(I’m on vacation and was taking a break from blogging unless something big happened. Something big happened).
“Are you ******** kidding me?” That seems to be the response on Facebook of the most peaceful, loving White people I know to an event that apparently happened yesterday in Charleston, S.C. where nine people are dead at a typically-Black AME Zion church. My Black friends haven’t posted yet, so I can’t tell you what they are thinking and wouldn’t presume to try. Are they afraid? Indignant? Angry? Hopeless? Some combination? We should all find out, because, on a day like this, our brothers and sisters in humanity are suffering simply because of the color of their skin and we have not listened to them about this for quite some time in this, the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”
They have said, “We’re being persecuted” and we said they were criminals. They said “It feels like genocide” when the CIA seem to drop Crack Cocaine into Los Angeles to fund the contras or when powdered cocaine became far less punished than rock cocaine. We said, “How could you think that”? They said, “Our new Black president seems to be enduring much more than his fair share of criticism”. We said, “But we elected a Black President. How could there be racism in America?” They said, “police are killing us”. We said “no they’re not”.
Time after time, we have denied that our America could still think this way and act this way … and hate this way. But we do. Hatred about race has now grown back to days before the Civil Rights Act and we didn’t care, couldn’t believe it, had a whole network devoted to racial intolerance scream it at us for eight years and somehow believed we were above its influence.
My best guess is that this has been going on long before President Obama got elected, but because we elected him, we can now see it. Representative democracy happens when more people are represented. As more women become elected, I suspect we will confront our national sexism as well.
This blog has said so repeatedly, and I have heard back repeatedly that I’m making this up or just don’t understand. As Jeff Goldblum said in Juraissic Park, “I hate being right all the time”. I do hate being right — not because anything about me — not because I want to prove others wrong or promote myself. I hate that it’s real, too. I hate seeing what I’m seeing. I hate my friends being hurt. I hate that the Body of Christ is being hurt. I hate that America is hurting itself because somehow we got to thinking it’s “Us” vs. “Them”. It’s not. It’s “Us vs. Us”.
So all those hippie Christian tropes that we learned all those years ago still apply. The whole world is our brothers and our sisters. This whole think lies within our hearts and our minds long before it comes out in action. We need to look at ourselves and ask for forgiveness. Only love can conquer hate. Everyone has dignity and is due respect simply because they are human and created in the image of God. We need to learn to love. We need to express that love for all of our sisters and brothers ….
If we don’t want to be nauseous every night watching the news, if we don’t want the promise of America to slip away, if we don’t want to attend more and more funerals, we better start loving and stop hating. And we better do it now, in the name of all that is holy — within us and in the universe.