There’s a lot going on in my state, the US, and the world right now, and there’s a lot of conflict. There’s Covid and whether it’s real, if things should be closed or reopened, if masks are really necessary, police brutality, support for police, systemic racism, black lives matter, all lives matter, blue lives matter, biscuits vs. cornbread vs. yeast rolls vs. split top rolls, democraps vs repugnicans… Conflict is nothing new. Even in good times, we can come up with something to fight about.
If you’re not aware of the situation surrounding the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, welcome back from your extended coma. The video of this black man’s life being slowly snuffed out by the knee of a police officer isn’t really debatable. Unfortunately, it was also more than just an isolated regrettable incident. Statistics vary, but black men die at the hands of police at a significantly higher rate than other demographic groups. They are also incarcerated at a higher rate, are paid less, have less access to healthcare, have lower rates of higher education, and are victims of a spate of other disparities. There are systemic issues that have to be addressed to ensure that all men are created equal.
Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, the hashtag #blacklivesmatter has been a rallying cry of people, black and white, to bring attention to racism in America. It has since been trending worldwide.
In response to the black lives matter movement, there have been counter movements of all lives matter or blue lives matter as well as some others. It’s been said before, and I’ll reiterate that black lives matter is not intended to diminish or insinuate that other lives don’t matter. It’s saying that black lives matter too. It’s a plea for a black kid walking through a neighborhood to be treated the same as a white kid, to not have to worry if someone is going to call the cops because they’re walking while black, that they can wear a hoodie in public, that they can get pulled over for speeding and not have their car searched with no probable cause other than they’re black or that they won’t end up arrested or killed. That’s what I’m hearing their reality is.
Those are things that I’ve never been scared of. It’s never crossed my mind that I’d be perceived like that, probably because I never have been to my knowledge.
There’s lots of bad stuff going on in the world. There are lots of good cops. There’s police brutality against white people. We are all children of God, and all our lives matter. But…
Right now, it’s not about all lives matter or police lives matter or whatever. Right now, it’s about racism and the injustices of black people in our country. Right now, their voices need to be heard. Right now, all lives matter says that you don’t care about their cries for justice. Right now, it’s the time to shut up and listen. Right now, it’s the time for some self-examination, time to think about our attitudes and actions, how they’re perceived and what exactly our motivations and intentions are. It’s the time for the mob of Christians to show some of God’s love that we always talk about.
All that other stuff that people are using to diffuse or refute the current groundswell of change welling up around us may or may not have its time to be brought to the forefront, but now isn’t it.