I have addressed this before to some degree but want to express my opinion in an expanded sense in regards to much comment and sharing I see on social media and in the news of late. Let me first say that I believe the majority of our law enforcement officers are good, fair, compassionate, excellent officers who often put their lives on the line in ways we can only hope to imagine. The recent killings of police officers is abhorrent and should be to any of us. Those responsible for these acts need to be held accountable and face the consequences of their heinous acts. I have seen a good deal of sharing and listened to news people talk about the commitment to “Police Officers Lives Matter,” or “All Lives Matter,” both of these are true.
I have also seen and listened to the movement in our country that has emerged in response to systemic racist practices in our society, culture, communities, law enforcement, and judicial system. “Black Lives Matter,” is a legitimate movement addressing serious injustices and the taking of lives often for questionable reasons at best and blatant racism at worse. Those involved in such abhorrent and racially motivated acts need to be held accountable whether they are law enforcement officers, citizens, or members of the judicial system.
I know there are good and faithful people expressing outrage at all of these acts, but let me say this; if I post, share, or report that “Police Lives Matter,” or “All Lives Matter,” in an attempt to counter “Black Lives Matter,” as if “Black Lives Matter” is somehow less than or irrelevant when held up against the other, I am racist, period. And the frustration and anger is justified and needs to be addressed by all of society, it is time to admit we have a systemic racism problem, as well as a gun and violence problem, in this country and begin the difficult work of rectifying it together!
The idea that President Obama or anyone is creating unrest around racial issues is ludicrous, they are simply pointing out what already exists, which makes some in this country very nervous when those of us who are privileged feel threatened.
I know this brief blog will probably not be popular with some who may read it, but for me this is a faith issue, this is a justice issue, this is an issue the church and those of us who embrace God of all, all persons need to speak to and stop being so quietly timid about taking a stand.
I am grateful for my many friends who work tirelessly for the cause of racial justice and reconciliation. I am grateful for our law enforcement officers who work tirelessly for the safety of our communities. My voice and plan of action is still evolving with these tragedies, but I believe it is only through the work of both/and, all of us, with the Spirit’s help and guidance, that we will soften hearts of hate and violence and find ourselves at the table of grace, understanding, equality, and justice for all.
Peace – Kent