“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
–C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I’ve been trying to avoid the whole Ferguson and New York City debate and how the trials were ruled and what happened. It’s not that I don’t think they matter; it’s just that everyone is writing about them and giving their opinions and it’s doing little more than annoying me to death. I feel as if at least half of the people who have written or made mention about it on social media sites know very little about what actually happened.
The best post that I saw on the Ferguson case was where the writer said to go, here, and read about the trial for yourself and decide for yourself what really happened. It was nice to see someone not trying to put their opinion over as fact. It irks me when people, writing second-hand, try to pass what they say off as fact. The truth is, second-hand accounts are always littered with opinions. Rarely do they ever have the actual truth.
The first thing that I’ve noticed is that racism seems to be the number one point taken from this whole entire thing. It seems more people are concerned about racism than they are even that two people are in fact dead. Though racism is certainly a problem, and there is a problem with cops and people of other races, it seems ridiculous to try to pass that off as the sole, or even biggest problem in either of these cases.
I did read one post, written by Voddie Baucham, that didn’t take racism as the main point and then hammer it to death. Instead, he points out that those who are dark skinned have far more to fear from those in their own race than they do from cops, or those from other races.
That’s about as much detail as I am going to go in about what other people are saying. That isn’t the point of what I am writing, but I think it is important to note. The biggest thing that people, especially Christian bloggers, are taking away from this is racism and that white people need to stop being racist and instead stand by those of other races and support them completely.
On Twitter recently, #blacklivesmatter was trending. I noticed it one day when I was seeing everyone posting about Ferguson and New York City. And of course, giving their opinion about how whites are racist and need to just admit it and start fixing it. It’s funny enough how those writing those were white themselves and didn’t seem to think that they were part of the problem of racism. I’m blowing that out of proportion a bit and probably was reading them wrong, but that’s exactly how it came across to me.
The truth of the matter is, basically everyone who has lived is prejudiced! Not necessarily racist per se, but sexist, or just prejudiced against some people of their own race and sex (i.e. prostitutes, drug dealers, porn stars, etc.). It doesn’t matter who we are, we’ve all done it at some point in our lives, and many times continue to do it unintentionally. But the thing is, it goes far beyond racism or sexism, or on sexuality which seem to be at the top of the list in the modern-age.
Prejudice is a form of injustice. And injustice seems to be what most of those Christian bloggers are talking about. It seems to be the hot topic of right now. The thing is, injustice goes far beyond prejudice. In fact, it includes nearly every crime that you can think of. It includes nearly every, if not every, sin in the Bible. It consists of everything that takes away a person’s life or something in their life to make their life less.
Injustice, no doubt, needs to be stopped. It will help make the world a better place. And that’s what we’re all looking for, right? It sure seems to be. Of course, for the most part, people are really just looking out for themselves, but to at least some extent they have this wish for injustice to be gone from the world.
What happened to both Michael Brown and Eric Garner are not doubt both tragedies. Those two men lost their lives. It is always a tragedy when a person loses their life, not matter how old, or who they are. It is always a sad moment. Death is never a good thing, no matter who it is or how it happens. And when they are killed by another person, accident or not, it is certainly an injustice. Probably the biggest injustice of all. No one deserves to lose his/her life at the hands of another. No matter what they have done.
It seems like the most often response that I see to all of the injustices that happen in the world is to fight them with more injustice. It seems like people try to right a wrong with a wrong more often than not. There is no grace or mercy. It is that justice must be served, even if it has to be done with more injustice. And this is the completely wrong way to fight it. Creating a prejudice against white cops isn’t going to solve anything.
I want to go back to the #blacklivesmatter hashtag that I mentioned earlier. I saw something on twitter of someone complaining about another person who used the hashtag #alllivesmatter. The person described that hashtag a few different ways. One of them was of someone going to a funeral and saying something to the extent of “I’ve suffered that pain too” and about how rude that would be. That is true. But the same logic could be used with just black lives mattering. What about the girl who lives in your city that died the other day and wasn’t black. Does she not matter as much as Michael Brown or Eric Garner? Because her death didn’t happen in the same manner as those two men’s death, her death isn’t important? I just don’t understand. Why is it that whatever is the “current issue” is the most important? Why is it that every other injustice, or other ways that same injustice is played out are just pushed aside as if they don’t even matter at that moment?
I’m going to just come out and say it. All lives matter! Human lives matter! Every single person. They all matter exactly the same. It doesn’t matter how bad anyone has had it, their life isn’t more important. It doesn’t matter how great a person has had it, or how famous they are, their life isn’t any more important. Every human life is just as important and should be treated as such.
