I was told this many times- so I listened.
Today I am going to share the research I have done in my spare time over the course of the past 6 days in regards to all the primary things I have heard about #blacklivesmatter.
Yes, I am aware that today is #BlackoutTuesday, I understand the sentiment. I don't have a problem with it. I know someone is going to say I am a racist because I didn't participate. That is what this has come to. If you don't post a photo, use a hashtag, or say something just the right way- you are the enemy. I am not going to feed into that mindset.
I realize that many people are not emotionally ready to read this post because it requires you to be rational rather than emotional. That is okay. I want you to know that I believe you when you tell me that you are in pain. I believe the stories I hear about the mistreatment of blacks. I do not want to diminish your feelings. I do believe we have a problem that needs a solution, however, I want to share with you some new information.
I am not a political writer and this page/blog is not going to turn political. This post is not a political push. To be completely honest, I have never registered as a Democrat or Republican so please don't lump me into a group I am not a part of. I vote for who I decide I think is best suited based on what they share during election times, regardless of party. That being said, I have prayed about this post and I just really feel called to share. Not because of politics- but because it is alarming how easily misguided the world is in these days. Especially MY age group (18-30 yrs.) It is alarming and it is a sign that more issues in the future will be handled in this way moving forward. I am choosing to use my platform to share a different perspective. I believe God has called us to seek after truth and walk in its light. I believe what I have discovered is truthful.
I will cite my links/sources at the end of this post.
I first want to address racism against black people in America. Does racism towards black people in the United States exist? Yes. I believe this is because of three key things:
2. Government Corruption
Slavery- Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries people were kidnapped from the continent of Africa, forced into slavery in the American colonies and exploited to work as indentured servants and labor in the production of crops such as tobacco and cotton. By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion and the abolition movement provoked a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the bloody Civil War. (source 1) This was a terrible, horrible, inexcusable thing that took place both in the United States and in other countries as well. As a believer in the Bible, there is no other explanation for this other than that the devil dwells here upon the earth and he influences people to do unfathomable things. Because of this horrid decision made by our ancestors, we feel the effects of those choices even today. We see this in the Bible as well- the Israelites come to mind. They suffered greatly because of the sins and mistakes of their forefathers. It is the same here in America.
Government Corruption- Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation…were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote, hold jobs, get an education or other opportunities. Those who attempted to defy Jim Crow laws often faced arrest, fines, jail sentences, violence and death. (source 2) There was nothing good about these laws. They, from my perspective, were another product of the devil. They appeared “better” than the things taking place during slavery, but they were still rooted in hatred, selfishness, arrogance, and racism. Once again, we are reaping the negative impact of terrible decisions made by our previous leaders and community members. There is no excuse for what they did. They were misguided and evil in their decisions.
Although Jim Crow laws are technically off the books, that has not always guaranteed full integration or adherence to anti-racism laws throughout the United States. The effects of those terrible decisions live on in some of our leaders today. Even though the Jim Crow laws are technically done away with, white people who benefitted from them have passed on their prejudice to their children, and black people who suffered from them have passed on warnings to their children. Here we are today, still angry and hurting from the things in our past causing them to become things in our present.
Assumptions- Equality for black people is much “newer” in the United States than it is for white people and this doesn’t seem or feel right. It should not feel right. It is not right. It is not okay that it took so long to reach this point in the creating of our laws and statutes, nor is it okay that the effects of the past still play out in the now. It is for this reason, that I believe white privilege is absolutely a thing.
White privilege is not, however, what society or the media makes it with their extreme comments and views.
White privilege is an institutional (rather than personal) set of benefits granted to those of us who, by race, resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions. One of the primary privileges is that of having greater access to power and resources than people of color do; in other words, purely on the basis of our skin color doors are open to us that are not open to other people. For example, given the exact same financial history, white people in the United States are two to ten times more likely to get a housing loan than people of color−access to resources. Those of us who are white can count on the fact that a nation’s history books will share our experience of history. American Indian parents, on the other hand, know that their children will not learn in school about the contributions of their people. (source 3) This means that those of us raised in white homes, when viewing our history and being taught by our white family or community members, will have a different perspective than our black friends and community members. This does not have to be wrong or right, but it is our reality.
