Oh, my God! How long will the wicked prosper in America? It’s Thanksgiving Day and my break from reading the news should have been longer, apparently.
It has been a long time since we had ignorance regarding race in this culture. The first Black president elected, then stonewalled. Trayvon Martin. Ferguson and Michael Brown. Baltimore and the man with the broken neck. New York and the man choked by a multitude of police. Men shot in the back while running from police in Kentucky. A church bombing in the Charleston. Now, man shot 16 times in Chicago. The slow, painful period of denial, then shock, then anger, then prayers and tears. Then more prayers and tears. Riots, peaceful protests, older men 10 year old boys — it doesn’t matter. Next day, next month, next year it’s the same story. How is this possible? Can someone please explain how this is possible?
My friend Santiago has said that killing Black men was “policy” for the police and I have come to believe that he was right. Still, it’s not just the police. The city of Chicago sought to keep the truth from coming out. The judicial system in Ferguson used a rigged Grand Jury with different rules. The press doesn’t know what to say and it doesn’t seem to matter when they do. It’s not a North/South thing — Ferguson meet Chicago. It’s not a Black/White thing — the mayors of Baltimore and Chicago were and are Black, respectively. It’s not a male/female thing — again, leaders of both genders. L0cal vs. Fed? No records kept of shootings on both levels. I’s not a Urban/Rural thing. The only connection that I can find is dead Black men and police, dead Black people and White Supremacists, dead Black people at the hands of people carrying guns, after a dead boy at the hands of a Hispanic man. In the long run, all I get is “dead” and “Black”.
What did the Black community do to deserve this? What could any community do to deserve this? Let’s see… wear a hoodie, go to church and pray, steal cigars, sell un-taxed cigarettes, play with a toy gun, get pulled over. Do we shoot White folks for such things? Of course not. That would be wrong. So why would we kill Black folks for it? I don’t believe that that’s enough to have everyday be Newtown for Black Americans. There must be something wrong with our hearts, some thing wrong with our minds. Let’s call it sin — the sin of racism. We must stop. We must stop ourselves from saying racist things, we must stop ourselves from doing racist things, but more that that, we must stop ourselves from thinking racist things. We have to stop each other from saying and doing racist things. We have to stop our officials from enacting racist policies — and realtors, banks, schools, as well. We need to really believe that Black lives matter, and we need to act like it.
Why do we need to? We need to because everyone deserves life, because the Constitution acknowledges the Creator endowed us with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and “liberty and happiness” come only with life.
If that weren’t good enough, there are people like who Gerry Claytor who fed people, physically and spiritually and changed her city. People like Jeff Brown are changing many cities by bringing down the violence in them. There are ministers, and scientists, and philosophers, and nurses and teachers, and moms and dads in the Black community who the world would be lost without.
Let us repent of this sin, and let us do something different each and every day.