Different faiths joining together to stand against racism

George Floyd’s death is not only uniting people from all races but also from many religions.

"What happened to George Floyd was just evil and ugly. The world was catalyzed to think how have we come to the place where someone can be so calm and callous about the taking of the life of another person,” says Dr. Steve Wells Head Pastor of Houston’s South Main Baptist Church.

But many are saying the unbelievable unity after the death of Mr. Floyd is a prime example of the scripture ’What is meant for evil, God will use for good'.

"Where ever you find righteous people who’s hearts long for justice and freedom you’ll find them gathering together on the principal of freedom, justice and equality,” says Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad with the Nation of Islam.

"I thank God for the blessing of witnessing it,” adds Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Emeritus Samuel Karff. In fact, Rabbi Karff is not just grateful for the overwhelming solidarity he’s seeing in protests on TV, the 88-year-old witnessed the unity first hand attending Mr. Floyd’s funeral. “The dignity of every human being, everyone of God’s children is something we have to value and respect."

Jewish Rabbis, Muslim Ministers, Christian Pastors and an array of religious leaders not only filled the funeral but are continuing to come together. "What we have to see is that it continues to happen. Protests have to turn into policy,” says Dr. Wells.

"Each one of us will have to look within our own souls and then look to our neighbor and then see how we can all come through this time,” explains Dr. Muhammad.

"It’s important for those of us who are not black to identify with the cause especially when we believe in it, when we affirm this is important for our entire society,” adds Rabbi Karff.

“I encourage you to build friendships with people of other races. Build friendships with people of other religions and find those places where we have common ground,” says Dr. Wells.

Rabbi Karff is actually famous for doing just that. He’s regarded as one of Houston’s Three Wise Men, along with Baptist Reverend William Lawson and Catholic ArchBishop Joseph Fiorenza, fellowshipping since the '70s.

"Often referred to as the Three Amigos or the Holy Trinity. They started by building relationships. They became friends,” smiles Dr. Wells.

"We have been best as a country when we have transcended our diversity and focused on an overarching value that unites us,” adds Rabbi Karff.

“The first question that’s asked in the Bible about each other is ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ And the answer is yes. Yes, you are. Look at the tape again of George Floyd being killed. There are three police officers there who are doing nothing. It wasn’t that they were doing the bad thing it’s that they saw the bad thing and they didn’t do anything about it. Just ask yourself is that the role I want to play in the world?” says Dr. Wells.

“Ultimately the scriptures, whether we’re reading Old Testament, New Testament or the Holy Koran says that in the end good will be victorious. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on July 4th will make a worldwide address about the conditions that we face and what is the best and only solution going forward,” says Dr. Muhammad. 

Dr. Wells says he hopes the unity will continue by everyone doing something. He says one of his church members realized she had neighbors of color that she had never met.

“She just went to their houses and said I don’t know that I ever came by when you moved to the neighborhood and I want to make it abundantly clear we’re glad you’re here so I baked you fresh bread,” and Dr. Wells says as more neighbors sit in their front yard during this pandemic, stop by, say hello and ask if you can pull up a chair.