For example, white people are taught that if you see a black man at a gas station, you should be afraid that he will rob you. Black people are taught that if a police stops you for any reason, you should be afraid of mistreatment or abuse. Both of these statements can be valid, but both are based on assumptions. Not every black man at a gas station will attack you, and not every policeman who stops you will mistreat you. When feelings get involved though, we take our assumptions to the next level- they impact everything we do- and they become our facts. This has been the case recently.
What is the solution to a problem like this? As a believer in Jesus I must remind you that the earth is permanently flawed. It will never be what it should be and we will always be able to find things wrong with it. This does not mean we shouldn’t address the things we find, but it does mean we must understand that there is no perfect person, country, or world. When it comes to determining our next steps in this matter, there are again three things I analyzed:
2. What we have tried that has failed
3. What we have tried that has worked
Fallacies- There are many, many, many wild accusations flying around social media right now but I have done my best to narrow them down. The first statement I see a lot is that black men and women are more likely to be killed/murdered than white people. One person went as far as to say that “being born in America as a black person is basically a death sentence.” This is taking one fact and twisting it to fit an agenda. While it IS true that more black people are murdered than white people (source 4), a large portion of these murders are black people killing black people. In fact, more black people kill white people than the other way around (source 5). This is reasonable because once again, history has caused many black people to live in low-income, impoverished communities. This has been proven to lead to more drug and gang-related activity. It is a fallacy, however, that black people being killed more often actually has anything to do with current racism in America. If anything it is a product of past segregation mistakes and economic turmoils. White people are not seeking out and killing black people in the way that such a statement implies.
Another Fallacy I see flying around is the notion that black people must always either be the victim or the perpetrator. The two sides of this protest movement are either demanding that black people are in desperate need of help and saving or that they are not worthy of our attention and time because they deserve what they get. Both of these extreme views are wrong.
I think it is absolutely unacceptable that “supporters” of the black movement are the ones making statements about how Black people are set up for failure, have limited opportunity, and have to fight for anything and everything they earn beyond what is acceptable. This simply isn’t true- and think about what that does to your brain. Think about the psychology behind that. If someone was telling me, “This country wants you to fail because you are white” I wouldn’t want to live here! I would be packing my bags! Yet that is what black people are being told by the very people claiming to support them. People are indirectly implying that we have to victimize black people to support them. From what I can tell, this only makes matters for them worse.
It is true that history has set the black community up with a disadvantage socially and economically- that is true. Yet telling future generations of black youth that they are permanently destined to fail will absolutely cause them to lose. We are at a time in society when we can be the difference and the change. They can and will be the change if we encourage them. What was true in the past is only true now if we say it is. Our words have power. What sounds more motivational: "I am sorry for you?" or "I believe in you". At the very least you can argue that we should be saying both. I do not want to tell my black friends that I merely “am listening” or that I “see” them. That sets the bar pretty low! I want to tell them they can succeed. They are succeeding. I want to point out all the opportunity that has been created for them to address some of the wrongs of the past. I want to partner with them to improve poverty and reduce gang violence. The beauty of America is that you are not forced to be a product of your past- there is a future for you. This truly is the land of opportunity. (source 6) (source 13)
It is the devil who wants to hinder people- both black and white- of all that they can accomplish. He is having the time of his life right now as he watches all that is going on. Leaders, even SPIRITUAL, FAITH-BASED leaders are trash talking and belittling their nation, their government, their president, and their fellow Americans who view things differently than they do. They are making radical statements and judgments. They are doing this for the sake of building up black people. Their heart is in the right place- but the action is off.
There is more hatred and bullying and hurt online in these last few days than I have seen in a very long time- maybe my entire lifetime. The worst part of it is that the vast majority of viewers have blindly gotten on board with all of it. People are clicking and liking and commenting faster than they are thinking. People are spending more time out protesting than they are reading scripture or praying. Believers of God open up your eyes- this is a radical wake up call. This is proof that people who are not rooted firmly in God are like sandcastles. They cannot stand. God is allowing these things to take place as a wake-up call. We will face more issues -racial and otherwise- in the future. We must be wise.
What we have tried that has failed- relying solely on laws and policies has brought on some change but not enough. It was not enough to end slavery or segregation or else I would not be sitting here writing this article today.
