Where I stand on Kneeling

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

I have tried to pay as little attention to pre-football game ceremonies as I possibly can lately. The public outcry and comment about it makes my avoidance a challenge. I haven’t formally weighed in on the crisis. I don’t like rushing to judgment. I like to let things simmer and stew and to consider the various angles. Social media is good for that. I get to see what everyone thinks, whether I like it or not.

I feel compelled, for some reason, to throw my two cents into the marketplace of ideas on the subject. But first, let me summarize some of the responses I have seen on social media. If I don’t get them exactly right, I hope you will forgive me. I have tried not to pay attention after all. You can set me straight in the comments below.

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Love is the Final Fight

From the Switchfoot YouTube video of The Sound (John Perkins’s Blues)

I have been struggling for the right words since I learned of the Charlottesville tragedy. Of course, I denounce the hate-filled act that took a life and put others in the hospital. I denounce racism in all its ugly forms. I joined in with other voices to acknowledge that this was an act of terrorism. Plain and simple.

But, when the dust settles and the loud cries for justice fade to a simmering  fury, it isn’t that plain and simple.

How did we get here? More importantly, how do we escape this rat trap that seems to have perpetually bound us to the doom of repeated history?

I listen to the clamor of voices, and I just want to weep – so much heat and very little light. More knee-jerk reactions are not sufficient to counter the forces that have lead us to this place and have entangled people in their grip since the first man clubbed his brother to death. We desperately need something more!

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Don’t Confuse Racists with Christians

Depositphotos Vector ID: 155015578 Copyright: robzs

I was on vacation in the north woods last week, disconnected from the world at large and from the urgency of current events for the most part. Bits and pieces of the tragic violence that occurred in Charlottesville filtered through, and I came back to be confronted with the full on force of those events this week.

I still don’t know all the details, but I know that what happened is a product of racism at its worst. It is nothing short of domestic terrorism. I am left with a dull ache, a heavy sadness and a lot of pessimism about our future as a country.

These events aren’t as raw for me as they likely are for others. I was away when the full brunt of the violence took place. I am also a white man.

But, I am human. All people are brothers and sisters. I believe we were all made, male and female, Jew and Gentile, black and white, in God’s image. Therefore, we are one.[1] I believe every individual, therefore, of every tribe, nation and tongue has intrinsic value. Racism is not only senseless; it flies defiantly in the face of our Creator.

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Race: Building Bridges in a War Torn Country

 


Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy lives on in his son. He says here in the video above that he is a bridge builder, as a swarm of journalists try to get him to burn that bridge. I am deeply impressed with admiration for his response.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, please watch it.

We live in a sharply divided nation that is polarized on many issues. Race is just one of them, but race is one of the most visceral and difficult of the issues we face. Dr. King preached a message of love and unity in a world of hatred and disunity. In some ways the world is little different than it was when he was alive.

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Gangster Rap and What Matters

Anyone who has read my blog knows that I often express sympathy with the plight of people of color in modern American society. Though I am white, a man and live in the suburbs, I have defended the right of Colin Kaepernick to protest, though I don’t find his protest to be very effective. I have urged my fellow Caucasians to try to see through the eyes of other people and not be so quick to dismiss them. I have written that we should try to understand what “black lives matter” really means.

I am not the person who should be writing about these things, perhaps. But, we are all people, right? If I can’t write about these things, what does it say about the ideal that we espouse as a society that longs for equality and justice for all and treats all people, no matter what race, nationality, gender or orientation, as human beings worthy of respect?

So I write about these things.

I specifically feel self-conscious about writing on this subject. It is not the world I know, but, I don’t hear people talking about it much. They used to talk about it, but not anymore. I’m talking about the influence of things like gangster rap on our society. Continue reading

Issues with Colin Kaepernick

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I have been silent about the Colin Kaepernick “issue” since it first surfaced. I have been slightly amused, but more perturbed, at the rants and raves that have taken on a life of their own. Don’t we have more serious issues to attend to? We get our panties in a bunch a little too easily.

I know. I probably stand apart from many of my friends and people I know. I am white, lean conservative, consider myself a Christian… but more importantly, above all other things, I count myself a follower of Christ, an imperfect one to be sure. But, that’s my ideal.

I don’t identify with Colin Kaepernick, and neither do my friends, and that is part of the problem. Continue reading