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Responding to Racism

Little research needs to be done in order to prove that racism still exists today. It may not be as blatant or obvious and thankfully there no longer exists legislation that supports racism. But this is no reason to let our guard down. If anything, we should be more vigilant to observe possible signs of racism. The truth is racism is subtler than it used to be. And that is dangerous. When something is subtle it is often thought of as trivial or of little consequence and thus is receives little attention. This is sad for two reasons; one, we’re ignoring an issue where someone has unjustly fallen victim and two, if not mitigated while a “smaller” issue then we pave the way for its development. To say that racism doesn’t exist is to abandon its victims, but to say that everything is racist is to mock those who have fought against it. 

Racism is a cancer to our society and to any form of the word “community.” It needs to be identified and held accountable regardless of the parties’ race or civic office.

When issues such as Ferguson rise up there are generally three responses; two primary and one not so much. 

The first primary response comes from those who haven’t done their research on the case, don’t know the facts and have no reason to support their claim that this case had nothing to do with racism. The problem with this claim is that it’s almost as if they’re suggesting that racism doesn’t exist since it obviously couldn’t have been racist. To jump so quickly to the idea that it was NOT a hate crime basically shows that these individuals don’t believe that racism is a potential cause and thus racism is merely a dormant thought or a thing of the past. 

This type of thinking not only fails to acknowledge the racism that does exist but it also abandons those who risk falling victim to racist acts in the future. 

The second primary response comes from those who also haven’t done their research on the case, know the facts and have no reason to support their claim that this case had everything to do with racism. The problem with this claim is that it makes a mockery of the true acts of racism that have and continue to divide our social infrastructure. I look at people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks who not only fell victim to racism but also fell victim to persecution in light of their activism for justice. They fought long and hard against a horrific social enigma and were successful in breaking so many barriers.

To throw “racism” around so casually (i.e. accusing someone of racism without know the facts) is to make a mockery of the reality of racism and of those who fought so hard to combat its implications. 

The third response is the most silent, unfortunately. The third response acknowledges the possibility of racism but also acknowledges that until the facts of the case have surfaced and that a story actually exists it is impossible to determine whether it was an issue of race. It acknowledges that when we cry “racism” and then it turns out to be standard criminal activity we have made a complete mockery and have even offended the vulnerable race for being so casual with such a sensitive issue. It also acknowledges that when we initially cry “nothing to do with racism” we are suggesting that such a sensitive issue, and thus the sorrow that stems from it, is dormant and deserves no entertainment and thus gives no hope towards remedying racism.

The third response waits for the truth to surface. If the investigation reveals that Officer Darren Wilson had a journal or private blog that had entries indicating his racial tendencies or if another video footage reveals that Brown was surrendering when the cop shot him then this cop should be stripped of his badge and thrown in prison for murder. But we don’t have anything like that right now.

We have footage of Michael Brown robing a convenience store and assaulting an elderly man. The officer also sustained injuries to his face due to a scuffle with Brown. The indicators here show that Brown was initially in the wrong even before his approach with the cop. So what we have so far is a case where an aggressive man with a criminal agenda was shot 6 times by a white police officer who Brown assaulted. “Why six times though?” Well, the autopsy revealed that Brown was shot mostly in non-lethal areas of his body which may indicate that the cop was still being assaulted after shooting Brown and that Brown was possibly going for Wilson’s gun. Brown was a big man, it’s possible. Though there is no evidence showing that this was a hate crime we must remember that the investigation is still open and that until everything is revealed we cannot objectively determine whether this was a hate crime. 

Remember, jumping to either conclusion prematurely is both irresponsible and offensive to many. Think critically, show compassion to all and never push your personal agenda at the expense of others. 

JWR

superAbout the Author 
Hi, my name is John and I love coffee. As I write this I’m sitting in a local brewery sipping a “mudslide” espresso with cream and two and a half sugars. There are few things in life that I feel merit precise orchestration with no room for error, coffee is one of them. My life belongs to Jesus. I am his son and he is my King. His work in my life is reason enough for my faith to be made complete. He lived to die for me so that I may be credited righteous thus I will live for him. I don’t hold any radical theological views, other than I serve a radical God. I affirm scriptural inerrancy, infallibility and the Bible as God’s final authority in text. See full bio here  


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