Battling and debating on social media, in the press, or even amongst ourselves has also proven to do more harm than good. Honestly, after this weekend I have lost friends and I have lost respect for people I previously looked up to. I am praying to God to restore my faith in the people I love- but it isn’t easy. This has been my personal testimony that what is taking place is not the right approach despite many well-intending people getting on board with it. Based on what I have found, this is because it puts black people into a hopeless mindset. Movements like the one currently going on reiterates that you, because of your skin color, MUST be a victim. You are helpless and must protest and riot in an effort to even fathom personal success. You have no say in the matter. Thus, progress [for the black community]—by many measures seemingly so clear—is viewed as an illusion, the sort of fantasy to which intellectuals are particularly prone. But the ahistorical sense of nothing gained is in itself bad news. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If all our efforts as a nation to resolve the “American dilemma” have been in vain—if we’ve been spinning our wheels in the rut of ubiquitous and permanent racism, as Derrick Bell, Andrew Hacker, and others argue—then racial equality is a hopeless task, an unattainable ideal. If both blacks and whites understand and celebrate the gains of the past, however, we will move forward with the optimism, insight, and energy that further progress surely demands. (source 7)
Not only has the negativity affected the black community and muddied the beauty of what we can do with and for them, but it has also allowed the devil and what I believe are actual demons to infiltrate the protestors who are marching. Groups who care nothing about the black community are taking advantage of these events and turning them into riots- damaging black-owned businesses and killing black people, the very people this movement is supposed to help. This is the devil. Please I beg of you, call out the devil when he comes to you in sheepskin! (source 9) (source 10)
What we have tried that has worked- It seems so simple, yet we have missed it… people will succeed when you tell them they are successful.
Your mindset will determine if you achieve a fulfilling life.
This has been undeniably proven thousands of times in hundreds of studies scattered throughout science. (source 8) If you tell someone they should be upset because they are being mistreated, they will be. Likewise, if you tell someone, “you are going to be the difference- you are going to change the course of history” they will. Can you imagine if this entire movement was telling the black community positive, uplifting things instead of posting millions of statements and memes of their persecution? Writing affirmations instead of clever witty comments to make them hate their president and their nation even more? Many, by the way, which are taken out of context to fit an agenda. I’m not saying deny the bad things that have happened or hide them, I am saying stop dwelling on it for hours, days, months.
Instead, invest in a method, invest in a mindset, that always does and always will succeed- positive thinking. Imagine if instead of releasing statements and equality photos, companies and organizations were offering jobs, resources, and funding for programs to improve impoverished parts of our cities. Imagine if protestors were going out and uniting on volunteer projects instead of breaking curfews. If this passion and desire for change were channeled into positive action and statements, there would be no curfews. The same unity that we are witnessing from spreading negativity can be created and capitalized upon through POSITIVE uniting. Imagine how different the movement would feel if we decided to make it a joyous occasion. The reality is, there are enough black and white people who love each other to make this a joyous occasion rather than a miserable one.
This is not only a social issue, but a health one. Think about how stressed you have felt lately. Think about how many negative emotions you have had engrained into your brain from staring at a screen. Think about the hours of lost sleep.This is not the way my dear reader to bring on harmony. You will live longer if you speak and think positively. (source 11)
The changes we need to see aren't laws or protests- they are choices. They are us actively choosing to see the good.
Lastly, it would not be right to speak on this without sharing what the Bible says. I have spent extensive time in the book of Romans recently and I want to share with you exactly what it says in regards to loving one another and functioning in our communities. I am so earnestly certain this is for us in this season, that I am committing to memory this passage. God has given us this passage for a time like this. :
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[f] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[g] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law...(source 12)
I believe God has given me this message for my readers in this moment. If this post has enlightened you in any way- I urge you to share it. We must change the course of this movement so that it does more good than harm. It is our duty as God-fearing followers of Christ.
source 1- https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery
source 2- https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/jim-crow-laws
source 3- https://www.cpt.org/files/Undoing%20Racism%20-%20Understanding%20White%20Privilege%20-%20Kendall.pdf
source 4- https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3226952
source 5- https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-3.xls
source 6- https://www.npr.org/2019/05/23/721958483/as-employment-rises-african-american-transplants-ride-jobs-wave-to-the-south
source 7- https://www.brookings.edu/articles/black-progress-how-far-weve-come-and-how-far-we-have-to-go/
source 8- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15272962/
source 9- https://abcnews.go.com/US/small-town-police-chief-killed-officers-cities-wounded/story?id=71017820
source 10- https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/black-owned-businesses-aren-spared-during-destructive-riots/9UNdbOC61OovGc8h6ecbjN/
source 11- https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-power-of-positive-thinking
source 12- https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12-15&version=NIV
source 13- https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310208