Jun 9, 2020
George Floyd Houston Funeral Full Transcript of All Eulogies & Speeches
George Floyd’s funeral was held on June 9 in Houston, TX. Read the full transcript of the funeral with eulogies & speeches from the ceremony.
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Pastor Remus Wright: (00:00)
Pastor Remus Wright: (00:00)
Pastor Remus Wright: (14:48)
Amen, amen. You may be seated. We certainly give honor to God who is the head of our lives and we greet each and every one of you that are watching by way of television or stream, those of you that are here to observe the home going celebration of brother George Floyd. And certainly let me say to this family, our hearts are with you, our prayers are with you, we trust that God will strengthen you. The old gospel hymn says, “In times like these, we need a savior. In times like these, we need an anchor. Be very sure that your anchor holds and grips the solid rock.”
Pastor Mia Wright: (15:31)
Pastor Wright, we want to bring greetings to everyone who is within the sanctuary walls, as well as those who are watching via stream or on some platform today. I’m reminded of the Psalms family. The Psalms wrote these words in a time of trouble and he said, “This poor man called out and the Lord heard him and he saved him out of all of his troubles. The angel of the Lord had camped around those who fear him and he delivers him.” And then this word is what helps me and blesses me in such a manner that I can never move out of my pain without remembering this, that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:6, 7, and 18 from the NIV will give you hope to the Floyd family and to all that are here to our members, to Rita Tate McGee, to all of the people, to the clergy and the leaders of faith in our community who are here, who are dignitaries, who are here in our elected officials and to everyone who’s taken time to join us by stream. We are all connected.
Pastor Remus Wright: (16:39)
Pastor Mia Wright: (16:40)
This is a moment of connectivity. This is a moment by which God has gathered people all around the world to connect us around the life of the brother, George Perry Floyd. Now listen. Today there’s a few things that we want to encourage you to expect. Can we help you today? First we do ask you to keep your mask on within the sanctuary. We thank God for that. If anyone is in distress, you can stop into or raise your hand. Our ushers will be watching to make sure that we can assist you. But in the tradition of the African American church, this will be a home going celebration. Come on. I want to say it again. This will be a home going celebration of brother George Floyd tonight.
Pastor Remus Wright: (17:24)
Now you know what that means. That means foot stomping, toe tapping, shouting hallelujah, praising God. Amen. Because we are celebrating his life. But just before we begin this home going celebration, let me just thank publicly all of those people that helped to make this come to pass. I want to begin with Esquire Benjamin Crump. Thank you for watching out over this family. In times of devastation, someone has to stand up and take the lead and thank God that you have done just that brother. And then also the Reverend Al Sharpton. Thank you for through North Carolina and Minneapolis, continuing to sound the trumpet and let people know that this is about injustice and we want to see justice served. And then locally, I want to thank our mayor and mayor pro tem who’ve done such a wonderful job in making all the resources of this city available to have the viewing yesterday.
Pastor Remus Wright: (18:21)
As a matter of fact, we had a viewing yesterday with tens of thousands of people that came through these doors and it came off without a hitch. Because we made sure HPD was here and the fire department was here and people were here, EMT specialists were here. We had people here from everywhere. They were giving out water. For all of those of you that donated your services, your resources, we want to thank you. On behalf of this family, we thank you. Thank you. Thank you. To brother George Anderson, who is our chief operating officer of this church and brother Dallas Jones working together in tandem to make sure everything was pulled together, thank you. This is an enormous task. This is a gigantic responsibility. And for people to look at it and think, well, you know, I wouldn’t have done it this way. You don’t know how you would have done it. If you had this many people, this many people funneling through your doors, but thank God we didn’t have any problems. Everybody was respectful. Everybody was sensitive to what the family is facing. And we’re just glad to know that we have such a great team here in Houston. And so me, I think it’s ready for us to have some church don’t you?
Pastor Mia Wright: (19:30)
It’s time for us to have church.
Pastor Remus Wright: (19:30)
Pastor Mia Wright: (19:31)
It’s time for us to celebrate his life. We may weep. We may mourn. We’ll be comforted and we will find hope that is for sure. We want to follow the program that is already printed. But for those who do not have programs, the musical selection will be led by Pastor Kim Burell and this Houston aggregate of singers, amen, who have blessed us already. We are so delighted to have them here. Reverend Arthur Rucker of the Fountain of Praise will do a part of the scriptural reading, the Old Testament. Reverend Gusta Booker, who is pastor emeritus of Greater St. Matthew Baptist church here in Houston, Texas, will do the New Testament reading. And Reverend Dr. Mary White, who leads the prison ministry here at the Fountain of Praise, she will offer prayer of comfort to the family.
Pastor Remus Wright: (20:15)
After which there will be a video montage that I think all of you will enjoy. So in that order, we’re asking them to come now. Someone say amen.
Pastor Kim Burell: (20:42)
As historical as this is, we recognize that this is a real family with real feelings. There are a lot of us in here who have sat in that position and it hurt. I want you to know the moment that the world announced that George Floyd had left the earth physically, we became family. Everyone in this room, if we can, just center our love around this family, because I know what it means to hurt to have a loved one to leave. So we stand here and celebrate his life. But I want to leave you with these words.
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:15)
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:15)
I’m going to leave this with the family. One last thing.
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:15)
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:18)
Did you hear that? Remember this, children.
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:18)
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:18)
Encourage somebody next to you. Even though we’re in a pandemic.
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:22)
Pastor Kim Burell: (21:33)
Come on. Encourage your neighbor and tell him don’t give up on God, because He won’t give up on you.
Pastor Kim Burell: (28:13)
(singing) God bless you, Floyd family.
Pastor Kim Burell: (28:15)
Reverend Arthur Rucker: (29:08)
Giving honor to the family, to George Floyd, to the dignitaries that are in the house, and to all of the clergy, and to the great pastor of this house, we offer you the reading of the word in the Old Testament according to the book of Amos chapter 5 beginning at verse 16.
Reverend Arthur Rucker: (29:29)
“Therefore the Lord, the god of host the Lord sayeth thus; Wailing shall be in the streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! Alas! And they shall all call the farmer to mourning and such as are skillful in lamentation to wailing. And in all the vineyards shall be wailing. For I will pass through thee, sayeth the Lord. Woe unto you who desire the day of the Lord. To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light. It is as if a man flee from a lion and a bear met him, went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness and not light? Even very dark and no brightness in it. I hate and despise your feast and will not take delight in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer me burnt offerings and your meal offerings, I will not accept them. Neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beast. Take away from me the noise of your song for I will not hear the melody of your harps. But let justice run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Reverend Arthur Rucker: (30:53)
And this is the word of the Lord. Thanks be unto God.
Pastor Remus Wright: (31:00)
To the Floyd family, to the Saint Matthew family, Pastor Ryan Booker. I want you to know that we’re still praying for you. We want you to know that God has made himself available to the person of Jesus Christ to help you in times like these. God bless you.
Pastor Remus Wright: (31:50)
First Thessalonians, chapter four, beginning at verse 13. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” God bless you.
Speaker 3: (33:13)
In honor of our Pastor, Remus Wright and co-pastor Mia K. Wright, And all of the dignitaries here in the sanctuary for this celebration. Also acknowledge Sharita, who is a valued member of our redeemed prison ministry. For those of you that don’t know, we had letters coming from those who are incarcerated as far away as Angola, Louisiana because of what she’s done for the kingdom. So we give you love.
Speaker 3: (34:07)
In a moment of prayer, gather with me. Let’s talk to God for a minute. Father, I stretch my hands to the. Father, no other help do I know. And God, if you withdraw yourself from us, Father where shall we go? Father we acknowledge you as the master, the creator, the sovereign God, the ruler, the God that is higher than high, more majestic than majesty, greater than great, more loving than love itself. God, you are God, and you are sovereign. We welcome your presence that’s already in this place.
Speaker 3: (34:54)
Master, we thank you for this celebration. We thank you for the life of George Floyd, oh God. That at a moment, when he called out for his mama, we believed that the ears of all mamas across this nation reared up. That the ears of mamas across this world heard him cry even though for one mama all mamas began to wail. We began to wail for our children. We began to wail for our grandchildren. We wail for men across this world because of one mama’s call. God, thank you.
Speaker 3: (35:26)
Thank you God, today Master. God, we thank you for what you’re doing in this place. Father, we thank you that I ask that you would ignite upon us so God cloven tongues of fair fiber. Father, because cloven tongues of fire would decree and declare and proclaimed righteousness, but fiery tongues come out in anger igniting us again cloven tongues of fire.
Speaker 3: (35:53)
God, right now we’re in a strange land, and I heard the Psalmist say, how can we sing in a strange land? I can sing because I know who reigns. We can sing because we know who God is, where God is, and what God is about to do. That’s how we can sing in a strange land. God, it’s a strange land when we have to make a law for what’s about to happen if we [inaudible 00:36:20] our brothers and our sisters. That it could be by self motivated but it’s not become law mandated.
Speaker 3: (36:26)
God have mercy. God help us in this place today. God, we pray for the family of George Floyd, who has time after time after time, again born private grief in public places. But oh I remember you said, “You bore our grief. You bore our sorrows.” So father right now, undergird him in the name of Jesus. Remind them and underneath them are your everlasting arms. Remind them that this shall be an Ebeneezer. This shall be a time of remembrance. This shall be after everybody has gone home. Oh God, remind the nation that this is our Ebeneezer.
Speaker 3: (37:04)
We speak and we decree and we do claim that right now, Lord, God there shall be justice. That right now, there shall be a remnant that you have already risen up. Lord God, give them strength at this time of sorrow. Undergird them, put your arms around them, oh God, and let them know that my God is here. That my God is a comforter and above all things we will celebrate. We will remember these days and we will call on God. For our God shall come with a vengeance. Our God will avenge us. Our God will come. Ride on King Jesus. Ride on Emanuel. Ride on [inaudible 00:37:49]. God we lay hands on it in Jesus name. Amen.
Speaker 4: (37:48)
(Singing 00:08:20-00:11:38) God bless you Floyd.
Pastor Remus Wright: (42:58)
Brother, that shows true skills right there. My, my, my. Amen, And thank you for the Dray for that wonderful selection. At this time, we’re going to have Resolutions read by one of the daughters of this house. She’s gone on to do some phenomenal things for God, and God is just blessing her all over the world. And I speak of none other than Ivy McGregor. Greet her with a hearty, amen right now.
Ivy McGregor: (43:27)
Thank you Pastor Wright and to Co-Pastor Mia Wright, and certainly to this family, to Reverend Sharpton, to all dignitaries and to all officials. To the family on behalf of the Fountain of Praise Church, our prayer for the family and this season, and this unexpected time is to draw comfort from the fact that while this incident in the untimely incidents, it is no surprise to the heavenly Father. The Bible says in Psalms 46 and one, ” God is our refuge and strength.” A very present help in trouble. We stand fast in our faith that God will give you inner braces to prop you on every leaning side. May you feel the closeness of his comfort and the warmth of his presence as you cope with this heart rendering transition. We are praying for you.
Ivy McGregor: (44:29)
We are interceding on your behalf and want each of you to know that our love extends to you from Houston to all parts of the world. To Sharita McGee Tate, a spiritual daughter of this house, our family members and all of the family members, we await the joy that comes in the morning after the weeping season. The Bible says that, “Our God will wipe away all tears from your eyes and soon your sorrow shall be swallowed up in joy.” This is given on behalf of pastors, Remus and Mia Wright.
Ivy McGregor: (45:10)
In his own way, and for his own purpose, God has reached down into his garden to pluck one of his fairest flowers. Recently God called the spirit of our dearly beloved brother, George home to be with him throughout eternity. Whereas, we, the officers and members of the greater St. Matthew Baptist Church desire to express our love and respect to our departed brother. We make these resolutions a copy, which will be kept in our records. Be it also resolved that even as we mourn his departure we resign to the will of an all knowing and kind heavenly Father. We assure the family of the deceased that they have our lasting heartfelt sympathies.
Ivy McGregor: (46:04)
This is on behalf of the greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, Reverend Ronald Booker Senior, senior pastor. On behalf of Jack Yates, senior high school, the resolution is for George Floyd class of 1993. Whereas we are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Jack Yates Lion, George Floyd, whom the father has called from labor to reward. Whereas George Floyd was a member of the legendary Jack Yates Class of 1993, was a respected leader among the all Lions, served with character and distinction as an athletic gifted member of the Mighty Lions. 1992 runner-up state championship football team as the starting tight-end and was a member of the high performing Mighty Lion’s basketball team who stood as a six foot six inch power forward, able to dunk with both hands. And whereas George Floyd lovingly known as Big Floyd and the gentle giant was steadfast in his kindness and devotion to helping his fellow Jack Yates Lions succeed through his genuine example of love, faith and generosity. Whereas George Floyd has left a legacy of love, loyalty and service to dear old Jack Yates High that will live on forever in our hearts. Now be it resolved that Jack Yates Senior High School embraces the Floyd family, because of the love that we share. George Floyd and his big smile and sense of humor can never be replaced, but his legacy as a Lion, a father, a brother, is a friend will be honored each time his family Jack Yates alumni are gathered. His beloved third ward community, friends, and all other stand up and fight for justice in his name humbly submitted on this ninth day of June by the Jack Yates Senior High School.
Ivy McGregor: (48:26)
The family of George Floyd would like to acknowledge the message of solidarity, resolution and the visual tribute from his excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana. Yesterday during the Memorial, a video produced by the people of Ghana was broadcast for thousands of mourners as they paid their final respects to Mr. Floyd. The family is honored by President Akufo, the decision to have Mr. Floyd’s name permanently mounted in the historics and Keuffel wall at the Diaspora African Forum in the WEB Dubois Center in Africa. They are grateful that the country of Ghana stands with the Floyd family and the struggle of all families to change the status quo of racism and prejudice. The family is deeply moved by the generous act of the Ghanaian government to solidify George Floyd’s legacy. There have been countless other acknowledgements and resolutions. State Senator Royce West, NAACP, Houston branch, Rodney Ellis commissioner Harris County, the role LA, the Church Without Walls, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, H-I-S-D, Louisiana State Senator Michael Cubish, Texas State University, state representative Ronald Ron Reynolds, Los Angeles Police Department, city of Los Angeles, Houston Community College, the poems submitted by Melinda Smallwood, Houston City Council Member Carolyn Shahbaz, Lena Mulana county judge and countless others.
Ivy McGregor: (50:43)
And we do hope on behalf of Pastor Wright and Co-Pastor Mia Wright, and the Fountain of Praise Church. We hope that the words that have been spoken and the words that have been written will bring you comfort in the days to come. And while the world has been shaken and awakened by three words that your dearly beloved George Floyd spoke, I leave with you one word, his final word, which was “breathe.” And breathe is not passive. No, sir. No ma’am. Breathe is active. Breathe is inhale and exhale. Breathe is to be alive. And so we stay with this family as you breathe, we breathe with you. God bless you.
Speaker 5: (01:01:30)
(Singing 00:20:46-00:30:30). If you can right now, just sing that last line with me. (Singing 00:30:33-00:30:43)
Pastor Remus Wright: (01:01:43)
Come on, Church, say “Amen.” Come on, Church, say “Amen.” Kathy Taylor. Kathy Taylor. I tell her all the time she is Houston’s modern day Mahalia Jackson. Amen. She empties churches all across-
Pastor Remus Wright: (01:02:03)
Amen. She empties churches all across the country with her anointed gift. At this time, we’re honored to have our dignitary speak and just before I asked them to come, the names that are on the program, I want to ask all of the people, the political dignitaries that we have in Houston. I want to ask you to stand just for a moment. I saw Commissioner, Rodney Ellis, and so many others. Chief Acevedo. Yes, yes, yes. Former Mayor [Anise 01:02:29] Parker and so many others. Let us thank God for your service right now. Adrian Garcia, commissioner, each and every one. At this time the program calls for a video by Vice President Joe Biden. And then we will hear from own Congressman Al Green and our own Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. And then finally the mayor of this fine city, Mayor Sylvester Turner in that order. God bless you.
Joe Biden: (01:02:57)
Hello everyone on this day of prayer, where we try to understand God’s plan in our pain, George’s family and friends, Jill and I know that deep hole in your hearts, when you bury a piece of your soul deep in this earth. As I said to you privately, we know, we know you will never feel the same again. For most people, the numbness you feel now will slowly turn day after day, season after season into purpose through the memory of the one they lost but for you that day has come before you can fully grieve. And unlike most, you must grieve in public. It’s a burden, a burden that is now your purpose to change the world for the better, the name of George Floyd. Like so many others, I’ve watched with awe as you, summon the absolute courage to channel God’s grace and show the good man George was.
Joe Biden: (01:04:03)
[inaudible 01:04:03] to start justice too long, dormant to move millions to act peacefully and purposely, but among all the people around the world who feel connected to this tragedy are the ones who lost something that can never, ever be replaced. To George’s children and grandchild. I know you miss your dad and your granddad. Gianna, as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you’re so brave. Daddy’s looking down, he’s so proud of you. I know you missed that bear hug [inaudible 01:04:38] riding on his shoulders so you can touch the sky. The countless hours he spent playing any game you wanted because your smile, your laugh, your love is the only thing that mattered at the moment.
Joe Biden: (01:04:50)
I know you have a lot of questions, honey, no child should have to ask questions [inaudible 01:04:58] too many black. I’ve had to ask for generations. Why is daddy gone? And looking through your eyes, we should also be asking ourselves why the answer is so often too cruel and painful? Why in this nation do too many black Americans wake up knowing that they can lose their life and of course, they’re just living their life. Why does justice not roll like a river or righteousness like a mighty stream? Why?
Joe Biden: (01:05:28)
Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t turn away. We must not turn away. We cannot leave this moment thinking we can once again, turn away from racism that stings at our very soul. From systemic abuse, which still plagues American life. As Thurgood Marshall, once implored quote, “America must dissent from indifference. It must’ve dissent from fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent because America can do better because America has no choice but to do better.” I grew up with Catholic social doctrine was taught me is faith without works is dead. And you will know us by what we do. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got to deal with the denial, the promise of this nation to so many people for so long. It’s about who we are, what we believe. And maybe most importantly, who we want to be to ensure that all men and women are not only created equal, but are treated equally.
Joe Biden: (01:06:40)
We can heal this nation’s wounds and remember it’s pain, not callous the heart and forget. I know Reverend Sharpton is there in Houston with you today. Rev, I watched you speak from ecclesiastic last week in Minnesota, chapter three, verse one, “Everything there is a time and a purpose and a season under the heavens.” Well today, now is the time, the purpose, the season to listen and heal. Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America. And then, as you said Gianna, your daddy will have changed the world.
Joe Biden: (01:07:29)
May God be with you, George Floyd and your family. And the words of a hymn from my church based on the 91st Psalm, May he raise you up on Eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn and make you to shine like the sun and hold you in the Palm of his hand. God bless you all. God bless you all.
Congressman Al Green: (01:08:08)
To this family, the Floyd family, to Reverend Al Sharpton, the voice for the hopeless, help for the helpless and power to the powerless. I think you merit some love for all the things that you do. To attorney Crump, who takes on the cases that many people would conclude a loss causes, but you do it and you win because you fight. I think you deserve some love. Just a few more. We are honored today here in the ninth congressional district to have the chairperson of the conscience of the Congress. The Honorable Karen Bass is with us. She has traversed some distance. Would you please show her and the members of the CVC some love would you please stand? This is my congressional district. I want all of the Congresspeople who are here to stand, please show them some love. My colleague Jackson Lee is here. Thank you.
Congressman Al Green: (01:09:37)
To mayor Turner, my dear friend and fraternity brother. To Judge Hidalgo, the commissioners, to all of the members of the council. And I want to say a special word about another great American who was here with us today. One whose name means helper of humankind. One who was there with Dr. King. One who is the father of the civil rights movement right here in Houston, Texas. One that we know and love the Honorable William Alexander Lawson. He deserves some love. He is in the house today. I missed Alexander Commissioners Ellis and Garcia, to you as well dear brothers. To the friends and family again, I’m not here today as a Democrat, we’re not here as Republicans. We’re not here because we’re rich or poor. We’re not here because we’re conservative or liberal. We are here because Pastor Remus Wright was so right when he said we have no expendables in our community. George Floyd was not expendable. This is why we are here.