I’m sick and tired of only hearing about deaths like those of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, or the deaths of celebrities. It’s as if those are the only deaths that should move us. But the death of some “no-name” in our community shouldn’t even matter. But the truth is, if someone dies in our community, it should move us a lot more. They have had much more of an impact on our lives than celebrities or people hundreds or thousands of miles away. Even if we’ve never met them. They still had an impact on our community. And that certainly affects us and those around us. I don’t understand how people don’t see this.
It seems people are so caught up in the deaths of those two men that the thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people that have died since then don’t matter. That that hundreds, or thousands of women or even girls, that have been raped or molested don’t matter. That all those who are being bullied in every way don’t. Or at least they don’t matter as much. Why? Why is this?
I mentioned the response post by Voddie Baucham earlier. In his post he mentioned that everyone was expecting and basically assuming that it was his responsibility to write a response to what had happened in Ferguson. And yet, he hardly knew anything that had even happened there. This has become such a big deal. Everyone is supposed to care and be completely outraged. Why? It is certainly true that an injustice was done, but how is it the job of those that are hundreds, or thousands, of miles away to comment? I think sometimes people tend to be too globally minded that they aren’t concerned at all for what is going in their own community, at the local level. It seems to mean little to nothing to them. But what good can we do with fighting injustice at a global level if we can’t even fight it in our own communities, at the local level? It’s too far out of our control.
A lot of people have claimed that the problems with Christians and their response to these two tragedies is that they don’t care. Whether or not that is actually true isn’t my point for stating that. I certainly care what has happened. I find it sad that those two men lost their lives. My problem comes is when it seems like people automatically make it about racism. I see no evidence to support that either of the cops was racist. But yet people have not problems placing what they believe were the motives onto those cops. I find that totally wrong. When most people look at it they see white cop kills black man. What I see is the all too common case of a cop killing a civilian. And ones who weren’t even armed and shooting at them. I see that as the major problem. It almost seems more racist to me to assume that racism was the motivation than racism actually being the cause. It says that the first thing those people see is the two races of the people. If racism is supposed to be dying out, shouldn’t we be to the point where our first thought isn’t to notice the race?
Again, I don’t doubt that racism, and all kinds of prejudices exist. However, to assume that since a guy is a white cop, that he is racist, seems very stereotypical. The whole situation seems to just ooze with stereotypes. The responses by some Christians saying that other Christians don’t care because they aren’t reacting the exact same way is just plain ridiculous. We aren’t supposed to all react the same way. We are completely different and have lived different lives. We have different perspectives. We should react differently! But we should react with the drive to get rid of injustice. However, I don’t think it should be done the way most people are calling for it.
For starters, the past is in the past. We can’t change history! As much as there are some things that we could certainly benefit from by going back and changing, we just can’t do it. However, I have read from a Christian author once about apologizing for what the church has done. Apologizing for such things as the Inquisition and the Crusades. I can see people saying the same thing about white people. We should be apologizing for slavery and the racism that has gone on. I completely disagree. How should it be our job to apologize for things in which we have never done and took absolutely no part in? Plus, what is it actually going to accomplish? For starters, it’s highly doubtful that people are going to actually accept some, basically pointless, apology. Besides that, what is it going to accomplish for us by apologizing for things we have had absolutely nothing to do with? Yes, some people still carry racism, but that stems beyond just whites. We aren’t supposed to change or apologize for the past. Our job is to live in the present and do our best to make the future as bright for everyone else as possible. And that is what we need to be focusing on. The future. Not the past.
The first place that we can start in getting rid of injustice is with ourselves. If we can’t stop the injustice that we do to others, how are we going to be able to help others stop it, especially without being, or at least looking like a hypocrite?
After we get rid of it, or at least begin to really understand injustice and begin the process of getting rid of it, then we can begin to help teach, and model for, others what it should look like. And then we can begin to get rid of it in our society and make the world that we all want, which is free of, or at least less littered with, injustice.
But there is one more thing that we can’t forget. Not only are we supposed to do our best to get rid of injustice for others, we are also supposed to forgive those who commit injustices against us. We have all committed so many injustices against God and He has chosen to forgive us for all of those, which can never compare to the small ones others commit against us. We are called to forgive. And that’s exactly what we need to be doing. We need to forgive injustices against us and help stop injustices against others.
Every human life matters just the same. We need to stop making big deals about certain injustices or against certain people. Every other injustice and person to whom it is done against is just as important. We need to see all people through the eyes of God, as people made in His image.
As C.S. Lewis said, and I stated at the start, but I want to say it again, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
All humans are unique and equally important!
 This takes more forms that we sometimes even realize. Injustice comes in the form of bullying, all types of tearing people down. It comes in the obvious forms of murder, rape, and racism. It comes in the form of all types of prejudice, where we judge others and deem them unworthy of being our friends. We ALL do it! There isn’t anyone who can claim they aren’t part of this problem. We all need to work on it!