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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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

The Difference Maker In the Charleston Shooting

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Vigil Held For Victims Of Charleston Church Shooting

The recent shooting in Charleston is a continuation of the seeming explosion of racial tension in this country, but there is a crucial difference. It is hard to imagine that we could endure another tragedy with racial overtones following the Trayvon Martin case, police shootings, rioting and other examples that racial wounds have not yet healed, but the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church shows us there is hope. Continue reading

I Had a Dream…

2008 Democratic National Convention: Day 4~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More than 86 years have passed since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth. Almost 50 years have passed since his death. Not insignificantly, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day at the anniversary of his birth, not the anniversary of his death. Though I cannot help but remember the tragic day of his death that left its imprint on my young, impressionable mind, I pray that the legacy of his life will draw us back to his message. May the light of his life outshine the darkness left in the void of his death.

I had a dream….” are the words that echo through the halls of history into our present consciousness. We hear those words repeated with the same sense of passion with which they were first spoken, but they seem dulled by the resistance of time. The present passion with which those words were spoken sits now like a dusty tome on the shelf of our collective memory.

Yet, those words were poignant…they are poignant still today. Continue reading

We May Just Be Colorblind

lightstock_75446_xsmall_user_7997290I intended to spend some time researching and writing about Thanksgiving. I was going to do that last year, but got distracted. Yesterday I planned to take the morning today to research and write about Thanksgiving  but it will have to wait because I am distracted again.

Like watching a train wreck is “Ferguson”. It has risen (or has been reduced) to the level of one name status, like Chernobyl or Iwo Jima or Prince. Ferguson has character and personality of its own, and it is ugly.

Life can be ugly. Life can be beautiful too.  We can find ugliness and beauty in many places. Sometimes all we see is the ugliness. Sometimes beauty can be seen in the midst of the ugliness, like a line of Ferguson protestors standing guard in front of a business to protect it.

Ferguson is more than an incident that some simply find unfortunate. It is more than an incident that demonstrates over militaristic modern police tactics, the foolishness of brazen, gangsta youth or vestiges of raw racism. Ferguson has reopened the deep wound of centuries of slavery, oppression and injustice. We dare not brush it off.

Consider the now iconic missive: “Can’t we all just get along?” (To be perfectly sardonic)

It is not that simple. Continue reading