I am viewing a lot of life these past few years, as various lines in the sand. We are each determining where we stand on each side of those lines. They aren’t simple lines without consequence, they are transcendent lines, drawn by God himself.
On the recent and ongoing line of “for or against racial equality” …
I stand with the least of these, those who are subjugated in society.
By default, I then face those who chose the other side of the line. I oppose those who want to maintain the status quo of domination.
Those facing me say I am on the wrong side of the line. They point out the protests: the vandalism and lootings. They point out unrelated civil unrest: inner city gun violence and street murders.
From this side of the line, I say current crime stats have as much to do with a pandemic and economic inequity as it does the Black Lives Matter movement. Still, crime is crime, wrong is wrong. I agree where crime accompanies protests, each occurrence should be tried fairly — fairly, though, is not a given for people of color.
I won’t let accompanying criminal instances cause me to generalize my punitive expectations onto whole people groups or underlying, unjust status quos. I won’t let the confusion of crime by some bury the catalyst to this summer’s civil unrest: the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by police officers egregiously abusing the power they were granted.
History shows that after civil stances, America has defaulted to entrenched status quos. The dissipation of unrest allowed for racism to resume “per normal”. Change didn’t happen. Reform didn’t happen. Racism wasn’t eradicated, just hidden. There, in hiding, it grew and festered until the climate was ripe for its eruption.
Racism is now condoned by many. They aren’t ashamed of it or concerned about the consequences of its expression. They commit racist acts and verbalizations for all to see and hear. The words and deeds of racism come even from our highest leaders in government and industry.
This summer, racism considered itself so invincible amid its safety in numbers and protection by power, that it murdered an unarmed, captive, prone, surrounded black man in broad daylight without fear of consequences.
There are two options for me at this line in the sand. I choose the side standing alongside those who have been historically and currently oppressed.
Yes, there are criminals who are confusing who is who. They quickly piggy-backed on a righteous cause and confused the general public. There are, counterintuitively, unrighteous blacks and white supremacists who are moving their own agendas.
At a glance, they appear to have chosen the same side of the line I did. But look closer, at their hearts, and see that they aren’t standing alongside the oppressed, they are standing with the oppressors.
Yes, there are imposters, instigators, criminals, and evil people with terrible agendas obscuring the line. Those people don’t confuse me. They aren’t on my side of the line in the sand. They can’t make me turn on the oppressed on this side I’ve chosen.
Give it more than a glance. Look under the smokescreen …
Oppressed people are still there, under the cloud.
The issue of racism and inequity is still there, under the confusion.
The line in the sand is still there, and God is watching which side we choose to stand on.
To those who are calling for the protests to be quelled, because they believe the confusion, don’t forget the point …
Oppressors should be exposed and brought to justice.
The oppressed should be released from their captivity.
It’s what Jesus came to Earth for, afterall.
Joshua 24: Choose Whom You Will Serve
14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”