No Longer Silent

Hey everybody. It is good to be writing another post. I would love to post more, and I am continually trying to figure out a way that I can do that. But I am writing this today because I realize that I can no longer be silent about some things that are going on locally in my area and nationally. It is a heavy subject because it deals with racism. 

If you did not know, I am a white man. Therefore, I do not fully understand what it must be like to be a black person in this country. I also do not want to negate the racism that exist among other races. We see racism in our country toward Hispanics, Asians, and Middle Eastern peoples. However, more often than not, the issue is a black and white issue. We have fought this battle since before America was even America. Slavery was abolished but the black person in this country was still treated as less of a human. The civil rights movement brought this to the forefront of our nation and caused laws to change for the better. However, even in the midst of that, racism toward and the mistreatment of black people has continued. 

So I am not black, and I may not fully understand, but I want you to know that I see you, I hear you, I value you, and I mourn with you over what goes on in our country. In saying that, I realize it is going to take work. It is going to take time and hard conversations for me to begin to understand. I read a post online about a black man who was fearful in certain situations simply because of the color of his skin. The one situation at the forefront of our minds is when approached by a police officer. 

I have been around police officers a lot. I have known a lot of them. I have some in my family. I have even been pulled over by a few. When I have been pulled over, I have never been afraid. The closest thing I have ever had to a “run-in” with a police officer was when I was pulled over for speeding one night pretty late, and he did not believe the truck was mine. I realize now that a lot of kids drive brand new or close to brand new trucks when they turn sixteen, but that was not always the case. While I was in college, I had a good job though and I bought a truck. He questioned whether it was mine, but he was quickly ok when I showed him my license and registration. That is nothing, I know. I tell that story to show that as a white man, I have never had the fear of what might happen to me in that situation.  

My wife is Puerto Rican, and I remember her dad telling me the story about when they moved to the where they live now. He had a Puerto Rican flag on his van, and he kept getting pulled over. He was not doing anything wrong. They just stopped him to question him. He decided to take the flag off his van and no longer got stopped. That kind of stuff just baffles me. 

I think that I want to see this issue through rose colored glasses. I want to think that it is not as bad as it seems to be. I want to believe that most people think like me. But I am realizing more and more that this is not that way because I was white and did not truly understand what people of other races go through. the case. Therefore, I want to speak out. Whatever audience I have, I want them to know where I stand on this issue. It is never okay to treat someone like they are less of a human because of the color of their skin, their cultural background, their religious beliefs, or their personal beliefs. Nobody deserves to be shot and killed because of this. Nobody deserves to have someone kneel on their neck for any amount of time. Even when a crime is committed, there are ways to restrain people, even those who resist, that do not include this kind of violence. We must be better than this. 

I am not only talking about police officers, but I realize that is on the forefront of everyone’s mind currently. What I would say to that is that we cannot throw every police officer into this group. I spoke with a police officer yesterday and told him that I felt bad for him and others like him that are good cops who care about people regardless of skin color. I feel bad because now they are cast in a bad light because of the actions of others who wear the uniform.  

I can no longer ignore racism. As I said earlier, I used to think that we were making too big of a deal of certain situations and that it was not as bad as it seemed. I realize now that I thought that way and viewed things  

How can we respond? If you have watched the news recently, then you have seen the right way and the wrong way to respond. Protesting is a great way to show how important an issue is and that something needs to be done. Riots, looting, destroying businesses, and beating people is not the way to respond. Violence is not the answer. We want the violence to stop. Speak up! Let you voice be heard! Show others and teach others about the evil of racism and how we should treat each other as equals. In my house our desire is see everyone equally because we realize that we are all created in the image of God. 

So, it does not matter what color your skin is. It does not matter what culture you come from. It does not matter what your religious beliefs are, at least in this instance. I have some strong convictions about religious beliefs. It does not matter what your personal beliefs are. Your life matters! So, although I may not be the same race as you, the same culture as you, or believe the same way you do, your life matters to me. I see you, I hear you, and I value you.  

Racism is demonic. That’s the title of an article I read recently, and there was a quote in the article that I found particularly convicting: “Nothing would delight the Devil more than for Christians to believe that racism in America, and particularly in the church, has been dealt with.” For too long, I thought this way because I wanted it to be true. It is not. We still need to fight this fight. 

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