Congressman Al Green: (01:11:17)
His crime was that he was born black. That was his only crime. George Floyd deserved the dignity and the respect that we accord all people simply because they are children of a common God. And it’s very unfortunate that we have to be here, but we’re going to celebrate the life of George Floyd today. And to the family, it’s important that I say this to you. We who are here today, are here to say, we stand with you. We will be there for you. Let’s let them know they are not alone. Let’s give them some love. Let’s say to this family, we are here to stay. Say it for the family, please with some love, give them some love, please, the family. I believe you can do better than that. If you love them and you know it why don’t you stand up and show it. Let’s make it clear that we are here for them, that we will make it known to the world that they are not going to suffer because we’re going to support them.
Congressman Al Green: (01:12:35)
And finally, this. Members of Congress have the privilege of having flags flown over the Capitol. We do it for important occasions, important people, but I want you to know this. I had this flag flown over the Capitol because I want the United States of America to respect George Floyd. That’s why this flag was flown. I want the United States of America to show him the respect that he richly earned simply because he was born in this country because he’s a human being. And because he is not expendable, that’s why this flag was flown.
Congressman Al Green: (01:13:23)
And I have a resolution that will be presented to the family. And this resolution would become a part of the records of the Congress, of the United States of America. This resolution is going to say to those who look through the vista of time, that at this time they’ll live one among us, who was a child of God, who was taken untimely. But we’re going to make sure that those who’ve looked through time, that they will know that he made a difference within his time because he changed not only this country, not only the United States. He changed the world. George Floyd changed the world. And we’re going to make the world know that he made a difference.
Congressman Al Green: (01:14:20)
Dear brothers and sisters, we have a duty, responsibility and an obligation not to allow this to be like the other times. We have a responsibility to not only George Floyd, but to all of those other persons, Breonna Taylor. We have a responsibility to each one of them to make sure that we do not walk away today after having celebrated his life and not taking the next step to commemorate and to your shore, the future generations that this won’t happen again. It’s time.
Congressman Al Green: (01:15:19)
So brothers and sisters, the Congressional Black Caucus has done something. It’s historic. The Honorable Karen Bass under her leadership, we have now a law that makes it against the law to put your foot on the neck of a person. It’s against the law. You can’t have a no knock law, it’s against the law. You’re going to have to wear your body cameras. It’s against the law. The Congressional Black Caucus is making a difference, but I believe there’s one more thing that we ought to do to make a difference.
Congressman Al Green: (01:15:59)
We have got to have reconciliation. This country has not reconciled its differences with us. We survived slavery, but we didn’t reconcile. We survived segregation, but we didn’t reconcile with suffering and invidious discrimination because we didn’t reconcile. It’s time for a department of reconciliation in the highest land, the highest office. It’s time to have someone who’s going to make it his or her business to seek reconciliation for black people in the United States of America every day of his life. That’s what it is is all about. It’s time for us to reconcile. We need a department of reconciliation. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.
Pastor Remus Wright: (01:16:47)
Just before Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee comes, let me tell you have a gate time at the cemetery for three o’clock. And I want us to be conscious of the fact that we’ve got a long drawn out program here. And I want to give the guest speaker an opportunity to have what he has to say. I want to give the family, certainly, an opportunity to say what they have to say and the preachers, that own program to say what they have to say. So I’m asking all of you, if you would just be brief, brothers and sisters be brief. Amen, amen, amen.
Pastor Remus Wright: (01:17:21)
We got to get through this they have to get to the cemetery before three o’clock and that’s a long entourage going that way. So I’m asking you to be sensitive to everybody that’s coming behind you. And let’s try to keep it to the two minute rule. Let’s do as best we can. I’m going to forego my remarks today. I can speak to the family at a later time and tell them and encourage them. And I want to give an opportunity to make sure that all the families requests are met. So I’m asking you, when you come forward, please, please, please be sensitive to two minutes. Okay? God bless you. God bless you and courage y’all.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:18:08)
This is a time for the family. This is a time for the healing of the wound, of the pain that no one else in this place can walk and feel at this time. To the Floyd family, let me acknowledge your pain. Let me come as a humble servant, to be able to respect and to give dignity to the ages that the ex-slaves’ descendants have faced in this nation. Let me heal the wounds of the majority of African-American men who have suffered at the hands of a wrong mindset, a warrior mindset, instead of a guardian of peace mindset in the practice of law enforcement.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:19:23)
But it is your time today. In keeping with that moment allow me to offer these words. We know that centuries ago they took a man, wicked man, put him on the cross. Did not understand that though they were intending wickedness that out of much intention of wickedness, came goodness. Your loved one, George Floyd, the secular world failed in its duty to intervene. Failed in its duty to act. And failed in his duty to aid. But George Floyd answered the question in death. When it was asked in Isaiah, Lord, who should I sin? Oh God have mercy on us.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:20:32)
There was a tall man by the name of Big Floyd who stood up and said, “Lord send me. And so as we come today, people of statute, those who humble themselves before God, we come to pay tribute to a man who said send me. And I want to acknowledge those young marchers in the streets. They, many of them could not be in this place. They are black and brown. They are Asian, they are white. They are protesting and marching. And I’m saying as a mama, I hear your cry. That is what George Floyd wanted us to know. And I guess he wanted us to know, family, about Cuney homes and Jack Yates. Somebody might’ve said what good comes out of Nazarus. Somebody else might’ve said, “What good comes out of Third Ward?” I am so grateful today to be able to say a man by the name of Big Floyd, walked amongst us down those Cuney home blocks, went on up to that crimson and red and began to mentor and make a legacy that no one can deny.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:22:13)
I want you to know my friends, that as these members of Congress, give me a moment. Chairwoman Karen Bass, the Congressional Black Caucus leadership, Barbara Lee, Congressman Hank Johnson, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, Congressman Vincente Gonzalez, Congresswoman Silvia Garcias, Congresswoman Deb Holland from New Mexico. They are across the nation. They are here because they are honoring a brother that came out of the heart of Third Ward and Jack Yates. They are here to honor that leadership.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:23:03)
So as I conclude, George Floyd was here on an assignment. It is painful to be able to accept that. I’m so sorry I know him in death, but he was here on an assignment. Some folk on assignments only get to stay 30 years. When the wicked men thought they had done something. George Floyd took it 46 years. He walked this journey. He left behind sisters and brothers who could stand up against the adversity of life when the camera came and people asked to PJ and others, “What do you want?” We want justice. We want justice. So my friends, I don’t know if I’ll ever get eight minutes and 46 seconds, Reverend Sharpton, out of my DNA. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to overcome the words, “I can’t breathe.”
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:24:17)
Eric Garner’s mother and Trayvon Martin’s mother and all the mothers and Robbie told him, “I can’t breathe.” But what I will say that the assignment of George Floyd and the purpose will mean there will be no more eight minutes and 46 seconds of police brutality. There will be no more eight minutes and 46 seconds of injustice and the mistreatment of African-American men at the hands of the laws of this nation and any [inaudible 01:24:53] else. There will be no more eight minutes and 46 seconds that you will be in pain without getting justice. His assignment turned into a purpose and that purpose was around the world that there are people rising up that will never sit down until you get justice. And so I say to all of those who are here, to that from Senator Miles, from Grant Malone, who works in this venue, all of these pastors, what we say is that we will not sit down like Rosa Parks said, until justice comes.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:25:31)
And so let me make it very clear as I go to my seat. What was done for wicked, for those who mourn that day that we know, came to a day where a man rose. And so I say to George Floyd, it’ll be up to us that his purpose and his assignment for the justice of this nation, for the fact that there will never be the brutality faced by a man that says I can’t breathe and calls to a mama who loved him so. That is the [inaudible 01:26:11] and call for all of us. And so as the Lord and the scripture said, “When asked, who should I send?” The first who said, “Send me,” was George Floyd.
Sheila Jackson Lee: (01:26:24)
Are they going to be able, or he going to be able, to have each and every one of you say, ” Send me.” To God be the glory for the great things he hath done. May God bless his family. And God bless George Floyd and the United States of America. God bless you and I honor you and pray for you. We have a flag that will be given on behalf of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. This family will receive presidential letters from former President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Reverend, thank you for all you do. God bless you.
Mayor Sylvester Turner: (01:27:27)
Raymond, [inaudible 01:27:28] and to Reverend Al Sharpton and all of the other clergy that are here. And to the Gardner, Brown, Arbery and Martin families, and certainly to this particular family. And let me just adopt and incorporate all of that you have already heard into this presentation. Let me just speak briefly, say, let me on behalf of the city of Houston, let me thank this family for standing in the gap for your brother, your father, your cousin, your family member. And let me thank you for your courage and your strength in representing him and representing yourselves extremely well. And then I want to thank you on behalf of this city for seeking justice for George, while at the same time asking people all around the world to do it respectfully and peacefully. On behalf of this city, I think we owe a great deal of gratitude to this family. And I want to say thank you.
Mayor Sylvester Turner: (01:28:41)
Let me just say to you that people all over the world and elected officials on all levels are doing things that they otherwise might not have done, had not done, because of George. I announced that in this city, I would be creating this task force on policing reform, but at the same time that we’ll work things through and we’ll get that done within a 90 day period. But as I speak right now, the city attorney is drafting an executive order, an order that I will sign when I get back to city hall. And what that order will say is that in this city, we will ban choke holds and strangleholds. In this city, we will require de-escalation. In this city, you have to give a warning before you shoot. In this city, you have a duty to intervene. In this city, we will require comprehensive reporting. In this city, you must exhaust all alternatives before shooting.
Mayor Sylvester Turner: (01:29:57)
And there will be other things in this executive order, but I want you to know it goes beyond just policing because I have been talking with business owners and CEOs over the last several weeks. And what I’ve said to them, when we invest in communities that have been underserved and under invested in, where we haven’t done the investment, then you don’t have to spend as much on policing if you take the necessary funds and invest in our communities. And so I want you to know and this family to know, that we appreciate, we appreciate everything that you all have done.
