The Problem is Not Black and White

Monday, July 11, 2016

By the time this post goes live, I'll probably be one of 20 zillion bloggers who have chimed in about all that has been going on with police brutality and all that has followed. As bloggers, we sit behind our computer screens and write about things that we only see at surface level. Most of us are not experts, and can only see what the media lets us see. So before I dive into this topic, I'd like to say that I am only human. I have ideas, standards, and beliefs. I wouldn't believe what I believe if I didn't think it was true. But just because I type up some words about a very difficult subject, doesn't mean I have it all figured out.
I simply want to offer some food for thought.

Police Brutality and #Blacklivesmatter

I am so sorry to all the families who have lost someone dear because of police brutality. I wish I could tell you that everything will be ok- but your worlds are turned upside-down forever. I know that.

I'd like to say that you absolutely do matter. Black lives do matter. And yes, all lives matter. Those are both very true statements, and I believe them both with all my heart.

You do not deserve to be treated poorly because of the color of your skin. And when this happens, it disgusts me. I am so sorry!

But I do think that #blacklivesmatter is actually doing you injustice. When someone says "Black lives matter", it places you in a separate category, which only serves to re-segregate you. Equality comes when we don't see color. It comes when we stop putting ourselves in separate categories. You have fought for so long not to be segregated, but now a simple phrase is actually serving to re-segregate you in a sense.

The travesties going on right now are very much racial. And that is a terrible, disgusting thing. But I am not convinced that doing more talks about "those blacks" or "those whites" is doing anyone any good. Should we acknowledge racism? Absolutely. But some people are way past acknowledging it- they are cultivating a war of the races.

There are thousands of people- black and white alike- that are on your side when it comes to police brutality. We want to support you and help you.




Evil

The fact of the matter is, evil people are going to do evil things. Prejudice is evil. The shooting of men who don't deserve it is evil. It's evil whether it was done by a white cop, a black cop, a terrorist, etc. Just like the shooting in Orlando was evil. And equally evil was the attack of cops- especially since they had nothing to do with the other incidents.

Assuming all white cops are corrupt is just as evil as assuming all black people are criminals capable of violence.

But honestly, we can expect evil from a world filled with sadness, despair, and anger. We cannot change what other people do. We cannot protest the evil out of the world. We cannot shoot evil out of the world. We can't even get rid of evil through acts of kindness.

The Answer

I bet you weren't expecting that last one. Chances are, you might even be a little bit mad that I said that. But it's true.

No matter how many "good deeds" or "kind acts" you perform, you aren't going to change the world. Sure, you're doing more good than harm, but you still can't fix it.

The problem is not (and never will be) corrupt cops or violent "blacks". The problem is not racist whites OR racist blacks. The problem is not gay or straight, transgender bathrooms or "bigoted Christians". The problem is not Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump. The problem isn't an issue or cause. The problem is a lack of Jesus.

Jesus is always the answer, but most people never get that. Even people who claim to be Christians have no idea what that means. And I'm not just talking about the "flaming liberals" who want more gun control. I'm also not just talking about the "conservative bigots" who want the freedom to refuse a wedding cake to a homosexual couple.

I'm talking about about the little old lady who's been in church her whole life, but has no concept of her own sin. I'm talking about the 30-year-old man who donates his time to all the good causes and social justice organizations he can find, yet has no interest in what God's word says about his own life. If we are not for God- truly, deeply for Him- then we are against Him (Matthew 12:30).

Jesus is the only way for our salvation. And that is the crux of the whole thing. But Jesus is more than just our "ticket" to Heaven. He also instructs us on how to handle evil and injustice in the world:

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
(Romans 12:14-19)



Make the Choice

Again, you cannot control what someone else does. And even your feeble acts of kindness cannot change the world. But- and that's a big but- with God, you can make a world of difference.

You see, kindness done for the sake of kindness is futile. But kindness and love shown for the sake of Christ, and out of our gratitude to Christ is everything.
The world needs to see us bringing forth love. The world needs to see us loving black people, loving cops, loving homosexuals, loving drug-addicts, prostitutes, and yes, even Hilary, Bernie, Trump, and Obama. They need to see kindness towards everyone, a lack of hateful speech, and a consistency in the way we live our lives.

They need to see followers of Christ who don't take sides, but show love to all. They also need to see followers of Christ who know how to stand firm on God's word without acting like idiots towards those who oppose them.

If we commit to living like this, many of us will find ourselves ostracized, even by fellow Christians. There are plenty of Christians who think it's their job to change the world through their "loud" Facebook posts. Others who think it's their job to rid the world of "closed-minded", conservative Christians who "take the Bible too literally". And others will take it upon themselves to bible thump "the gay" out of the homosexuals they know. Those sound like great ministry tools, huh? *insert slow eye-roll*

You can be as loud as you want, as articulate as you want, and as rude as you want, but that isn't going to change the world. What will change the world is Jesus. What will change the world is people seeing love shown by the followers of Jesus.

So we can either keep failing with our methods for "bring peace", or we can do it God's way. Take your pick.


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24 comments

  1. We are living in dark times. People need to realize the end is near. We all need Jesus!

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  2. I so commend you for putting this out there. It's hard to speak the truth when no one wants to hear it but you said it and I could hug you for it. I'm sure not everyone will agree and that's okay but something needs to change with this world and you nailed it!

    I pray daily for everyone because everyone does matter and I feel like the question that needs to be asked, isn't being asked. What do others want to see happen to change this? How can WE change this? It scares me for my children but they are the future. We have to raise them up to be loving and accepting of everyone, no matter race or sexual preference. It's not up to us to judge. We should only love.

