Tag Archives: protest

5 Thoughts about Charlottesville

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History was made this weekend. Our nation’s under belly has again been exposed. America is indeed a melting pot but its got some serious leaks that if left unaddressed will lead to flooding and destruction.

  1. White Supremacy as well as any view that holds one ethnicity as superior over others is a demonic ideology that should be justly denounced by all people especially Christians.

2. Our country is being driven by extremists and people stuck in their ideological caves who can’t bear listening or trying to understand the beliefs or positions of others. Our culture loves screaming. Whether its in sports entertainment or politics, civil conversation and dialogue has been tossed out the door.  We need civility. We need a national conversation on race, and maybe a national review of history because its clear that many people want to revisit times when the church and government stood quiet in the midst of state sponsored and condoned terrorism. Our laws grant the right to protest, and to be able to express our beliefs as long as we do it peacefully. The merits of those beliefs are what need to be laid plain in public debate.  The ideology that  justified the extermination of the original natives of the land,  one that drove government policy to place Japanese in externment camps,  hang blacks, and lock them up for not having identification is akin to the ideology that is animating these protests. It is one that views all other races as subordinate to the White Race. It is abysmal. Let’s not get it twisted, the protests were not just about protesting the removal of a historical monument, but the rise of the New White Supremacists is a response to the growing minority population and a reaction to the charges of being called racist for wanting to hold on to the memories of a White America.

3. For our nation to thrive we must focus on the things that unite us without ignoring the areas where we are different. Our politics are more polarized then ever. We have gotten to the point where supporters of the other political party are considered our enemies. I have read comments suggesting they be hung, executed and or deported. This is ridiculous. We hate our neighbors next door, we are distrustful of anyone that doesn’t look, speak, or dress like us. We listen to our own media channels, and worse call anything that we doesn’t agree with our position, “fake news”. Its so easy to control you if you cannot even look or listen to other outlets. We have to use critical thinking. Remember the source and the character of the person you are listening to. Scripture points out that you will find wisdom in the multitude of council. If you cannot trust the media, then all you have is propaganda. If we have propaganda, then we no longer have an informed electorate and the basis of our democracy is dead. We are being controlled and manipulated by much larger forces, who are looking for more power and control of our government, our lives and our mind. The Devil is having a field day with all this hate. If you are getting to the point where you hate anyone who does not look like you, then you have lost.  That is what White Supremacy is about and on the other hand there are elements of other ethnic or sexual superiority on the other end of the spectrum. For Christians we are taught to love our enemies and to pray for those who despitefully use us. How can we be christians when we hate our brothers who are of a different political party. How can we be christians when we are quick to break up families of people with different skin tones. How can we be christians when we are scared of muslims? I’m not even talking about the radical ones in the middle east, but any one with a a burqua or hoody. This is crazy.

4. Scriptures call us to speak out against sin.

Cry aloud; do not hold back;
    lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek me daily
    and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
    and did not forsake the judgment of their God 

10and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.

As believers we have to condemn Racism, in all of its forms. We cannot give a platform to bigotry. However the gates of hell have started to open up and if believers, especially White evangelicals stay silent, we will see it sweep through the populace, even in the church.

5. Finally we must continue to pray.  The American Church is being tested. What will we stand for? We cannot give in whole heartedly to any political side, for the kingdom of God is much grander and will not be supplanted by a political ideology. We have a gospel to proclaim, and not just one that saves us from individual sins, but against crooked systems.

29“The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. 30I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 

The judgment of God is near, and we as the church need to intercede for our country, for our leaders, for our elected officials and for our brethren. We must stand against corruption, bribery, systematic oppression and for the poor, the needy and the immigrant that is passing through. My brothers, let us pray, for God is in the midst of separating the wheat from the chaff. There are dark forces that have arisen from the shadows, that will not return except through love, prayer and condemnation.

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Explaining Ferguson Rage : 5 reasons to be mad, its not just about Ferguson

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I remember when the Mike Brown shooting was first leaked. I shook my head as what seemed like another unjustified killing of a young black man. I remember talking and reading comments about the case on an online forum and agreeing with one of the other commenters that the police officer would not get indicted not because a lack of evidence, but because history has a way of repeating itself.

