jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

Black Lives Matter

No one should have to worry that they might be killed by the people who are there to protect us. In America, anyone, no matter race, religion, sex, orientation… anyone, should be able to walk at night without fear. In my youthful naivety, I thought this was true, because it was my experience as a white man. I didn’t understand that black men were subject to far higher levels of scrutiny and harassment. I didn’t understand that the black community had to fight harder and work harder just to get a chance at the life I enjoyed. I didn’t understand the black community, and to be honest, I still don’t. I might not ever be able to understand it, but I’m trying.

While trying to figure out what my best course of action could be over the past few days, I’ve learned that I still have much to learn. It sickens me, literally sickens me, that we have to think of people not in terms of who they are, but also of what they are. My first response is to treat everyone as an individual, regardless of what color they are, or where they come from, but I’ve learned that doing so discards the struggles that people of color have to endure day to day strictly because of what they are. It’s not right.

Racial injustice has plagued America since the first ships carrying slaves arrived on her shores. It seems unlikely that these riots and protests are going to solve the problem now, but maybe we can all take a few steps in the right direction and make progress. This is what being a progressive liberal is about, seeing what is wrong and standing up to say that it needs to change.

So yes, to the black men and women who’ve been struggling with the legacy of slavery and racism for generations, your lives do matter. They matter to God in heaven, and they matter to me. I’m going to work to better educate myself and my family. I’m going to vote for progressive leaders up and down the political spectrum from the local town mayor to the President of the United States. Most of all, I’m going to be quiet and listen, seek to understand, and believe people when they say there’s a problem. Even, no, especially, when the problem described doesn’t match my experience.

To my white friends and family, I think we can do better. I’m not saying black lives matter more than any other life, I’m saying we need to believe that black lives matter also. To my friends and family who are not white or black, I’m not forgetting about you either. Especially Native Americans, I grew up on the same reservation as you. You’ve a right to be angry, the generations of injustice that has plagued the black community has also plagued yours. I can’t change the past or make it disappear, I can only use what strength I have to try my best to make the world a better place.

To my Christian brothers and sisters around the world, we must not tolerate racism of any kind. Galatians 3:6-28 says:

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave7 nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And, Revelations 7:9 says:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

We are all one people, we will all give an account of ourselves to Christ, Matthew 25:40:

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Are you prepared to explain to Christ why you thought it acceptable to be a part of a system that accepted racism as a normal part of life? Racism is wrong. It must be rooted out and destroyed.