I wanted to write to you all as a fellow white person because apparently, it’s easier to listen to another white person than a person that looks different than you.
I have already written about the idea of Black Lives matter and All Lives Matter and whatever other lives matter. I have already talked about the fact that when we say all lives matter we are hiding from the reality of white privilege. I really don’t want to rehash all the reasons that I feel the way I do.
I suppose I could or should have titled this post “Dear Fellow White American Christian People,” but let’s face it, 90% of the white people that I’m writing to are also American Christians so why waste the title space.
On April 19, 1775 a group of 77 armed men stood up to a group of oppressors sent to capture them. These 77 men had set up a shadow government that was training people for armed combat with the authorities of the day. It’s safe to assume that no everyone agreed with what these men were doing. It’s likely that there were people who didn’t understand what the big deal was, who didn’t understand why it was so important to make a stand against the authorities. Historically speaking there were actually three sides in the revolutionary war. The Loyalists, The Patriots, and The ones who really didn’t care. It was actually a fairly even divide. The loyalists liked things as they were. They were comfortable, predictable, safe. The Patriots looked at what was happening in the world they lived in and realized that things should be better and they acted on it. The no longer respected the Union Jack, no longer agreed with what it stood for, they saw in the intolerable acts (google them, it’s pretty much the reason we have a country, to begin with) things that they had to take a stand against…
Somewhere around 591 BC, four guys were taken captive by a king that was systematically taking over the then known world. They weren’t the only ones taken into captivity but these four were the most vocal. They started by standing up against the rules for eating, given by the government at the time. Then a few years later when the king made some rules regarding who you were supposed to worship and how they took another stand, literally, when everyone else was on their face on the ground saluting the symbol of the kingdom’s power and might, they stood, refusing to bow, refusing to place the king above what they knew was right. Sure they could have just gone along, of course, they could have done what everyone else was doing and no one would have said anything, but they didn’t. They stood in the face of not just certain persecution, but likely death because they believed that things had to be different.
July 2013 a man is acquitted of shooting an unarmed teenager who had been walking home with a can if Ice Tea and some Skittles. The man decided that he didn’t like the way the kid looked and called 911. Then against the 911 dispatchers, admonishment followed the kid, confronted him and got into an altercation that ended in the teenager’s death. This same man would go on to have run in’s with the police time and again in the years following and would sell the gun used to kill the kid on e-bay…the #blacklivesmatter movement took off. People noticing that there was a problem with the way some individuals were treated by people in power or authority, began to take a stand against the unfair treatment. Instead of things getting better, though, they seem to be getting worse. On a regular basis people of color are treated differently by people in authority than white people, and while not all officers are bad, it seems that there are more out there that are than we thought.
Before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 26, 2016, Kaepernick sat down, as opposed to the tradition of standing, during the playing of the U.S. national anthem. During a post-game interview he explained his position stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, referencing a series of events that led to the “Black Lives Matter” movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.
How do I put this…you can’t have it both ways. That’s one of the reasons that we need Black Lives Matter because for years White American Christian People have been fine with standing for their rights, claiming persecution, and making sure everyone realized that the world should look sound and live the way that best suits other White American Christian People. Now when a group of people begins to finally stand up and bring attention to a massive disparity between law enforcement and black people, we get jittery. When athletes use their platform to bring attention to the problem it makes people uncomfortable. We like it when an athlete stands up for Jesus but not when they stand up for justice.
God spoke to humans through this guy named Micah….
Seems pretty simple to me. As people who claim to be followers of Jesus, and who belive that Jesus was fully God and fully man. We should be standing with the #blacklivesmatter movement.
As citizens and patriots of a country that got it’s start because they no longer wanted to be treated as less than by others. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with the #blacklivesmatter movement.
I realize that others have been far more eloquent than I have, what bothers me is we seem to have forgotten that this country exists because people were not afraid to fight the status quoe. The Christian faith exists because 3 men refused to pay homage to the symbol of their captivity. We should never cheapen what our fellow human beings are doing because it makes us uncomfortable.
If #blacklivesmatter makes you uncomfortable perhaps you should ask yourself why and adjust accordingly.
Thanks for reading….