Believe me; there are things I would prefer to be thinking about right now than race in America. It’s Advent season after all. I had planned to begin blogging again this week with reflections of Christmas. And I will get to that in the next few days. I think reflecting on Advent season will speak hope into the things we are witnessing in our country.
I don’t have as much time today to write out a thoughtful blog post like yesterday’s. And frankly, I’m pretty tapped out right now. The questions I posed yesterday were questions I have asked myself; and I need time to think them through before I can respond further.
I do want to say this, however. In highlighting the issues that the Black community have with police, I am in no way diminishing problems that may occur within the context of other communities. Neither am I condoning criminal behavior. In the case of Michael Brown, if he did engage in criminal activity, which it appears he did, then he should have been punished in a manner that fits the crime he committed.
What I push back against is the implication that because he did rob the convenience store he in some way deserved to die. That his life is devoid of any meaning because he was a so-called “thug” (isn’t it interesting how a well-placed label can put a certain spin on something?), or that his life is worth less than that of the police officer because his alleged thuggish behavior means “he had it coming”. All people are created in the image of God. That image is tarnished by sin, but it is still there. This means all human beings are endowed with inherent dignity and worth. Let’s set aside for a moment whether or not deadly force was needed in this case. The fact of the matter is any loss of life is tragic because it points to our fallenness and separation from God. Life matters. Period.
I go back to an article I posted on my Facebook page (you can find it here). The two situations described by the writer were markedly similar. What made the difference? Why did one result in the safe apprehension of the suspect, and the other in the death of a 12 year old? This is the question that lingers like a bad taste in my mouth.
More later. Until then, grace and peace…