I’ve not said much at all regarding what’s going on in Ferguson. I don’t want to hurt or dishonor my friends and family of all colors, my law-enforcement friends/family, or any hurting hearts. And, the truth is… I don’t feel like I have a complete picture.
You see, I don’t know what was going through the heads of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson (the cop). I don’t know their motives or thoughts as they acted and then, reacted. Sitting here, in the safety of my home, I can’t even imagine the fear or surprise or even, anger. I can imagine what I’d do if I was in perceived danger, but I also know that when it comes down to it, when adrenaline and fear cloud in, it could play out completely differently.
Because I’m a white woman, I know my words may carry no weight for many. But, at the same time, I don’t want my silence to be mistaken for not caring.
But, what I do know is this:
Many lives were changed on August 9, 2014. A young man died and a cop’s life (and the family of M. Brown) was forever changed.
I see so many people saying so many ugly things and doing even worst things. And, my heart aches and my soul cries out. We, as a nation, are so busy pointing fingers and using our tongues to slice each other up, that WE ARE MISSING IT. Don’t you see? We are so caught up, that we have forgotten what we are fighting FOR and now, we are just fighting. We are hurting each other in the name of JUSTICE and PEACE as we violently commit injustice to one another. We’ve gotten so caught up in the hurt and anger that we’ve forgotten that this battle is against something beyond ourselves, and instead of banding TOGETHER to fight, we have turned on one another.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” –Ephesians 6:12
I don’t know if Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown BECAUSE he was black. And, honestly, neither do you.
What I DO KNOW is
-Racism does exist. Sometimes it’s subtle. Sometimes it’s in-your-face.
- Racism exists both ways…all ways. Both are bad and heart-breaking. One does not excuse the other.
- Not everyone is racist. Not every injustice is BECAUSE of race.
- But, some are. And, again…it goes both ways. And, it’s wrong.
- People are hurting. I see my black friends hurting because they live in a world where they could easily be “sized up” because of the color of their skin – in some areas, they will be unfairly searched and manhandled and assumptions will be made about them by some (but not all) people…and many times, they will have to go the “extra mile” just to prove themselves. Some of my white friends are hurt because it feels like assumptions have been made based on the color of their skin – that they must have inherited racism like some sort of disease, and that no matter what they do, it’ll be perceived as a “race issue” and they will forever be blamed for a history they had no part in.
What I DO KNOW is that this is not a war against flesh and blood. That is where we’ve focused our energy, but this is much, much bigger. If we ever truly want peace and justice, we must all put down our pointing fingers and realize that it begins with US. We can’t change history – and blaming others for something the people before them did is not only not helpful, but also unfair. We can, however, change the NOW. We can stand up; we can listen. We can mourn TOGETHER for a life that was ended (regardless of what he did or didn’t do… he was a man). We can sympathize with a cop, whose life has been changed and will forever have to live with the scars that come from something like this. He will live with both the guilt that comes from taking a man’s life (warranted or not), and fear of the possible backlash that comes from something like this. We can refuse to trade injustice for injustice and violence for violence. We can realize that our actions and words will further people’s opinions of us as both individuals and as a group – for the good and for the bad. We can begin to knock down and erase some of the things that have brain-washed and fed to us generation after generation, erasing fences and building bridges towards others. We must learn to work together, to learn each others stories and hearts instead of making up our own hateful judgements without ever truly knowing.
I refuse to be ashamed of my white skin because it is white. Yet, I did not choose it, no more than my beautiful brown son chose his. And, I know there are days coming, when my son will be out and he may be treated differently than other young men. And, I am saying that this craziness must stop. From both sides. We MUST learn to love hearts and not skin. We MUST remember not only who we are, but WHOSE we are (God’s children!)! And, that there IS a war, but we are in this together. We are on the same side! This is not a fight against flesh and blood, and if we remain distracted, we will not change this world.
Today, let us remember that both the Brown and Wilson family have lost much. The Brown family has lost their son and the Wilson family has lost much, as well. The fact that ANY of this had to happen – a young man lost, an officer put in the position he was – is a tragedy. Taking a moment to focus on these families and grieve beside them does NOT mean you agree with what happened or how it happened. You don’t have to. When we love others, despite what they’ve done or not done, we are not saying we AGREE… we are simply saying… THIS MATTERS. YOU LOST SOMETHING/SOMEONE, AND THIS WAS A TRAGEDY AND WE WILL MOURN WITH YOU.
I’m standing here, without a “side.” I’m standing here, palms open, waiting for walls to come down. I’m hopeful for the future – one where individuals will realize that the way to peace is through Jesus and His love for ALL. Will you join me?