Words cannot explain what I am feeling today. I am going off subject today. As I sit trying to wrap my head around all that I’m seeing and hearing the news surrounding the fatal police shooting resulting in the death of 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri my heart breaks. There are so many questions that seem to have gone unanswered and sadly, everyone is looking for answers.
My heart is heavy as I cannot possibly know what the parents of this 18-year old young man is going through. I’m praying for you. And what disturbs me most is how the media and those that need to be held accountable are using this as a way to dehumanize and destroy the character of the victim instead of taking responsibility for their actions. It should not even matter who you may have been only to characterize your life as a failure to justify injustice. The most important thing is he died unexpectedly at the hands of a person who was supposed to protect him.
While I cannot acknowledge every family that has been affected by incidents similar to what has happened to the Brown family because there are far too many to mention, please don’t take this personal but I couldn’t help but to mention this one.
There’s a family in Avondale, Arizona grieving the death of their daughter Michelle Cusseaux, a mentally-ill woman who was shot and killed by police last Thursday (http://www.azfamily.com/news/Family-celebrates-bday-of-mentally-ill-woman-shot-and-killed-by-police-271616891.html). She would have been 51 years old yesterday, but sadly she has gone on to glory. The family is demanding change because of the way the police handled it. After I read the story, I pray for change and stand in agreement with them. Something has to change. Gun violence is not the answer to America’s pain.
The thing that resonates most is what I keep hearing, “Calm down Black America” “Black-on-Black violence is nothing new” but I ask does that justify why innocent lives are being taken regardless who’s doing it? Injustice is injustice and needs to be addressed. Your background shouldn’t be as important to the injustice that has happened when your life is wrongfully taken.
Then there are those who are angry and speaking out in rage about police killings that are happening in their cities they feel no one is taking notice or they are being ignored. Yet they must understand the issue of race and violence has been an ongoing issue in America for years that has been subtly ignored, but by no means are they being ignored. Sadly, there are so many killings that even when we try to focus on one, we are wrongfully blamed for not focusing enough. America, please…It’s time to stop the violence! Please put away the guns and let’s sit down and have a civil discussion about it.
Too many people are hurting. “Who’s policing the police?” Because it seems like they are not policing themselves, shooting rubber bullets, tear gassing and shooting innocent victims. While I cannot speak for others or justify the lootings and inappropriate things happening in Ferguson most likely out of rage and anger, what is not fair is the citizens of this town are at risk and living in fear faced with danger. Seems like they are going through hell and are helpless. Let’s come together as a nation and pray for their safety. With the hope something changes for the better, so these people can get rest and be at peace with one another.
Every moment I think about it, I can’t help but to pray. Please stand in agreement with me and pray. I know that there are families hurting everywhere. I ask that we please stop the police killings and gun violence, any and everywhere. Violence will not solve anything. Violence upon violence will only exacerbate the condition. It will only make it worse. Peace is what we need that others may hear our voice.
It may seem like we have come a long way in the fight for justice, peace, equality, and in our efforts to end racism but sadly, we still have a long ways to go. It is far from over but I’m hopeful. Take these words from Martin Luther King, Jr. that I am sharing with you today. Pray for peace, justice, strength, and comfort in the wake of what we see happening not just today, but every day.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be blessed! -JD
Romans 14:19 “19So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. (ESV)