The verdict is in. Guilty on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd. Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, minus a successful appeal, will spend the rest of his life in jail. But why did it happen? President Biden weighed in saying that what happened was the result of systemic racism. No one denies that America has a horrible past of racism, particularly in parts of the country where slavery was enshrined. But if racism were truly “systemic,” “institutional” to America, there never would have been an abolitionist movement and a civil war to free the slaves. Perhaps we need to look deeper into the spiritual context of what is happening. It is Satan who poisons the hearts of people with prejudice whenever he has an opening through personal sin or generational curses. I’ve cast out many demons of hateful bigotry who infested because of what I call the “curse of the slave master” — Caucasian Christians whose ancestors practiced human bondage.
Which brings us to the George Floyd verdict. Floyd was a troubled soul. He had five criminal convictions on his record. In 2009 he served a five-year prison sentence for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. His own girlfriend testified during the Chauvin trial that they used meth and opioids. When Chauvin attempted to arrest Floyd for supposedly passing a counterfeit bill, Floyd resisted arrest. His alleged drug dealer sat next to him in the car. The whole world knows what happened next, the knee on the neck, Floyd’s unheeded cries for help, and his death.
We’ve all seen photos of what appeared to be an insensitive and smug look on Chauvin’s face as Floyd struggled for life. If Floyd had a checkered life, what about Chauvin? His parents divorced when he was seven. He failed to graduate from high school. During his police career of 19 years, he had 18 complaints filed against him. He once yanked a woman out of a car for driving 10 miles over the speed limit. He had been charged with multiple felony counts of tax evasion. While working security at a nightclub he was known to be overly aggressive, especially with black patrons. Chauvin clearly had his own personal problems that may have abetted his arrogance leading to the death of Floyd.
All that Satan needed to do was bring these two troubled souls together and cause Chauvin’s internalized anger to boil over for a moment. That could have led him to kill Floyd and set off a firestorm of social chaos. What if all of this was meticulously orchestrated by Satan, aided by a seed of racism in Chauvin’s heart? How different things might have been if both these men had been committed Christians walking with the Lord. What if they both had been through inner healing and deliverance? Or if they both had attended a multi-cultural church and worshipped with the understanding that, “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). What if “I can’t breathe” were not a rallying cry for injustice?