I have really been struggling this week. On Tuesday morning I watched the video of the woman who refused to leash her dog when asked to do so by an avid bird-watcher; who happened to be a black man. At first, I simply could not understand why she objected so strongly to a request that is, in fact, a NYC law. Then, I watched with revulsion, as she called 911 and fabricated a story that her life was in danger at the hands of a black man – simply because his request made her angry. She could have won an Oscar for her hysterical performance on the phone.
How can someone be so out of touch with current events in our country? Just weeks earlier an unarmed black man, Ahmaud Arbery, had been shot and killed while he was simply out for a run. How could an individual be so tepid to the racial climate in our society? How could a white woman intentionally do something that could possibly have placed that innocent man’s very LIFE in danger?
I won’t pretend to have THE answer to those questions… but I have AN answer. An answer is that white America isn’t outraged over racial injustice. I write this through tears… Minority Americans will never be able to solve the racial problems facing our society without the moral outrage of the Majority. And the Church of Jesus Christ ought to lead the way.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
White America, Christians, Church… we need to shout at the top of our lungs… NO MORE! We need to model, extoll and champion that all people are indeed created in the image of God. It is not enough to be silently repulsed by blatant racism, we must be vocally indignant. We must hold those who are guilty of racism accountable and push our leadership for change!
Believe me, I understand this is a heart issue that cannot only be solved through programs and legislation, so it is time for the majority to refuse to sit in the silence of an unbigoted heart. It is time to reject the attitude that I have been guilty of adopting, that since I am not a bigot, I don’t really hold any responsibility for the racial injustices that others produce within our society when, in fact, I have been guilty of “appalling silence”.
I am outraged! Outraged that a man out running was targeted due to his skin color. Outraged that a woman would seek to use a person’s race to seek to cause him harm, and that there exists a reality where that is a real possibility. Outraged that George Floyd died last Monday with a knee on his neck, while he begged for help from those sworn to protect him.
James teaches, “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.” James 2:8-9 NLT Friends, please remember how Jesus responded when He was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10) It is past time for Christians to fight for their neighbors.
Please… Let’s be silent no more!