-led justice organization: “We deserve elected leaders and public systems that center people and care. Our State and City executive leaders built a response to this verdict with more police and military force. We cannot police our way out of a crisis police created.”


    • Jeff Kisling says:

      I understand what you imply about local experiences. Those of us here in Des Moines Mutual Aid and Black Liberation Movement have also been significantly impacted by George Floyd’s murder and the police response here.

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