The government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines rejoice, in solidarity, with the people of the United States of America in their popular, broad-based and peaceful resistance currently underway in their defence and advancement of liberty and justice consequent upon the killing of an African-American, George Floyd, in Minnesota, at the hands, and knees, of the Police.
At the same time, we join with all right-thinking persons, the world over, in expressing sympathy and heart-felt condolences to the immediate family and friends of George Floyd at his sudden and unnatural death. We regret, too, the incidents of violence which have given rise to damage to property and injury to some during the upsurge of popular resistance. We call on all concerned to be peaceful and exercise sensible restraint so as to avoid ignoble pursuits.
The frequency with which African-American males meet their deaths through Police violence in the USA and the veritable legal immunity accorded to the Police in a disproportionally high number of cases, have combined to push this twin occurrence beyond the boundaries of a domestic or internal matter, onto the agenda of international human rights. Friends and allies of the USA across the globe have been urging the American authorities to address efficaciously this metaphoric cancer in their society and body politic.
It is hereby reaffirmed that “Black Lives Matter”. Without this mantra being a lived reality in contemporary America, the true greatness of that remarkable country and its people stands unrealized. As a friend of America, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with its particular history, is available to render assistance and advice to our American brothers and sisters in their attempts at resolving and healing this troubling area of their civilisation’s praxis.
The government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines know, for sure, that no bombs, guns, bullets, bullying, coercion, political manipulation or such levers of state power can resolve the challenges arising from racial injustice and inequality, nor can those instruments of state facilitate the achievement of long-lasting liberty, justice, peace, and social harmony. Another, better path is possible.
So, we urge at this time of monumental challenges in our hemisphere, and globally, that all our leaders, governmental and non-governmental, embrace both the apt question posed, and the clear answer given, by the Hebrew Prophet Micah: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”
Dated the 5th day of June, 2020.
Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves
Prime Minister of
St. Vincent and the Grenadines