Posted by: rodalex87 | November 29, 2014

Another Black Man Thinking Through Ferguson

Trust in him at all times O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” Psalm 62:8, English Standard Version

Lord, I am processing my response to the Ferguson verdict and aftermath.  I feel compelled to not just sit back in passive anger but rather engage the larger issue of discrimination against black men by the justice system.  God, you care about justice and so should I.  I want to do something but don’t know what, so I begin by crying out to you.  You give wisdom and guidance.  You will show me how to respond in a way that is constructive and not destructive to my own people (i.e burning building in the predominately black part of town).  Through some initial interactions with peers, I believe there are at least four starting points: awareness, education, empathy and unified protesting.

Awareness

God, thank you for showing me through an Asian American friend that oftentimes those close to me of another race truly don’t understand the bottled up anger many black men walk with knowing they don’t get just treatment by those who are trained to ensure justice and peace for all.  May I be more vocal and engage in conversations outside of African-American circles to heighten awareness of how black men are unfortunately forced to think in the land of the free.  May more and more people break out of the safety of expressing anger only among other African-Americans and really express their anger cross-culturally in a constructive way.  I look at the gay rights movement of the past 30 years.  In the mid 80s the gay agenda was to make America AWARE of discrimination against homosexuals.  Started subtly through gay characters on TV, celebrities coming out, books and articles, etc.  Now, homosexual marriage is legal in many states.

Education

Ignorance is usually a negative, condemning word but it’s the appropriate one here.  Anyone who asks if the Michael Brown situation is an issue of race shows their ignorance of racial struggle.  Racism did not end in the 1960’s.  Racism did not end on Election Night November 2008.  Racism still exists and is alive.  There’s a need to teach the various ways racism still exists; particularly discussing the stereotypical preconceptions that cause policeman to shoot and kill black men assuming they are armed and dangerous.  I get it Darren Wilson, a black man is moving towards you aggressively.  Of course your preconceptions and fears will cause you to shoot repeatedly instead of a non-fatal alternative.

Empathy

Burning buildings is not the answer, but it clearly shows that people are hurting.  Many African Americans feel that they aren’t received what is rightfully theirs; equal rights in the justice system.  God, may there be more people that will listen to and cry with the American Americans.

Unified Protests

God, I admit I loved hearing that there were protests right in my part of the country.  Shutting down the Durham freeway, marches in the state capital where I reside and marches on Franklin Street.  I love it because it gives me hope that maybe we’ll be unified in this movement. We can’t look at these incidents as isolated if we want change.  We have to carry each other’s burdens and engage even if it doesn’t seem to affect our lives.  I do agree with my friend however that the problem will be long term unification.  Media will try to silence this issue in the next couple weeks and hope to not have to cover the story anymore.  Darren Wilson WILL live a normal life again free from death threats (see exhibit A, George Zimmerman). We could easily forget.  America rallies to make themselves feel good by helping poor people outside of the country, like Haiti.  But America isn’t traditionally the best in rallying to help the disenfranchised in their own country.  Dr King knew how to rally an entire people.  Now we argue over what it means to really be black.  We are divided based on shade of skin, education level, income, etc.  What will it take for us to join together again?  I don’t know, but I like what I’ve seen lately and it’s necessary to keep this alive and force change.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: