Swing And A Miss!!

It’s been a real struggle trying to get this entry going. 

There’s a lot going on in our world, but I never imagined it would be so close to home. How naive of me. It’s been about two, almost three weeks since young Mike Brown was gunned down by Ferguson P.O. Darren Wilson. He was finally laid to rest by his family yesterday afternoon. I’m glad the family was finally able to do THAT much, and to do it PEACEFULLY. I still pray for them, that God would continue to comfort them. I have four sons. They’re still alive. Two teens, a nine year old and a one year old. I can’t imagine, as a father, what it’s like to lose a son, let alone lose a son in the manner that Mike Brown, Sr. lost his. Rev. Al Sharpton was right – this is out of order. A parent burying their YOUNG child. It’s out of order. But that’s not ALL that’s out of order. 

WE’RE OUT OF ORDER too. And no, I’m not just talking about black……I’m sorry, African-Americans. We, HUMANITY, are out of order. Grotesquely out of order.

If you drive up and down about a four-block area of West Florissant Ave., you’ll see the remnants of what could be considered a decent neighborhood. Yes, it’s seen better days. I used to live in Dellwood in the mid-90’s up until about 2003, right off the intersection of Chambers & W. Florissant. I can tell you that area has seen better days. Now, it looks more like a war zone. Ferguson, Missouri turned into Watts, California. Why? Well, if you ask MOST PEOPLE, it’s because Brown’s life was taken without cause, his body laid in the middle of the street for HOURS in the heat like an animal that had been run over by a car. Residents in the area were up in arms; questions went unanswered. In the hours and days that followed, that same confusion morphed into anger, and that anger begat RAGE. The kind of rage that made Zisser Tire, QuikTrip and most other stores a casualty of war. Looting, protesting, posturing. Local coverage turned national, and I’m sure global. This is what the world saw – black people tearing up their own community out of anger (even though I’m convinced that most of the destruction done was perpetrated by NON-Ferguson residents). All the while, the family of the slain had to stop grieving and ask for the violence to stop. It shouldn’t have taken that. 

In the meantime, there are protesters supporting Officer Wilson, with the “anything you can do I can do better” mentality, fundraising to help him and his family. OK. I get it. Peaceful (somewhat) protests, social media posts. Nothing at ALL violent. I can respect that. I also see where my people are coming from. They’re angry. Cops – SOME cops – just aren’t right. AT ALL. They abuse the power they possess and treat the law like a license to treat people with no respect, yet they demand it. Believe it or not, however, ALL of this is besides the point. 

Agree or not – this is NOT JUST ABOUT RACE. This is a HUMANITY issue. 

Since when did we stop caring about life? Since when did we start raising our children to not care about each other? Yes, I know the struggle as a black man. I’ve seen racism, I’ve experienced racism. I didn’t just read about it. But I’ll tell you this: racism is not innate. It’s taught. We, not as a race, but as a PEOPLE, are guilty of teaching each and ever generation we raise to DISCRIMINATE. White people walk around calling blacks “niggas” around their children. Black people walk around constantly screaming “white people keep us down” around our children. These impressionable minds are doing nothing but taking this all in, and we think that’s OK. THIS is where hate crimes begin. We have no regard for our fellow MAN, so it’s easy to walk the streets spewing the first hateful thing that comes to mind, and I guarantee that our twisted upbringing just came shining through in the midst of what we call the “Ferguson Riots”. So, as a completely different generation of people living in THIS America now, how do we fix this? Well, we can start with laying off each other. What do I mean?

White people: Your ancestors BROUGHT OUR ANCESTORS here!!!! ON A CROWDED BOAT! Read the history. And after all this time, white people tell blacks to “go back to Africa”, or “go back to where you came from”. I didn’t come from Africa, and neither does anyone I know. My ancestors blood was mixed with your blood, which doesn’t make me pure African anymore. It doesn’t matter if you want us here or not to be honest. We’re here. Deal with it!

Black people: GROW UP! Yes, our history is painful, but YOU DIDN’T LIVE IT! We have soooo many more opportunities that those before us didn’t. And if those before us could see what we’re doin’ now, I promise you they’d throw up. Stop blaming EVERYTHING on white people. They aren’t the only one’s trying to keep you down. Black people try to keep black people down. And while we’re at it, stop getting so upset about white people killing blacks and be more upset about BLACKS killing BLACKS. Why are you OK with this? This is not a fight between whites and everybody else. This is, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN, an issue of GOOD vs. EVIL!

Yes, I went there. It’s time that we start looking at things through the eyes of God, and not our own eyes. WE see what we WANT to see, and in that, we react to things that we WANTED to see. Everything that happens to you ISN’T BAD. Mike Brown told loved ones before his death that the WORLD would know who he was, and yes, the world knows who Mike Brown. Yes, the circumstances, in OUR eyes, was horrible, but it was all in how God DESIGNED it. Nothing is EVER the way we THINK we see it. It’s not all just black and white. God is trying to get our attention. We don’t have much time down here. Sharpton begged the question “What does God require of YOU?”. Life isn’t just about what you can get. It’s about what you can DO – for OTHERS! Everyone that ransacked those Ferguson businesses missed the mark. You weren’t more angry than the parents of that young man. Yes, there should be anger, but IN our anger, there should be NO sin. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God…” God requires for us to believe. Know that He IS, CAN, and WILL make everything right. Why can’t we look at one another, blacks, whites, Latin, whatever, through God’s eyes, who doesn’t see skin hue. God examine’s a man’s HEART. Our skin color doesn’t define us. We could be a stronger country, a stronger state, a stronger community, if we stop looking at the SURFACE of a man and examine the HEART of a man. 

A nation that claims to be under God is the furthest thing from it. But we can get back to it…2 Chronicles 7:14



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