On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was wrongfully murdered by Minneapolis police officers. As a direct result of his death, protests broke out across all fifty states, and eventually the globe. While Floyd’s death was the match that lit the fire, there are countless snuffed out matches that have been piling up. As we have learned from the 2017 St. Louis protests, the 2014 Ferguson protests, the 1992 LA Riots, and countless others, these #BlackLivesMatter protests are a direct response to the untreated, unaddressed pandemic of police brutality that has gone on far too long. In the midst of a movement pressing against the systemic racism ingrained into the genetic makeup of the U.S. justice system, and systems across the world, Christians have a responsibility to find our place in this seeming revolution.
I wonder what the Christian response should be for example here is the chant from the group that was in seattle city hall a couple days ago. The chant was: Who lives Matter? Black lives Matter. I would submit the answer to the call out whose lives matter is all lives matter. I certainly could not answer that question with Black lives matter. The best view I can put on it is that people just want to belong and so they aren’t thinking about what they are actually saying. People chanting and not thinking is rarely a good scenario.
Why not take up a 3 angels message sign and walk against the grain and hand out copies of the great controversy
Ellen g white explains a train and Lucifer the driver why not with the ultimate act of love ask people to disembark from the train while they can
“Black Lives Matter” is a rally cry. The one before that was “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” (which turned out to be bogus). Then we had, “What do you want - dead cops. When do you want them - now”; or, “Pigs in a blanket - fry 'em like bacon”. This is pure emotion getting out of control - egged on by political expediency.
The George Floyd video was horrific to witness, on so many levels. But, my question is - who recorded that video? Who stood around and watched it happen? Why did it happen? Are those questions not relevant?
As it turns out the killing may have been retribution rather than race. Was Floyd killed as payback for something from their past? Maybe the other police present were intimidated by the senior cop forcing his knee on Floyd’s neck. On their part was it “I just do what I’m told.” ? None of those questions matter once a crowd gets hold of a new rally cry; and the political hacks find a new opportunity for more confusion to promote.
The Selma march took place in my college days; and we were as much engrossed in the cause against injustice. Since then, we have elected a black president - twice. He had eight years to make things better for his people, as he was supported by Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice etc. all presumably working to correct injustice. What happened?
As it is now, injustice reigns all over the place. Not all black people were out on the streets looting and burning down their own neighbourhoods - but neither do all police deal unjustly with black people. We can’t afford to make such broad, sweeping statements. Yet, insanity has taken over, and somehow it seems like a good idea to get rid of cops?
So what is the Christian responsibility? Join the battle cry - or present a cooler outlook…
Knowing the obvious fruits tells me whether I will join a protest. It is usually obvious what a protest ultimately stands for and what kind of behaviors to expect at the protest. Listening to the words, phrases, and rants is a clue of what attitude to expect in the protest. I want no part of an aggressive protest.
Currently in Seattle the anarchy is obviously not a place for most Christians to purposely place themselves, for doing so could lead to physical harm at a minimum. I urge any who are considering to let their light shine in a protest to think, think, think carefully from beginning to possibilities to the end. Seattle is not a revolution, it is a stance against America by participants who have not grown up yet
In my freshman comp. class, Dr. Stafford would send back papers every day stamped, “BE CONCRETE AND SPECIFIC”.
We often speak (write) before we think. Writing is actually a way of thinking. We see muddled thinking in the way people express themselves. We tend to think in generalities, and assume the reader somehow understands what we mean. So, I ask you, how is a Trump rally anything like BLM riot - or, hasn’t CNN shown you those pictures?