Mayor Sylvester Turner: (01:30:40)
And lastly, I will say this. George and this family, rearing up in Houston, Third Ward, the Tray, coming out of Cuney homes, who would have thought that his name would now be mentioned in South Africa, Canada, Nairobi, Berlin, South Korea, Europe. A person who may not have been known by many before, but what folk meant for evil, God has turned it out for good. We honor him Reverend Sharpton not because he was perfect, but we honor him today because when he took his last breath, the rest of us will now be able to breathe. So therefore I, Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the city of Houston hereby proudly proclaim January, June 9th, 2020 as George [inaudible 01:31:40] Day in the city of Houston. To God be the glory, for the good He has done.
Pastor Mia Wright: (01:32:38)
[inaudible 01:32:38] somebody said to your neighbor to God be the glory, what the Devil means for evil, God means for good [inaudible 01:32:41] home going celebration today. And we’d be able to celebrate the life of a man who lived here on this Earth. And as God has used him in his death to expand his name throughout the world to make change. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. God bless you to all of our dignitaries, to Mayor Turner-
Pastor Mia Wright: (01:33:03)
-amen, amen. God bless you to all of our dignitaries. Mayor Turner, I think you’re a preacher. You have a job when you finish your term here in the city of Houston. We thank God for his leadership. Amen? Amen.
Pastor Mia Wright: (01:33:15)
The program calls for… I believe there’s another video montage that is about to occur, and we thank God for the young lady who has put them together. These videos… Amen! Come on, now! Somebody’s still celebrating. For the things he has done! Oh yes, Jesus.
Pastor Mia Wright: (01:33:40)
[Angie Hiltz 00:00:41] is the video artist who has put together these montages. But I want to ask the members of the family who are going to come up and speak at this time: if you would please make your way to the stage. Kathleen McGee, Brady Bob, Travis Cains, and Mr. Cyril Wright. Cyril White, rather.
Pastor Mia Wright: (01:34:00)
And as they come up, there is a tribute that will be sung by R&B artist Ne-Yo. That will be followed by one of the Jack Yates alumni, who is offering a poem, [Earnesia Clabron-Dangerfield 00:01:13], and then another musical selection, “My Soul Has Been Anchored in the Lord,” Mr. Michael Tolds. God bless you. And family, come up, as we’re ready to receive you.
Speaker 8: (01:34:27)
Kathleen McGee: (01:38:51)
Welcome, everyone. I am [inaudible 01:38:54] Floyd’s aunt. I’m also… Just give me a minute. I just want to thank everybody. And I would like to [inaudible 01:39:13] done for my family today. It’s been for George, but I just want to make this statement. The world knows George Floyd; I know Perry Jr. He was a pesky little rascal, but we all loved him. And I just want to thank all the mothers that are here today, and if you’ve got a nephew, an uncle, just hug them and just let them know. We are for all these young black men that are coming up in this world today. And just hug them and love them, because we don’t ever know when the time will come.
Kathleen McGee: (01:40:14)
I just want to thank each and every one of you. I have gained such a huge family, all over the world. I have so many sisters and brothers now. I have aunts and uncles. And I just want to thank you all. There’s too many names to remember, but God knows in his heart that I love this Floyd family, I love my sister, and I can’t talk about George, Perry Jr., unless I bring up his mother’s name. Everyone knew her as Miss Sissy in Third Ward, Cuney Home, Texas.
Kathleen McGee: (01:41:01)
I just want to say, I love you, I love all the support, and my family know I do.
Rodney Floyd: (01:41:11)
Yeah. I love you.
Kathleen McGee: (01:41:11)
And we all are one.
Rodney Floyd: (01:41:11)
Yeah. [inaudible 01:41:22].
Terrence Floyd: (01:41:15)
I just want to say that I’m going to miss my brother a whole lot, and… I love him. I just want to say to him, I love you. And I thank God for giving me my own personal Superman. God bless you all.
Brooke Williams: (01:42:05)
First off. I want to say hello. My name is [Brooke 01:42:08] Williams, George Floyd’s niece, and I can breathe. Long as I’m breathing, justice will be served for Perry. First off, I want to thank all of you for coming out to support George Perry Floyd. My uncle was a father, brother, uncle, and a cousin to many. Spiritually grounded, an activist, he always moved people with his words.
Brooke Williams: (01:42:29)
The officers showed no remorse while watching my uncle’s soul leave his body. He begged and pleaded many times just for you to get up, but you just pushed harder! Why must this system be corrupt and broken? Laws were already put in place for the African American system to fail! These laws need to be changed! No more hate crimes, please! Someone said, “Make America great again,” but when has America ever been great? Those four officers were literally on him for nine minutes, and none of them showed they have a heart or a soul. This is not just murder, but a hate crime.
Brooke Williams: (01:43:23)
I shared happy memories with my uncle. Now that’s all I have, are memories. I still can’t pull myself together, how he was calling my grandma’s name. I believe my grandmother was right there with open arms, saying, “Come home, baby. You shouldn’t feel this pain. No one should feel this pain.” My most favorite memory with my uncle was when he paid me to scratch his head after long days of work when he arrived at home. We even created a song about it called “Scratch My Head, Scratch My Head, Yeah.” But after that, I knew he was a comedian. He always told me, “Baby girl, you’re going to go so far with that beautiful smile and brains of yours.”
Brooke Williams: (01:44:08)
Another favorite memory is when me and my grandmother was so worried, I mean, she was crying. All I remember is me saying, “Granny, it’s okay. We’ll find a way,” but I wasn’t entirely sure about how we were going to get to my uncle PJ’s wedding. We had no way to contact anyone. But here comes my uncle, busting through the door like Superman. I was young, by the way, probably 10 or 11. My grandmother was also handicapped, and he had this big truck we had to ride in. I was wondering, how was my grandmother going to get in that truck? But he just placed her in the truck like it was light work.
Brooke Williams: (01:44:44)
I never question anyone’s strength, but it was unbelievable how my uncle and grandmother broke their backs to always see their children smile and made it work when it seemed impossible. Quote Tupack… I mean Tupac, I’m sorry, y’all, “Changes.” “You see, the old way wasn’t working, so it’s on us to do what we got to do to survive.”
Brooke Williams: (01:45:06)
America, it is time for a change, even if it should begin with more protests. No justice, no peace. My brother, and basically my other mom, tells me this all the time, but: God sits high, but he looks low. Thank you, Houston. It’s always love in the hometown.
Philonise Floyd: (01:45:46)
I really don’t know what to say after my niece, but she told the whole story. But I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my brother at lot, because I couldn’t believe it at first. But I see it now. All I think about is when he was yelling for Mama. And I know where our mama is. She’s just right there. She got her hands wide open: “Come here, baby.” Every mama felt that. But when he yelled, “Please, please. I can’t breathe,” I stopped wearing ties. I didn’t want to wear a tie no more, because I wanted to be able to breathe. I went to memorials, no tie. I could’ve had one on, but right now I want justice for my brother. My big brother. That’s Big Floyd.
Philonise Floyd: (01:46:51)
Everybody know who Big Floyd is now. Third Ward, Cuney Homes, that’s where we was born at, but we’re going to be remembered. Everybody going to remember him around the world. He’s going to change the world. My mom, if she was here today… I honestly can say this, that she would be on that casket right now, trying to get in there with him. She’s a real mom. A real mom. She’s not going to separate from anybody. She’s just like animals. They cling to their mom. I love y’all. Y’all showed a lot of support. I love y’all. I’m speechless right now.
Cyril White: (01:47:58)
Good afternoon. My name is Cyril White and I am the director of To God Be The Glory Sports. Before I became the director of To God Be The Glory Sports, I met Big Floyd. I spent so many of my college summers playing basketball with him. He had a good friend named [Mike Riggs 00:01:48:17] who went to Worthing, and I would go pick up Mike Riggs and we would go get Big Floyd. We’d be at Nettleton Park and MacGregor Park and Sunnyside Park or wherever we could go find a good game.
Cyril White: (01:48:29)
Well then, fast forward to 1998, I started a college exhibition tour team touring around the country, going to play different colleges in exhibition games, and Big Floyd, that was my first power forward. I would be calling around, trying to get contracts with the different schools, and the coaches would ask me, “Who’s your big man?” and I would say, “George Floyd.” They’d say, “Oh, you got Big Floyd? Okay, well, your team must be pretty good.” And so then we would go off and play. And not only did George play on the team, but he recruited a lot of other guys from Third Ward and the Cuney Homes to come and join me, and a lot of those guys got college scholarships, and some of those guys even played professionally overseas. So it’s been well-established how much George Floyd was an avid sports fan and always about sports, and I was sharing with [inaudible 01:49:14] earlier this week that I’ve already secured a commitment for three acres of land here in Houston to do a George Floyd Memorial sports center. I just kept thinking about, what could I do? What could I do? And I had a lot of support from around the world, from my different sponsors, and yes, I had one guy stepped up and said, “Hey, Cyril, I can definitely provide the real estate, and we just work on the vertical improvement.” So that’s where we are with that. One thing that we did, and I’m going to get out of here fast, at To God Be The Glory Sports, we read the Proverbs. That’s what was our spiritual exercise, to try to grow in practical wisdom as young men. We would read a chapter of Proverbs. Everybody would read two verses out loud, and then they’d pass the Bible to the next guy. Right?
Cyril White: (01:50:07)
So Sylvester Turner, our honorable mayor, said that today is George Floyd Day. So I’m going to read Proverbs chapter six and verse nine through 11. And this is Big Floyd speaking. It says, “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a thief, and scarcity like an armed man.”
Cyril White: (01:50:35)
Well, I can definitely see how Big Floyd has woken us up out of our sleep, correct? I mean, we’re all up from our sleep. We are not slumbering anymore. This poverty and this scarcity talked about in this scripture, that is how we treat each other. Humanity. We are poor in humanity. We are poor in empathy. But I can feel that everyone is going to rise, rise against injustice, and be sure that all human beings are treated the same so that George Floyd’s memory will not be in vain.
