WARNING: This conversation might cause uncomfortable feelings, but we invite you to give us feedback. We want to listen. We want to understand.
Please know it is our desire to not only hear you but to listen with third-level listening to the things in your heart. If you didn’t think we care – we do.
God’s justice recognizes people’s rights – it is truthful – impartial – proportional – and it’s direct.
Obviously, George Floyd was not the first to be deprived of his God-given right to life.
When the names of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Breona Taylor – Atatiana Jefferson – Bolton Jean – Tony Timpa – Justine Daman are mentioned, not to mention the others, we all hurt. We think of their families.
We scratch our heads and wonder how this happens.
We also ask ourselves how big of a problem is this?
Is police brutality pervasive – is it everywhere?
Is police brutality racially motivated?
Is it true that African Americans are being hunted in this country? And if it is – shouldn’t we want to know what is happening?
To answer these questions, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable.
It would be easy for me to leave the narrative as it is…I could easily just watch this play out and remain silent, but there is a nerve inside of me that hates injustice.
I want to stand for justice when it takes a life – and I want to stand for it when it attempts to take the lives of many through a pandemic of fear intended to immobilize us.
We have every right to get angry and protest with our voices, but the question we have to ask is this: Are African Americans being killed disproportionately by white officers? As uncomfortable as this topic is right now, let’s stand together by looking at last year’s data from the Washington Post database on police shootings:
In 2019, 1004 people were shot and killed by police– this reporting does not include how police have killed other people either white or blacks in other ways… or who have been recipients of non-fatal disproportionate force? That is a topic to be discussed as well at a later time. Our topic today is systemic racism leading to excessive killings of African Americans by police departments across America.
Of 1004 killed by police in 2019,
370 of these were white
235 of these were black – (the remainder related to other race categories)
41 victims were unarmed – which is 4%
So, 96% of these numbers were based on someone wielding a weapon
Of those who were unarmed, we don’t know what these interactions were like – we don’t know what circumstances led to such force being used – we can’t assume that they were innocently taken out by racist officers – nor can we assume the ones that were armed were armed to protect themselves. Each case is uniquely different and cannot be treated equally.
Of the 41% of unarmed individuals who were killed by police
19 were white and 9 were African American
So, 1% of these police killings consisted of unarmed African Americans (1 female, 2 males).
According to the United States Justice Department report for 2015, police had interactions with 53.5 million people over the age of 16. I wonder what the 2020 report looks like to date.
Friends, if every murder matters, and every injustice matters, I think we have an obligation to find out what is happening. Is there truly evidence that white supremacists and white officers are gunning down unarmed African Americans on a daily basis?
There was a time in history where that was true, and it’s a shame.
Does it mean that one bad cop or cops mean that all cops are bad – I think we as a society have to challenge that assumption for our own safety as a whole. Police reform may be necessary in various departments. I’m sure they desire safety as well. Their jobs are tough. They too have families.
As Pastor Carl shared this weekend:
- America denied equality for all blacks in the past and that, my friends, is very evil, but I also believe it also damaging to say today that America is still currently denying equality for ALL blacks.
Americans fought a war on behalf of those enslaved… with 655,000 individuals dying during the Civil War in hopes of correcting this horrendous sin.
Our history shows how the savage evil of slavery ended, and we then as a society we moved on to deal with the lingering mindsets of discrimination.
- In 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination but we understand it still lingers in the hearts of some.
And the enemy himself is trying to divide us once again, but we can’t forget that the same flag that allowed slavery and discrimination to prevail is the same flag that fought against this evil and sanctioned freedom to prevail for all in the US.
Man’s laws cannot fully legislate the imprint of sin in the hearts of man – they are not enough to bring injustice to a screeching halt.
ONLY GOD’S LAWS IN THE HEARTS OF MEN CAN OFFER US THAT.
THE ONLY WAY WE REMAIN ONE NATION UNDER GOD…with LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL is for us to accept the invitation to bow our knee to the cross of Christ AND REMEMBER THAT divine blood was already spilled for the pain in our hearts.
The next war can only be won on our knees in prayer.
LET’S PRAY TOGETHER