Let’s take the “kneeling” thing - That started out being a protest against the American flag (and presumably, the “country for which it stands”). That has morphed into another “rally cry”; so we have public officials - the entire Democratic party,- “taking the knee” with some sort of ethnic scarf hanging around their necks, posing for the cameras. So, to be concrete and specific, those elected officials are demonstrating their disdain for the country which they were elected to serve. Instead of getting work, changing things for the better, their leader hides behind the virus sequester, giggling in front of the freezer refusing to go to work; and fix things; or could it be, she’s found another calamity to take advantage of, and use to perpetuate disorder and pain, hoping it lasts until November…
To sum up, politics is opportunistic, and it leads vulnerable people to do unimaginable things - even taking sides against their own homeland. So, I don’t see the “non-thinkers” of the Trump rally being more dangerous than the entire Democratic party kneeling ceremoniously against their own country.
Those of us who accept the teaching of Jesus obviously cannot condone violence. But we can sincerely seek to understand and acknowledge the underlying precipitants of the current crisis, and as we have opportunity, do what we can to bring about a change. Ellen White acknowledged in The Review and Herald, December 17, 1895, that, more than 30 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, “Old-time prejudice still exists.” More than a century and a half later, it obviously still does.
We cannot ignore the overt racism, such as we see more and more today (seen primarily because it can finally be documented with the now ubiquitous mobile phone). But racism exists most overwhelmingly out of sight, buried within the very structure and institutions of American society. Few Blacks will ever break free of it. In addition to social stigma, they face a myriad of legal, educational and economic barriers that most white Americans don’t even perceive. And, regrettably, this form of racism is very easy to overlook—or outright deny. I believe these words still ring true:
“Those who study the history of the Israelites should also consider the history of the slaves in America, who have suffered, who have been educated in crime, degraded, and oppressed, and left in ignorance to perish. Their physical freedom was obtained at a great loss of life, and Christians generally should have looked with compassion upon the colored race, for which God had a care. They should have done a work for them that would have uplifted them. They should have worked through the wisdom of God to educate and train them. We have been very neglectful of our colored brethren, and are not yet prepared for the coming of our Lord.” [ibid]
If we do nothing else to initiate real change, at the very least we can refuse to remain silent.
“If all, under every circumstance, would speak the truth when the truth ought to be spoken, what a different world this would be. [Ms 82, 1900]
It warms my heart to read about this courageous young woman literally walking in the footsteps of the oppressed to speak out for justice. Rather than getting caught up in the petty semantics of protest, the author challenges us of to be fair minded and do what is right.
In all my years of psychiatric practice, I still have to hear someone make the excuse of behaving badly solely because of their skin color. I have been asked to offer expert opinions on forensic cases in court and cross examined and I have never proposed to the judge that a person behaved badly because of their color. And that part of their treatment would require a full skin graft to resolve their behavioral problems or personality traits.
It always boils down to a personal choice. Never because of the color of the skin.
i’ve seen things boil down to the colour of the skin, so i know it does happen…millions of people all over the world having been marching on city streets for the past three weeks to bring an end to having things boil down to the colour of the skin…
of course there are examples of people rising to prominent positions despite the color of their skin…but why should anyone have to be exceptional just to make it…
My opinion is based on 30 years of psychiatric experience including forensic psychiatry, general psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry. I’ve dealt with the worst and the best but am aware that I may not have as much experience as you do so don’t count my opinion as gospel truth.
Choice of Parentage: teetotalers or alcoholic; H.S. dropouts or college graduates; financially secure or unemployed/underemployed; two parent or single parent
Choice of Childhood Physical Environment: middle-class suburb or inner city; well-equipped public parks or rundown basketball court; high or low crime rate
Choice of Social Environment: local role models? community character-building programs (e.g. Pathfinders, Scouts, etc.)? after school/summer job opportunities?
Choice of Educational System: strong tax base? top teaching staff? up-to-date science/technology programs? quality sports programs and facilities?
Our answers to each question determines the real choices subsequently available. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the environment of white middle-class privilege with an abundance of choices open to me as a result. Even bad choices on my part carried less severe consequences than inner-city-bound blacks will experience.
If you are in the ocean, and the boat is far, you can choose to sink or swim; but what if you have never been taught how to swim? Granted, a few might, against all odds, make it to the boat; but it would be unfair to conclude that the many who didn’t make it, drowned by choice.