Hope This Helps:
I reached out to my Dad this week as I was dealing with my feelings about the persistence of racial persecution in my country. I needed to understand how to handle my fear and anger without harming someone else with my words. In my mind, I was concerned my frankness may be construed as seeking to harm someone else.
My father studies the word of God incessantly, and this is my interpretation of what he shared. Jesus Christ suffered persecution, ridicule, and death without having sinned. Jesus also displayed righteous indignation, speaking out against injustice in the temple. Yet, we who choose to follow Him believe we can do so without suffering. Suffering comes to those who stand up for justice and speak truth to power. It also naturally comes to those who believe and trust in God.
Sometimes it appears our fellow Christian brothers and sisters are unwilling to stand up for justice when it comes to white privilege. This spineless trend leads to the assumption they are unwilling to suffer, and in some ways are able to avoid suffering by avoiding the issue. However, they expect us to stand for their injustice and pain.
Come on women, let’s all work together for our injustice. Come on young people, we are all treated badly. We know it’s worse for you. But if we deal with heroin addiction, that will help your drug problems too. Yet when race is broached, they are conspicuously quiet and noticeably absent. We mostly go along and support everyone’s issues, all the time.
Yet, we are still suffering. And thought it seems some people don’t have to suffer as much as us, I know we all suffer in a variety of ways. I remembered some of the people who seemed to get away with everything, who really got away with nothing. All of us know one or two of those people.
So my Dad said, live like Jesus lived. Be righteously indignant about what is right, but do no evil, recognizing suffering is a necessary part of your life on this earth. Most of all, don’t call yourself a Christian and remain silent about injustice. It is wrong to kill people, black citizens and police officers.
And our righteous indignation is informed by historical events ingrained in our DNA. We’ve only been free Americans with the same privileges (on paper) as other Americans since August 6, 1965 (as Roland told Wendy). And when I look up my roots, they dead-end in American enslavement or an unrecognized relationship with a white person. Being raised in Baton Rouge, LA, I can tell you the racism and bigotry wasn’t eradicated by the time I went to school.
Over the past two weeks, I have seen too many black men cry and too many women buckle under the pressure of not knowing how to handle something we have been handling in varying degrees ever since we were forcibly brought here. And with the senseless deaths of law enforcement, we are afraid the important conversations about racial equity are being hijacked by those who, at best, have snapped under the pressure of change grinding slowly and inconsistently.
Hearts and minds can’t be legislated. Barack Obama cannot make it so, but we can. We must. 50 years after freeing legislation, this may just be the perfect time to address the color line in our hearts and minds.
So I’m going to speak about injustice and sin not, love those who spitefully use me, and remember how my suffering makes me more like Him. That’s all I’ve got. And I must do my part.
I asked to grow and God said, here you go. So I hope my growth helps you.