Food for thought in light of injustice in Ferguson.
My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. – Dr. King to a group of religious leaders
Just arrived from a country I will not name where people are systematically treated unjustly and without human dignity by their own government. Injustice is everywhere.
The news from here has been a double shot of reverse culture shock for me.
I was disconnected from all American media when Mike Brown, an unarmed young black man in Ferguson Missouri, was shot to death by a police officer. When I turned on social media I was shocked, confused, repulsed.
Let me be clear on a few things:
- Injustice frustrates me and I’m just beginning to realize it. Too feel it. I’m sorry that I am so slow.
- I know that as a white man in America I have many privileges. Of this, I’m not ignorant.
- I know that I am prejudiced, racist and slow to act more than I want to recognize. I’m not innocent.
- I realize, through discussions with my Latino and Black friends, that there is much I don’t get.
- Generally, the evangelical church is idling away without acting or even speaking. This must change.
Postings from pastor friends of mine, Mike Higgins (Dean of Students at Covenant Seminary in StL, and native son whose dad lives in Ferguson), Brad Edwards (a chaplain in the Nat’l Guard in StL and former military police), and Leonce Crump (colleague in ATL) caught me up, got me mad, grieving and ready to DO something.
But what can I do? Share what I’ve learned.
Share what I’ve learned over time. My simple start is to post quotes. Many from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and a very insightful book about MLK’s letter by Dr. Peter A. Lilliback. It’s title is Annotations on a Letter that Changed the World from a Birmingham Jail. You can read my review and/or get a copy here for $0.50.
It’s worth the time. Our God LOVES justice. Jesus suffered the greatest injustice for us to be reconciled to God AND EACH OTHER! It’s going to take work – actions and words.