REFLECTIONS ON FERGUSON
Here we are once again in this nation, witnessing together the aftermath of a tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, made national because of the implications of racism. Those in the “know” understand that the insertion of racism into any scenario spirals that scenario into an abyss of emotional mayhem. Whether or not racism was a factor in the events that unfolded during Officer Darren Wilson’s encounter with Michael Brown on the afternoon of August 9th in Ferguson matters little. If the perception of racism exists, the perception alone is a threat to public peace.
For the past couple of months, I’ve sat and watched the news coverage of Ferguson. This debacle brought the same civil unrest in the black community as the trial of “white” Hispanic George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering “unarmed” “black” teen Trayvon Martin in 2012—the media’s emphasis.
Just as it did during the George Zimmerman trial, the mainstream media played a huge role in heightening the racial tension already present between law enforcement and the black community in Ferguson. The charge of racism immediately changed the event from a question, “Was police officer Darren Wilson justified in his actions?” to a conclusion, “Racist White cop murders unarmed Black teen.” From the moment race was injected, the facts surrounding the case no longer mattered. The officer was guilty in the court of public opinion no matter what the evidence suggested.
One thing is for certain, if Michael Brown was white, few of us would know who Brown of Ferguson, Missouri was. If Michael Brown was white, the question would have remained, “Was police officer Darren Wilson justified in his actions?”
The Black Community
In black communities all over this nation, countless black teens die daily at the hands of other blacks. Often times, no witnesses come forward for these crimes leaving no persons to prosecute, there is sometimes little to no neighborhood cooperation with police investigations, and there is a no snitching street code that is strictly adhered to. Blacks often turn a blind eye, harbor and abet, and in some cases glorify the “street killers” among them. There are no rallies, no marches, no Jesse, no Sharpton, no NAACP, no outrage. No “Justice for Mike Brown” or “I am Trayvon Martin” mantras, only silence.
When a black man kills another black man, there are no cries, no moral outrage, and no indignation.
Michael Brown the Martyr
This leads me to conclude that the happening in Ferguson really had nothing to do with Officer Wilson or Michael Brown at all. If it did, facts would matter, but they don’t. In this particular instance, Officer Wilson is an offense because he is a white cop, and because there seems to be a concerted effort by the media et al to push a radical agenda that will eventually lead to a race war, Wilson has been dubbed every racist White cop, and Brown –a martyr—in this war for racial justice.
After the death of Trayvon Martin, Reverend Jesse Jackson is quoted as saying, “Trayvon Martin is a martyr. . . Martyr’s have power. He represents us all . . . How do we go from a moment to a movement that creates fundamental change? If it’s a moment, we go home. If it’s a movement, we go to war. Movements are made of serious substance. … There is power in the blood of the innocent.”
The powers that be have snatched Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown from the reality and facts surrounding the lives they once lived, and christened them as martyrs for the cause. This is why black people will protest and even riot in the name of justice for Martin and Brown in cities far away, but are silent when black people are murdered in much greater numbers by the hands of their own in their own backyard. It is evident that black on black crime creates only moments, not movements.
Black Leaders Speak Out
Jesse calls for war, but like other race baiting liberal operatives with an agenda, he will suffer no injuries in this war. There is no sacrifice for him. He is shielded by political power and privilege and is paid considerably well by his political party for creating racial strife and keeping black people angry.
If Jesse was truly concerned about racial profiling, racist cops, unlawful searches, and black teens being killed by white cops, he would discourage blacks from becoming confrontational with police and encourage them to join the force. What greater way to ensure people are treated justly at the hands of police officers than by being a police officer that treats all men fairly.
As of late, random acts of violence and terror against whites are on the rise. If black so-called leaders are truly concerned about justice, why are they not condemning this evil done to others, the same evil that they claim is being done to them; this evil that only stands to substantiate racial stereotypes that black men are violent animals. These wicked acts are among the greatest tools for white supremacy groups to recruit people to their cause.
If black so-called leaders are truly concerned about justice, why not call for an end to the black on black violence with the same zeal as they do white on black violence. With over 90% of black men killed being killed by other black men, we appear hypocritical when we decry white on black violence and close our eyes to the black on black violence within the bounds of our communities.
How Do We Combat Racism?
I will never deny that racism exists. It is alive and well, and has been since near the beginning of human history. Yet, do we combat racism by inciting divisions, violence, and hate? Do we allow politicians and race baiters to profit from stirring fear and distrust among the races? Do we reckon racism as political when it is spiritual?
Those of us who know God understand that true peace will not be wrought through human effort. The Bible teaches us that nation, or races, will rise up against nation. Things will get worse. Wickedness will increase. Racial strife will intensify. But we should not lose hope. As believers, we are given a mandate to lead the charge against racism in a way that will bring people into the Kingdom of God. We hold the answers and have the moral authority to speak to the root of the problem, which is sin. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” We are to implore others on Christ’s behalf to “Be reconciled to God.” Because, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.
So I say again, racism is a spiritual matter that cannot be remedied solely through human effort. I pray that Christians everywhere would obey Christ’s command to, “love your neighbor as yourself” and teach others to do the same. If we are standing on the side of right, our conscience will lead us to fight injustice, not by promoting hate, but demonstrating love and respect for all people.
The abolitionists stood on the side of right, the Civil Rights leaders stood on the side of right, and all who stand against injustice, stand on the side of right. Even so, racism remains.
If we claim to hate racism and its destructive fruits, we would seek not only to right wrongs through human effort, but attack the “ism” problems (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) at their roots, through the ministry of reconciliation. We need to be reconciled unto God through Jesus Christ so that we can see people as God sees them. In Jesus Christ there is no partiality.
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