Seriously people it is time for things to change!
Is this really how you want to memorialize the tragic death of George Floyd? As of this morning (Sunday May 31, 2020) there are reportedly 111 major cities that have experienced riots, looting and firebombing. No I did not say protesting! I said rioting, looting and firebombing. People block the street and throw rocks at a police car so the driver plows through the group of people blocking his path. Two wrongs never equal one right. People are frustrated and angry. In their anger they loot and burn down businesses which are owned by minorities who have spent a lifetime building that business. Seriously people!!
Mr. George Floyd was needlessly killed while in handcuffs during a routine police call in Minneapolis for allegedly passing a bogus $20. He was unarmed and in police custody when several arresting officers held him down. One officer had Floyd pinned at the neck and ignored please that he could not breath. Officer Derek Chavin has since then been arrested and the other officers involved have been fired. There may be further charges filed against the officers as the investigation continues.
Injustice, racial tensions, bigotry, hypocrisy, profiling, and other instances of mans’ inhumanity to man have been and will likely be a part of our world as long as we walk this earth. That does not mean there can not be a change. But change can only come when someone is willing to act rather than react!
This world is seeing an unprecedented event because of the cover-19 pandemic. People have died. Resources are strained. Stress levels are high and patience is wearing thin everywhere. The straw that broke the camels back during this time is yet another senseless murder of a black man. Black Lives Matter is an organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities. BLM seeks to use resources already in place to speak out, stand up and shine a light on the racial imbalances that occurs far too often. This is one of the paths to change. The path to change can not be found in the ashes of burnt out buildings.
The rallying cry of “No Justice No Peace” isn’t a call for change but rather a threat of violence. Holding an entire city hostage to destruction in order to bring about a desired result is nothing short of kidnapping and terrorism. Likewise walking out of a looted Walmart with a shopping cart full of items will not bring about change. If anything it will fuel the fire of unrest as it exemplifies the mob mentality of opportunistic thugs.
Confusion, disillusion, fear and hopelessness are the cordwood foundations to this fire. The deluded “right” who feel they need to treat other people with disregard and disdain are just as wrong as those who set fire to a police car. Fear and hopelessness that exists in communities of color is a type of heart diseases. When a person has nothing to loose they can do anything. Being backed into a corner by the confusion and despair of poverty, inequality and violence will make a person lash out without restraint.
I recall the Rodney King riots in Los Angles in 1992. Rodney King led police on a high speed chase. When they eventually caught up to him they arrested the other two occupants of the vehicle and proceeded to brutally beat, tase, stomp on and kick Mr. King. In spite of a video tape of the event the officers were acquitted. What followed was days of rioting and unrest that left 63 people dead and 2,383 injured, 12,000 arrested and $1 Billion in property damage. What I recall most (other then the sight of the beating of Mr. King) was the beating of the truck driver (Reginald Denny) who was dragged from his cab at a stop light and beaten by and angry mob. Both of these events are seared into my mind and I feel both are equally horrific and senseless.
Los Angeles 1992.
Miami? Philadelphia? New York?
Your Town? Your Neighborhood?
When and where will it stop?
Mr. Rodney King asked the question – “Can’t we all just get along?” The resounding answer over these years has been a loud “NO!” apparently. But we must get along. Change must come.
Change Must Come. Change Can Come. Change will come when we look at ourselves in the mirror and look at others through the eyes of God. Jesus told us that we should love God with all our heart and LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS as we love ourselves.
LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS WE LOVE OURSELVES!
There is the key. I believe that many biases and bigotry and violence begins with of the the insecurity of the heart. Whether that insecurity leads to egotistical overcompensation and bullying or if it leads to violent anger against authority and property under the cover of darkness within a mob. It’s a matter of the heart.
Jesus said that it is what comes out of the heart that defiles a man. So we need to guard our hearts against hatred, bigotry, anger that leads to violence. We are told that out the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks so listen to your words and see what is in your heart. If your words are filled with hatred then your heart needs change. That is the only way that lasting change can and will come.
And Change must come.