There are so many things that bother and grate me about the Ferguson case, but ironically one of the biggest of these is the lack of understanding by those outside the black community. All it takes is to look at a Yahoo message board and you will see tons of ignorant racist statements, that make you wonder if we have made progress at all in terms of race relations. It is obvious that there is a big disconnect, largely due to the different experiences between the different communities.

African Americans have had to deal with the lack of justice in our communities for over 300 years. We cannot and do not necessarily see the justice system in the same light as our white counterparts. For blacks, Ferguson is not just an isolated incident but another case of a legacy of blacks being killed with impunity.

So for those of you who are struggling to understand black outrage, I want to give you five reasons for rage.

1.From the 1600’s-1800’s Black slaves were killed with impunity by white slave owners.

Because blacks were seen as property, they were not even afforded due process of law. Millions of blacks were killed, murdered and raped on the way to this country or in the country without any legal consequences.

2. After slaves were emancipated in the early 1800’s  blacks were often lynched, hung (strange fruit),  beat, and killed by white cops, sometimes by white vigilantes without any political or legal repercussions.

3.We are not even 50 years from the civil rights era, so the photos and videos of police beating innocent black protesters, having ravenous dogs unleashed on them, along with imprisonment on trumped up charges are fresh in our minds

4. Many blacks have a huge distrust of police and law enforcement agencies such as the CIA  that seemed to turn a blind eye to the incoming flux of drugs from Latin America that flooded inner cities in the 70’s and 80’s. 

Some interesting facts about drugs and incarceration taken from naacp.org

  • About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug
  • 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
  • African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
  • African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months).
  • Crime/drug arrest rates: African Americans represent 12% of monthly drug users, but comprise 32% of persons arrested for drug possession
  • In 2002, blacks constituted more than 80% of the people sentenced under the federal crack cocaine laws and served substantially more time in prison for drug offenses than did whites, despite that fact that more than 2/3 of crack cocaine users in the U.S. are white or Hispanic

5. Along with the discrepancies in incarceration there are scores of incidents of black men being unnecessarily shot or beaten:

Rodney King, Oscar Grant, Kendrec Mcdade, Timothy Russell, Amadou Diallo, Aaron Campbell, Trayvon Martin, and of course the latest Mike Brown. In many of these cases the assaulter got off with a lax penalty or none at all. In the Ferguson case there were so many things that were mishandled or done backwards that it just breeds distrust.

Besides these, many of us have personal experiences, myself included, of being pulled over, profiled, hassled, yelled at , talked down to simply for being black.

When you have multiple generations of family, friends, neighbors, strangers who have witnessed, experienced, and suffered harassment, and violence from the justice system, it changes the way you see the system. We are not making these things up. We have lived and will continue to live this reality out. The system was not made for us. We were an afterthought, that only came through the blood, sweat, tears and prayers of forerunners who fought for a better future. These forerunners protested for change. They cried out for justice. They marched, they organized, voted, fought, wept, were beaten, and were killed so that their children would not have to face the same injustices.  So when we see young, though not always innocent life taken, it makes us question the future of our sons, daughters and grandchildren.

Cover ups are not something new for us. Whereas some groups may take the word of officers and law enforcement officials at face value, we have learned that the face in front of the television is not always the same when the cameras and lights are off. There are signs, scents, faces, that are all too familiar. Our grandfathers and great grandmothers warned us about them, in videos, pictures, poems and head stones.

So we have a right to speak out, to march, to cry, to be angry to mistrust. Do not deprive me of my right to respond and react to cry and to scream, as long as I do not harm others or their property. There will always be knuckleheads, rabblerousers, who will take advantage and cause chaos, but do not condemn the whole for the actions of a few. If Abel’s blood cried out to God, be assured that there are rivers of blood that swamp inner city streets and rural dusty roads that call out for justice in a mighty chorus.

Yes, the black community has a lot to work on, but do not let that be your only response in times of anger and mourning.To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ pray for our country, for our police, for our courts and your black brothers and sisters. Pray that justice be served. Weep with those that weep, and mourn with those who mourn. Listen to the cries of your brother mourning his child.  Whether you agree or disagree with the Ferguson decision at least try to understand. I close with a scripture and a prayer.

Far be it from you to do such a thing–to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

May the Judge of the Earth do right not only here but in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and across the globe.

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