We’re back at it, it seems. Police shootings, riots, Black Lives Matter, repeat. Almost like clockwork, more innocent lives have been lost. For what reason? My deepest condolences to the families of the victims; I cannot imagine the pain they must be enduring. Events like this tear at the seams of our nation’s fabric. We find ourselves increasingly at odds with one another, specifically concerning racial issues. The most recent shooting in North Carolina and Oklahoma are undeniably and understandably infuriating to us all, especially to the black community.
Regarding the grassroots movement, Black Lives Matter, I will admit they are justified in their original claim: black lives do matter. Overall, they have not been treated fairly or justly, and this is simply inexcusable. Granted, as a society, we have improved greatly since the days of Martin Luther King Jr., but we have much work to do before the job is complete. However, please do not confuse my sentiments with support for the Black Lives Matter movement. While I concede that some police shootings may have been racially motivated, I reject the notion that racism was the primary motivating force behind all of them. Furthermore, some instances suggest the BLM movement is motivated not only by the desire for equality, but also for revenge. Watch this video recorded at the Charlotte riot last night and ask yourself what these males are seeking. Equality? Justice? You be the judge.
That being said, I find news such as this terribly saddening. We are witnessing murder without warrant or reason. To make matters worse, the proper repercussions simply have not been taken. Although the law is protected by those who wear badges, they should also be subjected to the same law. Yet here we are, millions of us asking the same question. As a child, I was taught to respect and honor law enforcement. Of course, you would encounter the occasional bad apple, but generally, officers held the respect of the people whom they protected and defended. Today is different. Respect has been replaced with disdain, or even malicious intent. Remember the five police officers in Dallas who were specifically targeted?
Unfortunately, we are unable to rely on the information presented to us via national and social media. Truly, a shame. The tale of racism is a popular, go-to theme. Social outlets, such as Instagram, run rampant with racially charged sentiments. Just yesterday, in fact, as I scrolled through my Instagram news feed, I discovered the following:
“Black man is killed, they tell us all the bad things he used to be. White man rapes, they tell us all the great things he could become.”
Fuel to the fire. Who is the “they” referenced here? This is worthless propaganda, yet it is successful in inciting feelings of mistrust and anger. And why shouldn’t it? The media focuses solely on the negatives without even momentarily shining the light the positives. Rarely do we see the contributions police officers make to society; seldom are examples of racial unity and harmony televised. And many of us buy it.
I obviously cannot speak to whether or not each shooting was racially motivated, but this much I know: if we persist in pointing fingers at one race or another, if we continue to accuse rather than mend, if we allow our minds to be clouded with thoughts of race rather than thoughts of humanity, we will continue in this downward spiral. We must not view one another as black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or some other version of a statistic. Our response as Americans must be to unite with one another and denounce the crimes thrust upon us. Our response as Christians must be to love our neighbors as ourselves.
So what will your response be?