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8 Jun, 2020 07:29

White residents wash black priests’ feet during George Floyd vigil in US

White residents wash black priests’ feet during George Floyd vigil in US

Several white locals washed the feet of black pastors during a prayer for George Floyd in North Carolina, invoking a religious rite that sparked a flurry of divisive comments online.

The ritual, which was organized by pastors Faith and Soboma Wokoma in Cary, North Carolina, was part of a prayer walk for black Minnesota man George Floyd, who died in police custody in late May.

Protesters, which included Black Lives Matter activists, first observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to mark the length of time that a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck before he died.

In addition to the silent commemoration, widely shared photos show what appears to be a group of white police officers and other white attendees kneeling before a number of priests, washing their feet in buckets.

The feet-washing ceremony apparently invoked the biblical story of Jesus cleansing the feet of his disciples to show humility and love. However, it also touched a nerve with some observers online.

Several commenters unloaded on the participants, accusing them of engaging in self-humiliation and falling victim to “mass psychosis and brain-washing.”

Others noted that washing someone’s feet is an inherent part of religious practice in the south, and is also something that the Catholic pontiff does from time to time.

Similar actions have taken place across the US in the recent past, on a par with a growing trend of “taking a knee” to show support for the anti-racism protests going on in American cities. Across the nation, officers and National Guard soldiers were filmed kneeling in solidarity with the protesters, but some law enforcers decided to go far beyond that.

This weekend, Michael Shaw, police chief of Webster, Massachusetts, was photographed lying face down in front of a sign reading “I can’t breathe.” Many in the crowd applauded and thanked him for the courageous step; online commentators, however, described his actions as “disgraceful.”

Also on rt.com Taking a knee not enough? VIDEO shows Massachusetts police chief LYING FACE DOWN at urging of BLM protesters

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