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What’s a Black Person to Do?

What’s a black person to do?

In 2016, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem, protesting police brutality against African-Americans, and he was booed and reviled. Even President Trump jumped on the dogpile, stating, “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there, maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

What’s a black person to do?

In July 2016, protesters organized by the Black Lives Matter movement peacefully marched in downtown Dallas, demanding justice for two black men shot by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. During the march, an African-American sniper opened fire on police, killing 5 and wounding 7. A white chorus immediately criticized the BLM, including Texas State Representative Bill Zedler, who remarked, “Clearly the rhetoric of Black Lives Matters encouraged the sniper that shot Dallas police officers.” The day after the shooter opened fire, radio show host Rush Limbaugh called BLM  “a terrorist group committing hate crimes.” (The sniper was not part of BLM and their leaders called for an end to violence, not escalation). 

What’s a black person to do?

Now a white Minneapolis cop casually kneels on George Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, while a handcuffed Floyd complains that he can’t breathe. Floyd later dies, and fiery protests erupt from Los Angeles to Atlanta. After a recent night of violence, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz  said in a news conference, “Last night (was) a mockery of pretending this is about George Floyd’s death or inequities.”

Just a day before, I saw a Facebook post pop up that blamed the entire city of Minneapolis for the violence.  The post read in part, “you wasted the perfect platform and opportunity to unite everyone together and coordinate a movement that would’ve gone down in the history books…you ruined it.”  Ironically, this post came right on the heels of a massive peaceful protest on I-35, organized by former NBA player Royce White. I haven’t seen any posts on my feed praising his actions. There’s a big group out there that howls about occasional looting done by “thugs” (which seems to be a code word for “blacks”) without raising a peep about the systemic violence inflicted upon African-Americans.

What’s a black person to do?

Most of us who are white would never admit to overt racism, but I have to wonder if latent prejudice hides in the dark corners of our souls. Some, I fear, think black people should just keep quiet and never rock the white privilege boat.

And let me add a word to my fellow believers: we need to be the leaders in this fight for equality. Christianity is not about going to church to get a spiritual booster shot, but allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us to establish Kingdom love, justice and mercy for all.  The church should challenge the  spiritual forces of darkness, not placidly wallow in religious sentimentality.  Hear the words of the prophet Amos: “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!” (Amos 5:2)

I’ll be really honest: I once cast a blind eye to all of this. I thought all minorities needed to do was obey the law and they wouldn’t get into trouble. In more and more tragic instances, this is not the case. God’s children are being murdered. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s downright evil.

What’s a white person to do?

Comments(2)

  1. Reply
    Jill Van Wormer says

    Just read this Mark. You are absolutely right. Christians should be at the forefront of insisting on justice and equality. We need to demonstrate Christ’s love by speaking out against the mistreatment Blacks and other minorities endure.

    • Reply
      Mark Winter - One Man Show Ministries says

      Thanks for reading, Jill. Yes, the church must speak loud and clear on this issue.