Mormon Stories Podcast-The Killing of George Floyd, the Protests, and Russell M. Nelson’s Reaction

Mormon Stories Podcast-The Killing of George Floyd, the Protests, and Russell M. Nelson’s Reaction June 5, 2020

As the Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins,  stated… racism [is] a public health emergency. Mental health research corroborates this. As a white-privileged led church… we can no longer pretend racism doesn’t exist. Nor can we pretend we don’t have a role in the ongoing racism that pervades our culture. I hope to see our white church leaders to take much stronger stances in renouncing our racist history. I hope to see our white church leaders to apologize directly and repeatedly for the racist doctrines we have incorrectly espoused and justified by no less than God himself. I hope to see our white church leaders to strike the current racist language in our scripture and manuals. I hope to see our white church leaders to be innovative and revolutionary leaders in this fight to end racism… not to lag behind.

May we, the white members of the church that directly carries Christ’s name, actively take a role in healing the wounds of people of color both within and out of our communities.

This guest post is being shared by and with the permission of  John Dehlin and Mormon  Stories PodcastOpinions shared on this post may or may not completely reflect the positions of The Mormon Therapist Blog and Natasha Helfer Parker. 

[Tuesday] afternoon I sat down with eight super-thoughtful Post-Mormons of color to discuss the unlawful killing of people of color by law enforcement officers and white citizens in the United States of America.

While these killings happen on a monthly basis in the United States, and have been occurring for centuries — three of the 2020 killings that seem to be invoking particularly strong reactions are those of:

– George Floyd (46) – Killed in May in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin, while fellow officers watched.
– Ahmaud Arbery (25) – Killed in South Georgia by Travis McMichael, while his father watched.
– Breonna Taylor – Killed in March in Louisville by narcotics detectives after they knocked down her apartment door

We are aware the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery only because they were recorded by smart phones. As summarized by actor Will Smith, “Racism isn’t getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”

These killings have led to numerous public protests throughout the United States, including this past weekend in Salt Lake City. In some instances, it has been reported that white supremacists have infiltrated some of the protests to stoke violence and disorder.

We also discussed LDS Church president Russell M. Nelson’s recent statement in reaction to the killing of George Floyd, and the corresponding protests surrounding public awareness of Floyd’s death.

Our panelists included the following:

Cecile Shellman
Spencer Nugent

Darron Smith
Jason Ball
Kimilyn Poulson
Mark Nugent
Solange Renfroe
Victoria Denise

The Killing of George Floyd, the Protests, and Russell M. Nelson’s Reaction

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with eight super-thoughtful Post-Mormons of color to discuss the unlawful killing of people of color by law enforcement officers and white citizens in the United States of America.While these killings happen on a monthly basis in the United States, and have been occurring for centuries — three of the 2020 killings that seem to be invoking particularly strong reactions are those of:- George Floyd (46) – Killed in May in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin, while fellow officers watched.- Ahmaud Arbery (25) – Killed in South Georgia by Travis McMichael, while his father watched.- Breonna Taylor – Killed in March in Louisville by narcotics detectives after they knocked down her apartment doorWe are aware the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery only because they were recorded by smart phones. As summarized by actor Will Smith, “Racism isn’t getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”These killings have led to numerous public protests throughout the United States, including this past weekend in Salt Lake City. In some instances, it has been reported that white supremacists have infiltrated some of the protests to stoke violence and disorder.We also discussed LDS Church president Russell M. Nelson’s recent statement in reaction to the killing of George Floyd, and the corresponding protests surrounding public awareness of Floyd’s death.Our panelists included the following:Cecile ShellmanSpencer NugentDarron SmithJason BallKimilyn PoulsonMark NugentSolange RenfroeVictoria Denise

Posted by Mormon Stories Podcast on Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST, CSTS can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex InfoPodcasts, is the current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.


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