bluelikejazzminds asked a question:
I have a huge concern for this nation. I am outraged, frustrated and hopeless. I don’t know if you are aware but last week, a young man, Mike Brown, was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. He was 17 years old and was about to start college this week. They accused him of stealing candy, but both witnesses and store clerks say he didn’t. Brown actually surrendered but the police shot him 8 times anyway. Unfortunately, there are also riots going on due to the outrage, hurt and sorrow. Police brutality is at all time high and it seems as if hate is a common theme towards young black and brown men of this nation. This is not the first time a young black man was gunned down unlawfully and it definitely won’t be the last. Justice for these young men (and women) have not been served, and if anything are glossed over by celebrity news or other stories to distract the nation.
So I ask you, have any of you thought about this? Do you know what is going on? As a Christian, I want to look to the church for help but it seems that there is silence on these types of issues. Around the time Trayvon Martin was killed, I went to church and nothing was said about it. Not verse, not a word.
As a leader, I ask what words would you give to the congregation; God’s people; your brothers and sisters who were/are affected by these issues? What do you say to a young black man who fears for his life whenever he sees a cop? What do you say to a young black woman whose brother was killed unlawfully by the hands police brutality?
Hey my dear friend: I must say this first of all.
A young man is dead. Not just dead, but shot until he was lifeless.
Before I’m just another ignorant blogger who goes into semantics and politics and the “spiritual lesson” for all this: let’s recognize that another member of our human race, a real living breathing person with hopes and dreams and insecurities like the rest of us, just as real as your brother or sister or parents or math teacher or pastor or coach or best friend, is permanently gone from the world.
I want to grieve about this. I don’t want to turn yet another real person into ammo for my platform or agenda, and God forgive me, I have failed at this so many times.
I want to hurt with Michael Brown’s family. I don’t need to suspect what he was “allegedly” doing, because the fact remains: a young man’s life was cut short, and for every turn of events that led up to his death, it’s still no less than a tragedy.
I know that we will not all see eye-to-eye on the external issues: but can we lay down our verbal weapons and meet each other in our grief over a deceased young man? Can we recognize we’ve lost a member of our human family? And that this keeps happening over and over?
I also agree that the rioting is sad. Some of the physical outrage is perhaps extreme. The whole thing is downright horrible. None of it can be generalized or simplified, and it’s all a bitter ugly mess.
I’m well aware that I’m just one more limited voice in a sea of angry voices, and anything said here could barely uncover the heartache at every level.
What’s more saddening is the racially charged maelstrom on social media from every side. No one speaks rationally about these things. I understand that race and violence and politics are all sensitive issues to discuss, and someone will always be offended. I’ve probably offended you already with something said here. But I’m still waiting to have a thoughtful conversation about it, that maybe there is a sane nuanced voice out there who wants to weep with me, and that maybe we could be part of the solution and not the problem. We don’t have to agree: but maybe this is less about agreement and more about our desire for peace.
Yet everyone is turning this into some kind of philosophical circus, like lives are meant to be debated. I recently posted a picture of a protesting black man in Missouri with guns pointed at him from police with riot gear, and the caption read “Don’t let anyone tell you that racism is not dead. Pray for justice.” When I say justice, I mean to set right all the ways in which we’re not meant to be. I lost quite a few followers on all my social media, including some nasty feedback, and I understand that. It’s okay if you’d like to unfollow me too. But my intention was simply to show: the fact that this picture even exists is tragic. Every part of this hurts my heart, and I’m not trying to “win” some side.
Again: A young man is dead. No one is the winner here.
The fact that a young dead black man would draw so many racist online comments in the year 2014 makes me sick to my stomach. The fact that a group of people feel the need to riot in order to express a deep inconsolable outrage is equally heartbreaking.