"At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:
I'M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.
I'M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.
I'M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I'm a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a "threat" to those who don't know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.
I'M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.
I'M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.
I'M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
I'M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I've seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.
I'M CONFUSED, because I don't know why it's so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don't know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
I'M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take "our" side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it's us against them. Sometimes I'm just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that's not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That's not right.
I'M HOPELESS, because I've lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I'm not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.
I'M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it's a beautiful thing.
I'M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I'M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that's capable of looking past the outward and seeing what's truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It's the Gospel. So, finally, I'M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope."
Here is the link to his Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/oo9szxv
I cannot 'truly' understand the perspective of a Black American. I am White, male and in my late 50's. I grew up during the civil rights movement in the 60's. I continue to try to be Godly, and respect the human value of men and women...no matter what color of skin. However, this expression of centered reasoning to have HOPE is essential. There is Good and Bad people in society, such as citizens, and those in authority. I believe what is lacking, is the respect and acceptance of authority. These police officers have a difficult job, and some intend on utilizing race issues for their own gains...such as Al Sharpton, White Supremacists and self centered SINNERS. Man is SINFUL, and by Grace...FORGIVEN. Sin is a human condition...but God LOVES us so much...that he gives us the FREEDOM to choose HIM.
You are correct in saying that there is an underlying feeling of racism in the minds/souls of sinners. It seems that their actions in situations such as Ferguson, however, give good reason as to why authorities are cautious when interacting with ANYONE who is committing crimes. These rioters are protesting injustice, but now are committing injustice upon the people and city of Ferguson.
Racism is kept alive by those that choose ignorance, and that includes minorities. Some choose to speak racism, and accuse racism at the same time. TO WHAT PURPOSE? Answer: to continue to SIN.
I RESPECT this gentleman for sharing his RETROSPECT, INTROSPECT, HOPE, ENCOURAGEMENT in such a way, as to share the Gospel, and I ENCOURAGE people of Faith to stand for righteousness, and call out those using racism for sinful purposes.
Young man, have faith, that your perspective and hope will continue to call out sinners, and share the love of Christ Jesus...
...AND THESE THREE REMAIN...FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE...AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.
I'm sick of Black people trying to tell me OJ was innocent.
The problem is this ! We've had a POTUS and an AG that for going on six long years have thrown the race card time and again. In Eric (Heinrich Himmler) Holder, he has proven beyond the shadow of doubt, that he IS one HUGE RACIST ! He was put into the Justice Dept. to cover Barry Soetoros behind not to serve the country as the top COP. These two people (Soetoro and Holder.) have put race relations back at least fifty years if not more. My friends we'll be lucky to get out of these last painful two years of this fiasco of a POTUS with out CIVIL WAR ! IMHO Barry is waiting for that Reichstag moment to declare martial law and rule as a dictator. This is a long way from over.
Very interesting piece.
I'm about to turn 69 and have seen major changes in this country. I'm sure there is still some racism in our country, but not much from my point of view. And I think when racism shows itself it is more likely to be on the part of "minorities" than caucasians. But the only place I see racial issues is on TV. Where I live people of all colors and nationalities get along just fine ( I live near White Plains, NY and taught in the Bronx for 30 years - where I also grew up ). Just in the last few years you saw the uproar over Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown but both were justifiable self defense cases with the agressor being the deceased. But the upset folks didn't care about the facts, and that is prejudice and perhaps racism. Neither case needed to happen. We have seen scores if not hundreds of "knock out game" assaults which are clearly racial attacks. And when there are thousands of black on black murders in cities we hear crickets. What is that about? Cynical politics ?
In schools we see students deliberately doing poorly in their studies and dropping out. Is that some sort of protest against the "system" or teachers who are the wrong color? Not pursuing scholastic excellence is surely shooting oneself in the foot and damaging one's own future opportunities. Same thing with behaviors that promote unwed parenting of children and dropping out of school ( isn't that a wasteful form of quitting ? ) or the two parents not raising the child together. That leads to poverty in so many cases.
But you have one thing totally right. Jesus is the answer. And the Ten Commandments. And church membership with the principles that result. That leads to doing what is right. And that usually produces the best outcome, and usually keeps one safe.
Those values were the ones instilled by me by my nanny, a black successful hard working decent woman. I remember when she used to say, I don't understand why they get mad when they call us negros, we are negros, we have to be proud of our color, we all came originally from Africa, to which she added ...stupid, inferiority complex idiots. We need more "black Americans" with this attitude.
Way to go! That is what my black American friend taught me. She said she is a black American not an African American. She didn't come from Africa so why should she claim to be one? Didn't make sense to her either. Actually, she preferred to be called American. She hated the color description. God Bless her heart, she is gone now but never forgotten.
That is such a profound writing! I wish all could see and be encouraged by your words!
Good, except........ He neglected to add this paragraph.........
I'M DISAPPOINTED, because as the 1st Black president, Obama has had many golden opportunities to do so much more to set a good example to all our young black Americans. Instead, he and the people he surrounded himself with, are obviously no better than the Brown family who were perched on top of a car encouraging the gathered mob to BURN DOWN their own community. HE will be remembered as the 1st Black President who squandered a multitude of historic moments to be championed as the greatest of all, instead he will be duly remembered as the WORST of them all.
Benjamin,You have hit the nail on the head in an incredible way! I hope and pray that you continue to spread your true words. BRAVO!