Cyril White: (01:51:02)
To the family, thank you for allowing me to speak and share this memory about Big Floyd, and to God be the glory to you all. Thank you very much.
Rodney Floyd: (01:51:09)
You know, hearing everyone speak thus far about Big Floyd… I mean, great brother. He’s got a great family on stage, great family in this church house today. Cuney Homes family, extended family, and Fountain of Praise Church. Thank everybody.
Rodney Floyd: (01:51:45)
And one thing… You know, I’m being strong for my family. And one thing about Big Floyd, he would tell me right now, “Little bro, be strong.” Just be thankful for day to day and just celebrate his life and happiness. He wouldn’t want us weeping so hard, but you know… I’m trying, but it’s very hard. I mean, I got so many great memories to share and stories to tell, but you know, they just get stuck inside. And again, you know…
Philonise Floyd: (01:52:21)
Rodney Floyd: (01:52:21)
Yeah. No, no, I got it, I got it. Oh man. But one of the biggest things on my mind, honestly, we got to seek justice out for my brother, and we’re going to get it together. Everyone in this church, all the great city council men and women in this crowd, thank you very much. Sheila… my god. Sheila Jackson Lee, thank you, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Al Green, and the rest of you guys, for comforting and calling us, letting us know, for last couple of days and weeks. You’ve given us your major support. And everyone in the world, again, for the major support and love that y’all were sharing and giving and [inaudible 01:53:06] sharing these beautiful pictures. Thank you guys. And we’re going to keep this fight on, and we’re going to do this together, and we all in it together and we going to finish this together. And united we stand. And again, we standing for George Floyd, and thank everyone that came showing love.
Philonise Floyd: (01:53:27)
One more time: his life mattered. All our lives matter. Black lives matter. His death will not be in vain. What’s his name?
Travis Cains: (01:53:47)
First, I want to give all my honor and praise to God for giving me a chance at life and meeting my little brother. For giving him his first security job. My little brother was a friend. He was a mentor. He was a father. He was a basketball player. He was a football player. But most of all, he was a human being. And if I tell you, I never could say no to this kid. And all the flaws and trials and tribulations that we went through, all the times he’d make me mad and make everybody mad, we still loved him. I couldn’t say no. So when the family came to me and asked me, “Is you going to speak?” I will speak. I will keep on speaking. I will fight. I will fight. I will fight. Because I been fighting for him, and I will keep on fighting for him.
Travis Cains: (01:55:05)
You know, we ask ourselves who we meet and who we come in contact with in life. I came in contact with, and we all came in contact with, if you knew him, a ghetto angel. A ghetto angel. A brother. You know, you hate evil, but you love good. And what my brother was, my little bro, was good. You can’t slam this name with me. You can’t talk bad about him to me. Because I knew him. And if you knew Floyd, if you knew Ju, you understand the words coming out of my mouth. And I ask you, fight for my brother. Help me fight for my brother, help the family fight for my brother, because he was someone.
Travis Cains: (01:56:12)
I thank you. The family thanks you. And I will not give up on you, bro. I love you, little bruh. And I got you.
Brady Bob: (01:56:34)
You should be on your feet right now, giving the glory to God. Right now! Get on your feet! Give him the glory! Give him the glory! Give God the glory, give Floyd the glory, give his kids the glory! Give his family the glory! To my pastor, I love you. And Mia, I love you too. My frat brother. George Floyd. Anybody in here played football for Jack Yates or went to Jack Yates? [inaudible 01:57:22] the house with Jack Yates! All right! We’re going to say [inaudible 01:57:27] too. Stand up. Stand up!
Brady Bob: (01:57:35)
George Floyd was an all-American tight end. George Floyd was a power forward, was my power forward, so I’m speaking on the behalf of my brother. Blood, sweat, and tears every single day. It’s hot outside, it’s hot in the gym. Not one time did I ever see George Floyd complain. Not one time. He without sin cast the first stone. Huh? He without sin cast the first stone. I hear everybody talking. Y’all want the real, or y’all want the fake?
We want the real today, brother!
Brady Bob: (01:58:23)
You want the real today, right?
We want the real today, brother!
Brady Bob: (01:58:25)
My brother, he’s sitting here. He didn’t have to be sitting here today. Those men that stood on my brother neck changed the world. They took somebody from us that was great. When I say great, I never heard him complain. Not one time. He was a umbrella to all of us. He was 6’6″. Any rain came our way, he made sure that he could cover for us. From the Cuney Home to Jack Yates High, he was everybody’s shelter. Everybody’s shelter. I don’t care what George Floyd did. I don’t care. Let me tell y’all something. He was a human being, first of all.
Brady Bob: (01:59:17)
I couldn’t sleep Monday night. I don’t know why. I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning, Memorial Day, in my bed. I don’t know why. As I woke up the next morning and got so many tapes… And I said, “What?” I haven’t even seen the whole tape. It hurts my heart, y’all. We all hurt in America right now. Am I right or wrong? But one thing: but God. But God! Because all we need right now in this world today is what? Love. Turn to your neighbor and tell him you love him. Right now! Turn to him right now and tell him you love him. That’s all we need.
Brady Bob: (02:00:09)
You see how that feel? George Floyd told me he loved me. He told everybody out here that he touched he loved them. George Floyd is love. That’s who George Floyd is. This is for him. We love him. If you love George Floyd, and you know how George Floyd was with you, you know you’re going to always be George Floyd. I am George Floyd. You are George Floyd. That could have been anyone else in here, but God, god said, “Well done, Floyd.”
Brady Bob: (02:00:49)
So as I sit here and tell you all right now, George Floyd is in the bosom of God. He’s in the bosom of God. He’s all right, y’all. So I’m here to tell y’all, stay positive. America, there’s a debt that you have to repay, but God said, “Mm-mm. Not this debt.” You’re going to have to repay it. This is the last. So as I sit here and I see so many people coming together, so many races, and I say, you know what? Because of the love of George Floyd, we are all here together today. So make sure you turn to your… You never know how long we got, y’all. You never know. The key is love. I love y’all. Brady Bob. I’m out.
Hey, what’s going on, everybody. Much love and strength to the family of George Floyd. Much love and strength to the family members that are here of anybody that’s been lost. 50 states. 50 states are protesting at the same time. This man changed the world, changed the world for the better. So I just want to personally thank George Floyd for his sacrifice so that my kids can be all right later on. I appreciate the sacrifice, my brother. I genuinely do. Sorry, I didn’t come up here to talk. All right.
Earnesia Dangerfield: (02:06:04)
Good afternoon. My name is Earnesia Dangerfield and I am honored to stand before you today, honored to share what George Floyd meant to our alumni, Jack Yates Senior High School, our community, of course his children, family, his friends, and now the world. 3260 Truxillo is where it all began. And if you could carry the whole community on your back or work to help your fam, you do it with your bare hands. To make a way out, your gift with a ball helped to create your vision and infiltrate a plan. And now beyond the streets of third ward, your legacy will stand.
Earnesia Dangerfield: (02:07:10)
Your children will be honored to witness your contributions firsthand. You didn’t make excuses, but stood tall and accepted your responsibilities like a real man. Such a gentle giant, although his 6’6 statue could intimidate some men, your smile was your way of creating an openness, greeting a stranger with the dab and your hand. Always repping H-town. Know what I’m saying? Speaking about unity, right here in the community, calling old heads to action to take a stand against violence and rebuke it. While you were working and traveling from coast to coast, sometimes met with oppositions, but still so inspiring and filled with so much hope, everyone listened when you spoke.
Earnesia Dangerfield: (02:08:16)
Familiar faces became family and not just blood made them kin folk, but there’s a message in it all because all of us are beyond woke. The pinnacle for you is something we will never know. Undoubtedly, though, the seeds you’ve planted will manifest and fully grow. Only you could bring the world together, George Floyd, a life, VIP to a sold out show. My prayers, condolences and love to the family. We will forever honor George Floyd. Thank you.
Speaker 9: (02:09:25)
To my nephew, PJ, my niece Kita, and the rest of the Floyd family. There’s peace behind this. There’s love behind this. Although a storm was raising, you had no idea someone have just changed the whole world and he happened to be in your family. I have sung this song so many times at so many funerals and homegoings. This is one that really touched me right here. [ singing].
Pastor Remus Wright: (02:10:43)
My soul has been anchored. Come on, you can do better than that. My soul has been anchored. Hallelujah. Bless God. Thank you, my friend, and let me just before I … And preachers that are here. Let me thank Minister Robert Muhammad and the brothers from the Nation of Islam, which has done such a wonderful job in our security, amen, working with the Houston Police Department. We thank God for them. I want to ask all of the pastors and preachers in the congregation to stand, those of you who are pastors and preachers. Amen. Amen. We’re thankful for all of them.
Pastor Remus Wright: (02:16:19)
Listen, I know that sometimes people have their problems with preachers, but in times like these, preachers can be a major support. They’re needed, they’re needed, and we thank God for these brothers and sisters who work in the work of God. We have three preachers that are going to speak to us today. First of all, he’s an icon in this city and certainly he’s been a civil rights leader and activist for many, many, many years, I can’t wait to hear from him and the person of Reverend Bill Lawson. He’s going to speak with us. And then after him, we are a city of diversity.
Pastor Remus Wright: (02:16:53)
We are city of diversity. We are striving and endeavoring every way we can to make sure that all people are represented and that we can continue to fight the injustices that are throughout this country. And so we also have pastor Steven Wells speaking for us. He does such a wonderful job down at Midtown Houston, and we’re glad to have him with us. And finally, then we have my good friend and brother, Dr. Ralph Douglas West, pastor of the Church Without Walls, who will speak in that order. Reverend Bill Lawson, Reverend Steven Wells, and then Dr. Ralph Douglas West.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:17:26)
To Pastors Wright, Brother Remus and sister Mia. To this family who hopefully has been comforted by the many people who have come today and who have given to us a portrait of the man we only knew through the news, but who we now know, not only as a human being, but as a great human being. We’re glad to have known George Floyd. And to all of those who will come out today, and I’m personally proud that you have come, many more came, but couldn’t get in. But that many people wanted to come. I see that you have destroyed all laws of social distancing. Thanks to Pastor Remus Wright who simply said, let’s just forget that right now. We are Christians. He asked us to stay at two minutes. I don’t know that can do that, but let’s work on it. Today, I want to say that it is marvelous that this young man, he’s 46, but he’s young. That this young man has done what he has done to let us know who George Floyd was. I’m glad to know that in his last moment of breath, he called for his mother. And that means something about who he was. He came up in a family that was close and that loved each other.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:19:38)
I heard from people who knew him as a student, fellow student and athlete, who realized that he also was a team player. And finally, he was a person who knew the Lord and who believed in him and who trusted him. People have been wondering whether or not this is going to be like other movements. I came to this city in 1955, which was the year that the body of Emmett Till was found in a body of water in Mississippi. Same year that Rosa Parks refused to give up the backseat of her on the bus. And it was that year that I came to Houston.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:20:32)
Since that time, I have seen any number of struggles against racism and they have all ended up with relatively little outcome. So the question is valid. It’s a reasonable question. Is this going to be just like so many other movements, a moment of anger and rage, and then back to business as usual? You could say that because the prejudice and the bigoted are not going to change, but we can do some things to change them. And that’s what I hope we will do. First of all, we can make sure that we don’t stop the fight, that we stay with it and that we make sure that somebody knows that we are not going to stand for this to keep on going.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:21:44)
Obviously, the first thing that we have to do is to clean out the White House. That has to come closer to us than Washington. Our states and counties and cities have to have good leadership and that means that we have to go and vote. But you know, a young man from humble beginnings can change the world. How do I know that? Partly because George Floyd came from humble beginnings and now as many speakers have said, everybody on earth knows who George Floyd is. No rank or title, he was a man who came from humble beginnings, but God has done some things even through this tragedy that has let the world know about Big Floyd, Big George.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:23:23)
You know, there was a man who was humble. You could say Cuney Homes, but it was a stable in Nazareth. That man didn’t have a home and his wife was about to have a baby and since he didn’t have a home, there was no bed for her to have that baby in. But in that stable, there was a manger and he went to that manger and that means your gave forth a baby. And that baby didn’t have any title either. He lived at a time when the Roman government was making it very hard for Jews and he was murdered legally, but he was murdered. And the interesting thing is that from that death comes our churches.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:24:53)
And as we take the Lord’s supper, ever how often we do that, we remember his flesh and his blood. And how long are we going to say I can’t breathe? But now as I look at marches all over the world, protests filling up the streets. And back in the days when I used to be part of marches, all the marchers were black, but now there are white people who know the story and there are Hispanics who know the story and there are Asians who know the story. Today, there are preachers back there and there is at least one Muslim minister who is here. I brought with me a Jewish fellow. And all of the cultures, all of the races throughout the world, all of the nations throughout the world, all the continents throughout the world, they didn’t know the name of this man who was born in a stable, in a manger. And so you can raise the question. Can any good thing come out of a tragedy like this? We’ve lost a loved one. And the pain is almost unbearable. What good can come out of that? Well, out of the murder of the man on a cross has come a movement worldwide and every imam from the Muslim faith, every preacher from the Christian Church, every rabbi from the Jewish religion, all of us know the name of George Floyd.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:27:22)
And we know the name because of a death. You think something good can’t come out of this? His death did not simply start a bunch of good speeches, a bunch of tributes. Out of his death out of his death has come a movement, a worldwide movement. And that movement is not going to stop after two weeks, three weeks, a month, that movement is going to change the world. Which means that this boy born in a manger, born in a stable like Cuney Homes, born in a situation where he lived in a ghetto, lived in a hood, Third Ward, this boy is going to bring forth a demand for better government, for better policing.
Rev. Bill Lawson: (02:28:42)
He is going to bring forth a demand, a multicultural, multinational, worldwide demand for change. My hope is that we will stay behind that demand. While not everybody will be concerned about it continuing, at least the people from the hood would be concerned about its continuing. It will not end with this boy’s death. He’s 46, but I call him a boy. But that this shall continue so that this movement will transform this corrupt world. Praise God for George Floyd.
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:29:40)
Pastor Wright, Co-pastor Wright, thank you for the invitation to be here. I’m genuinely humbled to be here. Family, what a privilege to be with you today. The apostle John in his first epistle to us wrote this. There is no fear in love, but perfect has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because God first loved us. If anyone says, I love God and yet hates his brother, he is a liar. If you have not loved your brother who you have seen, you cannot love God who you have not seen. And he has given us this command to anyone who loves God must also love his brother. This is the reading of God’s word. You know, none of us wanted to be here today. You would have rather, and we would have rather that George was home and safe, but racism murdered him. Racism is the reversal of the revelation of God. Racism is not perfect love casting out fear. It is perfect fear casting out love, which means overcoming racism will require a love that is greater and stronger than fear and only Jesus offers us that love. Only living the Jesus way offers us healing and we need healing. Because you know and we know there’s nothing that any of us can say that will bring George back.
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:31:48)
So we came to say today that we grieve with you and that your grief has awakened the conscience of the nation because we’re here in God’s house and in his church, because we believe in the risen Lord Christ, we grieve in resurrection hope. A hope that promises not just a reunion someday, but a restoration this day. We grieve in restoration and resurrection hope that God is at work in our nation rending hearts and changing minds and bending the moral arc of the universe towards justice. And I hope you know that everyone would have understood if you said we don’t need to hear from any white people today.
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:32:34)
You’ve been silent long enough. You can be silent one more day. But I have to tell you, you asked the whole community to come together and look what happened. You have chosen the path of love, the path of perfect love that casts out fear. And I want you to know that that is the path not only to your own healing, it’s the path to the healing of the whole world. It is the path of partnering with God in redeeming the world, and it is a difficult path. You have been asked to carry a burden that would have crushed most people, and you have borne it with grace and courage.
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:33:20)
You’ve called those … George’s life with love. You called the president who sought to dominate to live in a peaceful world where we deliberate. You called those people who’s perfect fear casts out anything that even looks like love with a perfect love that casts out fear. And you have been a model for not just America, but for the whole world and now we must follow your good example, calling out anything that doesn’t honor George or any of the rest of us, domination, injustice, oppression, racism.
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:33:58)
Steven Kleinberg, the eminent sociologist at Rice University has taught us that Houston, Texas is the most diverse city in America. Houston, Texas is ethnically and demographically … America will be ethnically and demographically in the year … We are the experiment in America for how races can get along. But unless and until we are willing to be as brave and as truthful as you have been, nothing will change. The experiment will not yield any new data. We will simply do over and over again what we have done over and over before until as Fannie Lou Hamer said, we get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:34:48)
So it must be different this time. And I have to tell you, at my church, it is easy to not talk about racism. At my church, it is easy to dismiss as politics-
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:35:03)
At my church it is easy to dismiss as politics the economics of hundreds of years of systemic racism but not talking and not acting is the path to destruction. And we can watch that on the news every night and ask if that’s the future we want for ourselves so could I just have the privilege I’d like to say a word to white churches. We are better than we used to be but we are not as good as we ought to be and that is not good enough. Which means you have to take up the work of racial justice. Racism did not start in our lifetimes but racism can end in our lifetime. But only if you ask and I ask, what am I going to do about it?
Rev. Steven Wells: (02:35:54)
And while it is still bothering you write down what you’re going to do on a note card and take that card on the mirror you see every morning when you get up and every night before you go to bed and each night ask, was I true to the calling? And every morning asks, what can I do today to bring God’s kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven? Giana, I saw you on TV and a reporter asked you what was the best thing about your daddy? And you said, “My daddy changed the world.” And if we will do our part, you will have been a prophet. So from your mouth to God’s ear, amen.
Speaker 11: (02:36:48)
Thank you Steve and Dr. Lawson and to this wonderful family that has demonstrated what it means to be fateful and courageous. All of us in our lives begin with obscurity. We don’t know how it would end in history. No one thought on that January morning of the 15th day of 1929, that, that boy would grow up to be the liberal rater to a movement called the civil rights. No one knew in August in 1961 on the fourth day in Hawaii of all places in obscurity that the first African American president would be born. And nobody knew on October the 14th, 1973 in obscurity, Fayetteville, North Carolina, parents boldly and courageously migrating to Houston had no idea in third ward, Cuney Homes, Jack Yates that God had birthed someone that now belongs in a rightful place of history. We all began in obscurity. We don’t know where we’ll land in history.
Speaker 11: (02:38:34)
The question of theology and theodicy is where was God in all of these? God was and he is where God has always been God didn’t cause it, but God can certainly use it. Unfortunately we’ve almost turned it into cliche, but it’s Christian bent rock belief that all things work together for the good of them who love the Lord and who are call according to his purpose. And so to this family today, God is working his way and he has been where he always will be. I leave you now with these words, trials, dark on every hand. And we cannot understand all the ways that God will lead us to that blessing promised land, but he’ll guide us with his eye. It will follow him till we die and then we’ll understand it better by and by.
Speaker 11: (02:39:30)
Speaker 12: (02:49:53)
At the direction of senior pastor, pastor Remus Wright program is necessarily altered because of the time factor. We appreciate the fact that it was difficult for everyone else to stay within that time limit. Thank you, Dr. Wright For your auspicious leadership. My privilege, and my honor today, as we give honor to the family of George Floyd is to introduce today a man who needs no introduction, but deserves one. Born October 3rd, 1954, Al Sharpton. Grew up like most of us raised like most of us in church, his Sunday school teacher had no idea what she was teaching. His pastor had no idea who he was preaching to. His teachers had no idea who they were teaching, but since that time he has become a social justice activist, a civil rights leader, a talk show, host, a commentator, a leader of movements, a world changer, a freedom fighter, a preacher amongst preachers.
Speaker 12: (02:51:36)
When officer Chauvin put his knee on the neck of George Floyd, he had no idea that the man whose life he was taking would be important enough to have this preacher to preach his eulogy. He probably thought it would end quietly in some obscure funeral home with a few people, but he had no idea that presidents of nations would think and write about him. And that the preacher who had preached the service would be the greatest civil rights preaching voice of our time. And we’ve talked much about how we change things, but when God wants to change things, he brings a person to the earth. And when this preacher was birth, God knew that being moments like this, where would take someone’s voice to speak truth to power prophetically that would change the world. And I hope that when we hear this preacher, all America understands that yes, we can change policies and legislation. But if we want to change this situation, white parents have to teach their boys to be brothers to black boys.
Speaker 12: (02:53:13)
We have to teach our daughters to be sisters, whether you’re black, white, or Brown, because when George Floyd was gasping for breath saying, “I can’t breathe.” He was speaking the language of 400 years of Africans in this country. We couldn’t breathe on the slave ships, we couldn’t breathe in Jim Crow, we couldn’t breathe through segregation, we couldn’t breathe through mass incarceration, we couldn’t breathe. And there’s been a preacher on the scene for the last four decades telling us Americans, we can’t breathe in Bensonhurst. We can’t breathe when Trayvon Martin in Sanford, we can’t breathe and this preacher is here today in Houston, Texas, because George Floyd died saying, we can’t breathe. I want you to welcome to this pulpit today. The iconic preaching voice anointed preaching pleasant out of the Reverend, Dr. Al Sharpton a voice, a fighter, a lead, a freedom fighter. And because of him, guess what? One day, all of us are going to breathe better, let’s stand and receive the honorable Reverend Al Sharpton.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (02:54:47)
First to this family, the whole family that has suffered this crime. I hear people talk about what happened to George Floyd like there was something less than a crime. This was not just a tragedy, it was a crime. And this family has born this, those, and I’m going down to all of them that I’m giving. Because this is a time that we need to understand that they are going to do everything they can to delay these trials and delayed the accountability and try to wear this family down. And many that are standing and coming today and skinning and grinning in front of cameras, will not be here for the long run. We must commit to this family, all of this family, all five of his children, grandchildren, and all that until these people pay for what they did that we’re going to be there with them cause lives like George will not matter until somebody pays the cost for taking their lives.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (02:56:39)
We cannot just act like this is some new way of teaching sociology. We can’t act like this is some new lead for some of us to add social justice to our programs on Sunday morning. There is an intentional neglect to make people pay for taking our lives. If four blacks had done to one white, if four black cops had done to one white, what was done to George they wouldn’t have to teach no new lessons, they wouldn’t have to get corporations to get money. They would send them to jail. And until we know the price for black life is the same as the price for white life we’re going to keep coming back to these situations over and over again. Either the law will work or it won’t work.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (02:57:53)
So I want to give honor to the family and a commitment that we’re going to be here for the long haul. When the last TV truck is gone, we’ll still be here. I’ve gotten to know some of the family over the last few days, I’ve seen them cry in private. I’ve seen them talk. I told them I grew up in black family I know we always don’t get along. I got some cousins watching me now that better never called me. That’s what families are, but I’ve also seen them in light moments.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (02:58:42)
I’ll never get last week when the family part that was there, talked with the former president Obama on the phone and said, we’re not asking you to come because I’d take all the Secret Service stuff and all that. But we just want to thank you and your wife for calling and calling our name about brother, our uncle, doing the speeches you’ve been making. And the president made the mistake by ask him, “Well, what is it y’all want me to do? Just tell me where I could be helpful.” And [Folonist 02:59:24] said, “Well, two things. We want justice and we here at Minneapolis, can you send me some food down here?” Because they only had the finger food. Everything was closed up in Minneapolis. He said, “I ain’t on Reverend Al’s diet. I want some food.”
Reverend Al Sharpton: (02:59:44)
So we had some light moments. I want to also say, give honor to Reverend Dr. Remus Wright and Reverend Mia Wright for opening the doors of this church and putting the arms around Sabrina and her family at this hour. They know this is going to be controversial in some circles yet they opened the doors anyway, not knowing what would happen, not knowing how people would behave. And as I spoke with him on the phone and he welcomed his family, I think we should not take them for granted. And I think that they are deserving of a lot of honor. He’s a man and she’s a woman of courage we have too many Holy punks in the pulpit. Y’all do know I’m [inaudible 03:01:01] I’m going to say what I got to say. Give a hand to our pastor Remus Wright and sister Mia Wright. I also want to and I’m going to get into my eulogy so we can stay on time but I must recognize attorney Ben Crump. I called him black America’s attorney general, probably because we don’t feel we have one. Ben Crump has fought and stood for many cases and he has with him a legal team I’m sure that will be acknowledged that here brothers stewardly merit in them we should not take for granted. When black lawyers take these cases like Crump has, they are targeted by their boss associations. They are targeted by people that are envious and jealous. We need civil rights lawyers that are there for civil rights, not for civil settlements. And that’s why I give him recognition. I must also recognize several families here that came at great sacrifice, but they wanted to be here to be part of this because they understand the pain better than anyone because they’ve gone through the pain. And I think that we should recognize the mother of Trayvon Martin where you stand, the mother of Eric Garner where you stand, the sister of Botham Jean where you stand, the family of Pamela Turner right here in Houston where you stand, the father of Michael Brown from Ferguson, Missouri where you stand, the father of Ahmaud Arbery where you stand.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (03:03:42)
All of these families came to stand with this family because they know better than anyone else, the pain they will suffer from the loss that they have gone through. I also want to thank all of those that helped to make this as easy as they could for the family. Certainly we think again those indeed financial and entertainment world that immediately jumped up and said to the family that they wanted to help and make sure that they didn’t have to worry about expense. Tyler Perry and Robert Smith and champion Floyd Mayweather, and others that have come it means a lot because it shows the world the weight of this. Brother Jamie Fox is with us today, stand up Jamie. Al B Sure is in the house today. So let me get into my message, Terrell Owens everybody is sending me notes. Wants you to turn briefly to the book of Ephesians 6th chapter Ephesians 6th chapter, because I think that we need to understand what we’re dealing with here. Ephesians 6, chapter it tells the story of why I think we need to really look at-
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:06:03)
Why I think we need to really look at the situation differently, because it talks about in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Ephesians. Okay. I’m catching up with myself. It says in his letter to the Ephesians, he says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers and authorities, against the powers of the darkness, and against spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. Therefore put on the full armor of God. So when the day of evil comes, you may be able to withstand your ground.” May God add a blessing to the reading of his word.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:07:15)
We are not fighting some disconnected incidents. We are fighting an institutional systemic problem that has been allowed to permeate since we were brought to these shores. And we are fighting wickedness in high places. When you can put your knee on a man’s neck and hold it there 8 minutes and 46 seconds; that’s not even normal to a civilian, less known to a police office. Try it, when you go home to put your knee down on something and hold it there that long. You got to be full of a lot of venom, full of something that really motivates you to press down your weight that long and not give out. And to think that you are certified by the state to carry a badge and a gun, and you got all of that in you, means that we have permitted people to become officers of the law that ought to be somewhere else in society.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:08:46)
Imagine you pressing down on something eight minutes, that’s telling you I can’t breathe. That’s begging for they life, and you keep pressing. What kind of mentality is that? So how do we screen who police officers are? And how do we get to this place over and over again? They told Eric Garner, put him in a choke hold. He said, “I can’t breathe.” Those three cops walked; no prosecution. Until the law is upheld and people know they will go to jail, they gone to keep doing it, because they protected by wickedness in high places.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:09:38)
How do you prevent crime in the hood? You scare others by saying, “If you do that, you’re going to jail.” Well, are you going to scare a bad cop if the bad cops don’t go to jail? How are you going to tell them that your fate is going to be bad if you go on the other side of the line, when everybody else got away with it? Who taught these cops that they can do this to George, was those and let the cops before this, get away with this.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:10:19)
And when they have the highest level of government that excuses it. When some kids wrongly start violence, that this family don’t condone and none of us do. The president talks about bringing in the military. But he’s not said one word about 8 minutes and 46 seconds of police murder of George Floyd. Oh, he said, “The family has my sympathy,” and all of this. He didn’t give those on other situations his sympathy. He challenged China on human rights. Well, what about the human right of George Floyd?
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:11:10)
The signals that we’re sending is that if you are in law enforcement, that the law doesn’t apply to you. And I’m telling you that the law ought to especially apply to you, because you’re given special powers that others don’t have. We don’t have a badge representing the state. We don’t have a gun we’re carrying. We have not gone through training. We should expect more from you. And if you break the law, you ought to be expected to pay and even higher price, because you know better and you swore not to do that.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:11:59)
So, yeah, it’s nice that everybody wants to now study the problem. It’s nice, big corporations said we’re going to throw money to study equal justice. But if we went out here and did that to a young white kid, you wouldn’t need no study. You’d know what to do, and you know what to do now.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:12:26)
Same Bible said, “Do justice.” All his family wants is justice. Oh, it’s nice to see some people change their mind. The head of the NFL said, “Yeah, maybe we was wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest.” Well, don’t apologize, give Colin Kaepernick a job back. Don’t come with some empty apology. Take a man’s livelihood, strip a man down of his talents, and four years later when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden, you go and do a FaceTime talking about you sorry; minimizing the value of our lives. You sorry, then repaid the damage you did to the career you stood down. Because when Colin took a knee, he took it for the families in this building. And we don’t want an apology, we want him repaired. Equal justice, equal fairness. We’re not anti anybody. We are trying to stop people from being anti us. We want the law to apply equally. And you don’t need a whole lot of studying about that. Yes, we need new laws. Yes, the Congress has stepped up. The congressional Black Caucus has come. Yes, we need to close these no knock laws. Yes. We need to stop where policemen can just say based on what they thought, they can use lethal force. Yes, we need residency requirements. All of what they propose is what we need. But we have enough right now to prosecute policemen that hold somebody down eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:15:13)
`I think a lot of people are confused. I was working out, I get up and workout in the mornings. Man said to me, white fellow in the place I was working out, said, “Reverend Al, I see you on TV and you always talking about race.” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “But haven’t we come a long way?” I said, “Yeah, but you got to understand how far we have to go, and you got to understand how deep it is.” He said, “What do you mean?”
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:15:45)
I said, “About eight, nine years ago, newspaper in New York did a background on my family.” And they found out Dr. Wright, that my great grandfather was a slave in Ellenville, South Carolina. I went down there with the newspaper and other press. And we went to the graveyard, and my great grandfather was owned by the family of Strom Thurmond, the segregationist. And I went to the white church, the First Baptist church. And in the graveyard, there was the tombstone. And the whole, I’d say about a quarter of the cemetery, the tombstones, Ben Crump, was Thurmonds and Sharptons.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:16:32)
And I said, “You mean all of these?” They said, “Wait a minute, the plantation your great grandfather was about a mile away. They buried the slaves there. They only put pebbles over their graves.” So it occurred to me, that every time I write my name, sir, that is not my name. That’s the name of who owned my great grandfather. That’s how deep race is, that every time I write my name, I’m right in American history of what happened to my people. I can’t talk about what my great grandparents did. They were enslaved and we’re still being treated less than others. And until America comes to terms with what it has done and what it did, we will not be able to heal, because you are not recognizing the wound.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:17:42)
Floyd could have been anybody. But then the reaction was not anything. Because somewhere I read in the Bible that God said he would pour out his spirit among all flesh. And that’s why, when I heard them talking about, they never thought they’d see young whites, marching like they marching now. All over the world, I seen grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave masters statute over in England and put it in the river. “I pour out my spirit among all flesh.” I’ve seen whites walking past curfews saying, “Black lives matter. No justice, no peace. “I’ll pour out my spirit among flesh.” You are now lived to where you’ve sewn wickedness, and now you have to reap the wrath of those that don’t want to be wicked no more. “That, that a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:18:56)
So we come because God, in his own way, he always … One of the ministers said it, right, “God always uses unlikely people to do his will. If George Floyd had been an Ivy League school graduate, and one of these ones with a long title, we would have been accused of reacting to his prominence. If he’d been a multimillionaire, they would have said that we were reacting to his wealth. If he had been famous athlete, as he was on the trajectory to be, we’d have said, we were reacting to his fame.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:19:45)
But God took an ordinary brother from the Third Ward, from the housing projects, that nobody thought much about but those that knew him and loved him. He took the rejected stone, the stone that the builder rejected. They rejected him for jobs. They rejected him for positions. They rejected him to play certain teams. God took the rejected stone and made them the cornerstone of a movement that’s going to change the whole wide world. I’m glad he wasn’t one of these polished bushwa brothers, because we’d have still thought we was of no value. But George was just George. And now you have to understand if your father any one of us, it’s a value to all of us. Oh, if you would’ve had any idea that all of us would react, you’d of took your knee off his neck. If you had any idea that everybody from those in the Third Ward to those in Hollywood would show up in Houston and Minneapolis and in Fayetteville, North Carolina, you’d of took your knee off his neck. If you had any idea that preacher’s, white and black, was gone line up in a pandemic, when we’re told to stay inside, and we come out in March in the streets at the risk of our health, you’d of took your knee off his neck, because you thought his neck didn’t mean nothing. But God made his neck to connect his head to his body. And you have no right to put your knee on that neck.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:22:10)
Genesis two said that God formed man. And Jamie, they say he breathed breath, the breadth of life, to make him a live human being. Which means that breath comes from God. Breath is how God gives you life. Breath is not some coincidental kind of thing that happens. Breadth is a divine decision that God made. Some babies are born stillborn. God decides to blow breath in them. Breath is sanctified, breath is sacred. You don’t have the right to take God’s breath out of anybody. You can’t put breath in their body. But you don’t look at it that way because of your wickedness, principalities, darkness.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:23:26)
You’re sitting now trying to figure out how you gone stop the protest, rather than how you’re going to stop the brutality. You calling your Cabinet in, trying to figure out how it’s going to affect your vote, rather than how it’s going to affect our lives. You’re scheming on how you can spin the story, rather than you can achieve justice. Wickedness in high places. You take rubber bullets and tear gas to clear out peaceful protestors, and then take a Bible and walk in front of her church and use a church as a prop. Wickedness in high places. You ain’t been walking across that street when the church didn’t have the boards up. You weren’t holding up no Bible when Arbery was killed in Brunswick, when Taylor was killed in Louisville. Wickedness in high prices, but God got some people that’ll stand up.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:24:55)
Let me tell you this. Jesus told the story that there was a man laying by the side of the road. He’d been robbed and beat. They said one man came by, that was his same race, his fellow brother, and he kept walking. Then another man came by that was steep and well-read in the scriptures; knew every scripture, knew how to quote the book back and forward. But he only quoted the book; he never lived by the book and he kept walking. But Jesus said a third man came by and he stopped and looked at the man. He wasn’t the same race, wasn’t the same religion, but he picked the man up. And he took care of restoring the man to his rightful being. And Jesus called him the good Samaritan. The problem is, too many of you in walking by the Eric Garners, been walking by the Trayvon Martins, been walking by the Arberys, been walking by, and now we stopped for George Floyd. And I’m in Houston today, because I don’t want nobody to call me a passerby. Jamie here because he’s not a passerby. All of you are here, because we not passerbys. And we gone be back in Minneapolis when the trial start. Because you may pack the police union on one side, but the righteous is going to be on the other side of that courtroom.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:26:53)
It’s time that we reclaim the righteous in this country. “Well Reverend, we don’t know if we got the money and we got the political power.” Well, we got the vote and we got something that we had before we had the vote. We had God on our side. That’s why when they was even in slavery, they used to have church out in the slave quarters, because they understood that if they called on God, that God would answer prayer. And the same God that brought us from chattel slavery, is still on the throne. The same God that brought us from the back of the bus, is still on the throne. The same God that brought us from Jim Crow, is still on the throne. And if we are right, he’ll fight our battle. And we’ll put George’s name in history, where they say, “That’s the one that they shouldn’t have touched. That’s the neck they shouldn’t have been down on.” Because, “If my people called by my name would humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from your wicked way, then you will hear from heaven. I will heal the land.”
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:28:30)
I want to say, we have said, we gone keep marching. We gone keep protesting. August 28th, we going to Washington by the tens of thousands. We gone have a national March on the anniversary of I Have a Dream. Floyd family and other families gone lead it. But I want to say this before I leave to the Floyd family. Don’t don’t ever forget in your darkest hour, that be not dismayed, whatever be tired. God will take care of you. I’m in Wright’s church, so I can preach a little bit. Beneath his wings of love abide. God will take care of you.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:29:22)
I was like Floyd, I grew up with daddy gone. Momma had to make it with welfare checks. I used to go and shop with the food stamps. A lot of folks say that, but the way I know [inaudible 00:23:36], if you’ve been on food stamps, is I ask you what color was your food stamps? Because if you don’t know the different colors, you just fronting.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:29:46)
But I used to slip the little gray slip, so my friends would know I was on food stamps. But Momma told me something I never forgot. She say, “He may not be there when you want him, but he’s always on time. The Lord will make a way out of no way.” And I can tell you, 40 years later, he walks with me. He talks with me, he tells me that I’m his own. He’s been food, when I was hungry. He’s been water, when I was thirsty. He’s my rock, my sword and shield. My wheel in the middle of the wheel. He’s the Lily of the Valley, the bright and morning star. He woke me up this morning; started me on my way. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:31:13)
Let me say this, we got to go to the cemetery. Let me say this. I saw Michael Brown, Sr. here. And I thought about, I told him this story. 9-11 happened, Congressman Green, and we were all flustered in New York. They closed down the bridges, closed down the streets, closed the trains. I had to walk all the way to my headquarters of National Action Network.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:31:50)
When we got there, there were people everywhere. Cell phones was down and people came down here to headquarters to see if we could tell them what was happening, whether we were out of danger. And for the first time, since I was a little boy, I started preaching as Bishop said, since I was a little boy and I always had something to say. But first time in my life, I couldn’t find words to say.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:32:21)
And Jimmy, I went in my office, Jerry Anderson, I was trying to figure out, what could I say? And I thought about this old preacher told me this story. He said, “Al, I had to preach one Sunday, the early service, and I started reading this novel about 8:00 that night. And I got so into it that I couldn’t put the novel down. I looked at the clock was 10:00. I wanted to go to bed, but I couldn’t put the novel down; it was so intriguing. I kept reading it. Turned around, look again, it was 11:30. I said, Lord, I got to get some rest. I got to get up too early, but I couldn’t put it down.” He said, “I kept reading. Finally it was after midnight.” And he said that, “Al, I got to tell the truth. I decided then I would cheat. And I turned to the end of the book to find out how the story was gone end.”
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:33:20)
I want you to know on 9-11, 2001, I want the family to know, like I told Michael Brown’s family, that afternoon, I cheated. I sat in my office and I took my Bible out and I turned to the end of the book. And I know how this story is gone end. The first will be last. The last will be first. The lion and the lamb is gone lay down together, and God will take care of his children.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:33:55)
We got some difficult days ahead, but I know how the story is gone end. There gone be justice for George Floyd. There gone be justice for Eric Garner. This story won’t in like this. God will never leave us nor forsake us. I’ve been to the end of the book. Let’s fight on, let’s stand together. Let us not leave this family now that the ceremony is over. This is the beginning of the fight, it’s not the end of the fight.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:34:28)
George, I read it on the front page of the New York Times this morning. You said you wanted to touch the world. Well, God had already made you for that. But you didn’t touch it in a basketball court or football court. God had something else for you to do, because all over the world, George, they marching with your name. You’ve touched the world in South Africa, you touched the world in England. You’ve touched every one of the 50 states. Even in a pandemic, people are walking out in the streets, not even following social distancing, because you’ve touched the word.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:35:13)
And as we lay you to rest today, the movement won’t rest until we get justice. Until we have one standard of justice. Your family is going to miss you, George, but your nation is going to always remember your name, because your neck was one that represented all of us, and how you suffered, represented our suffering.
Rev. Al Sharpton: (03:35:45)
So we going to lay you near your momma now. You called for momma. We gone lay your body next to hers, but I know momma has already embraced you, George. You fought a good fight. You kept the faith. You finished your course. Go on and get your rest now. Go on and see momma now. We gone fight on. We gone fight on. We gone fight on. We gone fight on.