Two Hands: One Black, One White

2020-07-11 Two Hands
On one hand, someone once said, “If everyone woke up at 6:00am and found we were all the same color, the same religion, and the same nationality, by noon we would have found something to incite our prejudices.”  Prejudice, the ignorant, unreasonable, thoughtless and uninformed formation of an unfavorable view of someone before that person has done anything to warrant such a low opinion, is as constant as the sun.

On the other hand, the manipulation of perceived prejudice to gain personal advantage over someone else is just as constant, and often constitutes a “reverse prejudice” against innocents who differ only in that they resemble those who have expressed prejudice.

On these issues I see two conflicting perspectives, both of which hold some truth.  The difficulty will be in balancing these, especially in a public forum where emotions often can run high and thoughtful dialog can become difficult.  Politicians, police officers, city council members, or anyone publicly addressing racial conflicts must be at the top of their game for any such confrontations or presentations.  It is not enough to spout maxims for the media nor to post tweets or clips on social platforms.  We need serious and thoughtful dialog whenever it will be allowed.

On the one side is the obvious injustice too often suffered by people of color, such as Ahmaud Arbery, Travis Miller and George Floyd experienced.

Anecdotally, a strong young black man who often serves as a day-nurse for a handicapped neighbor was sitting in his car in front of my home.  He had arrived 45 minutes early and was dozing in his very nice new Toyota at 8:15am.  Someone in my neighborhood called the police!!  When the officers kindly knocked on his window and woke him up, he was as professional as he always is and explained clearly his reason for being there.  He even showed them his nurse’s id and driver’s license, a courtesy on his part not required by law.  I have to wonder if an unknown white guy had been dozing in the car, would the police have been called, or might the neighbor have knocked on the window to see if he was all right?

speaks of the racism she encountered (and overcame) growing up in the South.  Just Mercy is an excellent movie portrayal of the difficulty in minorities getting justice as recently as the 1990’s.  And of course, the more recent crimes against blacks in Alabama, Kentucky, and Minnesota simply aggravate a perception of white carelessness.

However, on the other side the BLM “movement” lacks validity based on its origins in Marxist philosophy and socialist intentions (https://thefederalist.com/2016/09/28/black-lives-matter-bringing-back-traditional-marxism/).  While it is true that black lives matter, why does the movement not address black-on-black crime that accounts for many more deaths than white-on-black violence?  Why is there no mention of one of the greatest civil rights leaders  in history in any of the speeches by BLM speakers?

“You can’t blame [these crimes] on a police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform.  This is about people carrying weapons who shot up a car with an eight-year-old baby in the car.  We’ve got to stop this.  We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force.  We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks.  You can’t blame that on Atlanta’s Police Department.” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, July 6, 2020.

A Facebook post that I copied for a guest blog (June 16, 2020) details a black police officer’s lament, “I realized that most in the African-American community refuse to look at solving the bigger problem that I see and deal with every day, which is black-on-black crime taking hundreds of innocent black lives each year, and instead focus on the nine questionable deaths of black men, where some were in the act of committing crimes.”

 

, along with Lexington Kentucky’s Police Chief Weathers, as well as men like Travis Miller, stand as heroes in my book.  We have had a black president and blacks have access to opportunity more than at any point in our history.  Black men and women have ably competed for seats of power in CEO positions, as governors, mayors; in almost every area of authority.  We must not let “white guilt” for crimes committed by ancestors excuse illegal and unjust actions that hurt black and white communities, nor allow “victim mentality” to rule our black communities.  The issue must not be devolved into demanding equal outcomes.

Furthermore what separates us in skin color is so insignificant, one source put it at 0.01 % of our DNA!  It is simply that more or less melanin is most easily identifiable to the ignorant who insist on seeing us as “different races” instead of recognizing we are all the human race with insignificant differences in melanin.  As Vodde Baucham, a black minister at a predominantly white church says, “We are all actually the same color . . . from our melanin; we’re just different shades of the same color.  Just because you don’t have as much melanin as I do, don’t you DARE think God does not love you as much as he loves me, because He gave me more!”

2020-07-11 Mother to Son

In Mother to Son Jasmine Holmes writes poignantly about “the talk” black mothers must have with their sons, not about the birds and bees like white moms, but about how to act when in driving downtown or across country and the additional dangers he will face just for having more melanin in his skin.  She offers us a window to see what black boys face as they grow into men in America. By giving voice to the perspectives of their mothers, Holmes offers Christ-followers a way forward toward racial unity and understanding.

She explains how one of the most difficult challenges faced by black Christian mothers is helping these children strike the right balance between their blackness and their Christianity.  She makes us wonder if white Christians feel this same conflict?  Do white mothers instruct their children to subject their cultural whiteness to Christianity?

She admits that it has been hard to drive this point home with a black son.  She stresses he must reject media that might be culturally affirmed but violates faith values.  Bitterness, resentment, and hostility — though culturally justified — cannot be embraced by young disciples of Christ, and that is true no matter how much or little melanin you have, whether your hand is black or white.

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