I looked through several press reports, and comments emanating from people of all races, creed and color. I feel some of the emotions their family members may be going through: Pain, of losing a son with his life ahead of him; or in the mind of the family of officer Ferguson: fear for their son to be protected in the line of duty. People will be angry, people will mourn, and people will protest. Stores will be looted and vandalized by people who will take advantage of the situations like this; and sadly, stereotypes that we have against each other will be confirmed and entrenched.
A few thoughts on this:
We are all people of purpose: Nobody chose his or her skin color before birth, and I am pretty sure that if we had a choice we would still choose to stay in the state that we are. This is because God created us this way for a purpose. We all have a mandate to fulfill and it is in the race and creed that we are that we can effectively function and fulfill purpose.
Racism is learnt: Nobody was born with stereotypes and mindsets of one race being superior of inferior to another. We learn it. It is passed on from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, hostility, hatred, racism is passed on in the walls of religious society; it is even seen as an act of piety to abhor the unknown and cherish the ‘old traditions’. What we learn can be challenged.
Violence will not solve problems: Some of the greatest heroes of black and colored history, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, delivered their people from the position of non violence. They knew first hand, what it was to live in a society where segregation was the watchword. They lived what they propagated, and they paid for the freedom most now enjoy with their own blood. Violence will only entrench stereotypes and breed more violence. Where are the values they left behind? Where are our leaders today? What are we propagating?
True Justice is from the Lord: We are sinful people in a sinful world. No matter the systems we have put in place to ensure justice: be it in the courtroom or on the streets, be it with the power of the law or the power of the pen, we can only judge from our standpoint. God is the true Judge and it is an awesome responsibility. There are things we need to let go and allow the God of Justice to effect. He will sit as judge and jury over our hearts and our motives, and judge each and every one of them. Believe me, He will.
We are all Migrants in this world: A lot of us will fight tooth and nail to defend the values and traditions that have been handed by our families and our larger society, but this is the bottom line: we are all migrants in this world. We come, do our time and leave. While we have a responsibility to till it and keep it, the earth does not belong to any one of us. We will one day leave it behind. No matter who we are. Some, like the young man that was shot left early, some have even left earlier, and some, will leave later. We will all leave. Let’s be careful on how we leave it, and what we leave behind. We will all be judged one day.
As the world is watches America, the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’, on how it handles this complex issue threatening to destabilize its society and values, we must remember that above all, Someone is watching us all: our motives, intent and actions. And He will judge. Let’s break out of our stereotypes mindsets and fears, and learn to accept each other as we are.