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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
George Floyd's Funeral Service In Houston. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired June 9, 2020 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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, anybody that's been lost.
Fifty states. Fifty states are protesting at the same time. This man changed the world. He changed the world for the better.
I personally want to thank George Floyd for his sacrifice so that my kids can be all right later on. I appreciate -- I appreciate the sacrifice, my brother. I genuinely do.
Sorry. I'm not here to talk. All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless.
ARNESIA (ph) DANGERFIELD, PAYS RESPECTS TO GEORGE FLOYD: Good afternoon. My name is Arnesia (ph) Dangerfield.
I'm 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. And 3260 Trasilo (ph) is where it all began.
DANGERFIELD: 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 the ball helped to create your vision and infiltrate a plan.
And now beyond the streets of Third Ward, your legacy will stand.
DANGERFIELD: 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" stature 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?
DANGERFIELD: Speaking about unity, right here in the community, calling all 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 opposition, but still so inspiring and filled with so much hope.
Everyone listened when you spoke. Familiar faces became family and not just blood made them kinfolk.
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 planted will manifest and fully grow.
Only you could bring the world together, George Floyd. A life, a VIP to a sold-out show.
My prayers, condolences and love to the family. We will forever honor George Floyd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To my nephew, P.J., my niece, Kia, and the rest of the Floyd family, there's peace behind this. There's love behind this. A storm was raising. You had no idea. Someone has 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 homecomings. This is one that really touched me right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Come on. You can do better than that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My soul has been anchored. Alleluia.
REMUS WRIGHT, PASTOR, FOUNTAIN OF PRAISE CHURCH: Thank you, my friend.
Let me, just before I introduce all the pastors and preachers that are here, let me thank Minister Robert Mohammed and the brothers, from the Nation of Islam, that did such a wonderful job in our security -
WRIGHT: 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.
WRIGHT: Amen. Amen. We're thankful for all of them.
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. 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 is an icon in the city and certainly he has been a civil rights leader and activist for many, many, many years. I can't wait to hear from him, in the person of Reverend Bill Lawson. He will speak to us.
After him -- we are a city of diversity. We are a city of diversity. We are striving and endeavored everywhere we can to make sure 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, we have my good friend and brother, Dr. Ralph W. Douglas, West, pastor of the Church Without Walls, who will speak.
In that order, Reverend Bill Lawson, Steven Wells and Dr. Ralph Douglas West.
REV. BILL LAWSON, RETIRED PASTOR & CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: To Pastor Wright, 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 those who have come out today, 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.
LAWSON: Thanks to Pastor Remus Wright, who said let's just forget that. Right now, we are Christians.
LAWSON: He asked us to stay at two minutes. I don't know that we 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. I heard from people who knew him as a student, fellow student, an 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 on the bus. And it was that year that I came to Houston.
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.
Obviously, the first thing that we have to do is to clean out the White House.
LAWSON: 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.
LAWSON: 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. He was a man of 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. You know there was a man who was humble. Came from humble beginnings. You could say Cunei Homes (ph).
But there was a stable in Nazareth. And 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 manger 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, and as we take the Lord's Supper, however 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 marches were black. But now there are white people who know the story and the Hispanics who know the stories and the Asians who know the story.
LAWSON: Today, there are preachers back there and there's at least one Muslim minister who is here. I brought with me a Jewish fellow.
LAWSON: And all cultures, all of the races, throughout the world, all of the nations throughout the world, all the continents throughout the world, they know the name of this man who was born in a stable, in a manger.
And so you could 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, as the murder of the man on the cross has come a movement worldwide. And every imam from the Muslim faith and every rabbi from the Jewish religion, all of us know the name of George Floyd. 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 has come a movement. A worldwide movement.
LAWSON: 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 Cunei Homes (ph), born in a situation where he lived in a ghetto. Lived in the hood, Third ward.
This boy is going to bring forth a demand for better government, for better policing. He is going to bring forth a demand, a multi- cultural, multi-national, worldwide demand for change. My hope is that we will stay behind that demand.
And while not everybody will be concerned about it continuing, at least the people from the hood will be concerned its continuing.
LAWSON: 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.
PASTOR STEVEN WELLS, SOUTH MAIN BAPTIST CHURCH: Pastor Wright, thank you for the invitation to be here. I'm humbled to be here.
Family, what a privilege to be with you today.
The apostle John wrote this, there's no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love. Because God first loved us. If anybody says, I love God, and yet hates his brother, he is a liar.
WELLS: Because if you have not loved your brother who you have seen, you cannot love God, who you have not seen.
WELLS: 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. And 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 could say that will bring George back.
So we came to say today that we grieve with you. And that your grief has awakened the conscience of the nation.