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    1. Thank you, Leslie! I appreciate it! I was really nervous about posting this, but I really wanted to say it!

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  3. This! Jesus Christ is the answer! :)

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  4. I'm a bit torn on the point about re-segregating by saying "Black Lives Matter" I've seen both sides of the coin and I'm still kind of undecided. Just like calling myself a feminist, that doesn't mean I hate men or want to be better than men, it's that I'm calling for equality of the genders. I think the same goes for the BLM movement. It's not necessarily calling out that only BLM but that they should be equal. However, it's totally ignoring any other races and like your post title says, it's not just black and white. It's tough.

    Anyways, I totally agree with you that we need to show love to all.

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    1. Yeah, it really is a hard subject. I'm not claiming to know all the answers. And I totally get that the BLM movement is trying to call for equality, but there have been many times that I have seen it used so poorly that it did nothing but separate people. That doesn't mean that that's what everyone is doing, but it does make me question if it's the best approach.

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  5. Our world is such a mess right now and God is definitely the only solution. I love this!

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  6. Love this post! I actually love the BLM movement. Without it, I honestly don't think we'd have a sense of just how prevalent white privilege and injustices within the Black community actually are. In my opinion, it doesn't segregate at all. It brings to light to everyone, black, white, asian etc, just how much the Black community has been silently suffering for generations and I think in that way it can bring us all together to speak out and denounce what's going on.

    And I also used to be a strong advocate for being color blind but then I realized that if I were to do that, that I wouldn't be able to appreciate someone's background, struggles or culture simply because I was ignoring their color and grouping everyone into one pot, personally. But yea, used in the right way I believe BLM is fantastic. And totally agree with you on the fact that only Jesus can save the world. It's a harsh reality but one we must trust him with. Great post! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Autumn.
      I was just talking to one of my best friends about this. Her husband is black and they live in Memphis which is an area with pretty rough situations for the African American population. So my experience and their experience is very different.

      I can totally see where you are coming from about the BLM movement. My main issue is that, personally, I have seen it misused too many times. It can be an awareness tool, but in my limited experience, I've only seen it cause divide, and I've seen it used to basically express how awful white people are, which is just another racism.
      BUT I sure that some people have had a very different experience. I only know that from what I've seen, it has hurt more than helped.

      I really appreciate that you enjoyed and were encouraging about this post even though I said some things you disagreed with. That means a lot to me. I was so nervous to post this because I genuinely care about people (all people) and I didn't want to come across the wrong way. So thank you :)

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  7. The answer is always Jesus, but I think Jesus gives different answers to different people. I don't know anything else. But in my experience He met me where I was and gave me hope when I had none. It wasn't something I was taught in church and it's something I'm always being discouraged to be passionate about, but despite that I have never felt such a connection with God. He uses imperfect people to bring the change He knows the world needs. Yes, doing good just for the sake of doing good is futile, but a lot of 'Christians' think that doing good is just going to church and maybe putting some change in the offering. This is also futile. They are not kind at all and they are not aware of the outside world. But we are all broken and none of have the answers, but maybe bits and pieces, which God brings together in strange ways. The world is broken and God has called us to love it anyway.

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    1. God definitely uses imperfect people. We all have a job to do.
      And yes, some people's sense of "doing good" is so very skewed, but that's exactly my point. THAT'S the reason the world is so broken. Not because of these current issues, but because of hearts that don't truly know Jesus.

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    2. Yes, that's exactly right :)

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  8. Great post. It can be hard to put something like this out there but ultimately it can be a good thing for people to read.

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    1. Thank you, Taylor! I appreciate that!

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  9. I love this post.

    I am not a religious person, but I believe that we can improve as a society.

    I believe that we need more love, and need to work to spread messages of love instead of hate and that acts of kindness will go farther than you think. I believe we are each responsible for our own attitudes and behaviours and need to fix the problems within ourselves before we can start pointing fingers. Even as a non-religious individual I have a problem with hypocrisy, but I believe anyone can be redeemed (either in the eyes of God if that is how they feel, or the eyes of society.. though the eyes of society might be the harder of the two)

    It's not all black and white, this is an ongoing and difficult issue. The best thing that can be said though is that it's being discussed globally and that HOPEFULLY, we will start to see positive change.

    xxox
    Laura @ www.cookwineandthinker.com

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Laura! Yes! I hope that we start to see positive changes! We need that!

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  10. I am a supporter of both police and the BLM movement. Protests have changed the world for many years and can bring awareness to injustices that most people don't understand because they don't walk in those particular shoes.

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    1. That's good food for thought. I personally don't know of many protests that have changed the world, but that doesn't mean it's not true. It just means I need to do some research into that :)

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  11. I grew up in W. Africa - I've never seen color. I've never seen people as different races. OH MY GOODNESS! I am overcome with the racial world this has become. I believe it has been aggravated by the left, and SO SO sad.

    So glad that there really is a lot less racism than the media makes us think, and YES I have lived in the South, the Southwest, the West and the Northwest parts of the US, and the perception really has changed everywhere, but I don't believe it exists like it is made to sound out.

    I know that the answer is in Christ. Thank you for pointing it out. Praying for our country.

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  12. I love this post! I am admittedly more agnostic than Christian, and therefore am contributing largely to what you see to be as the problem. BUT, I can really appreciate the way you shared a controversial opinion without being offensive. I see both sides of the BLM movement. I think many of their points are valid, but that any promotion of violence (for ANY cause) is counterproductive to their purpose. Your neutrality and respect in regards to the topic was refreshing. I wish we could all think about problems with as little bias as you. :)

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    1. Amanda, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this comment. It means so much to me when people can see love and care in my posts, regardless of if they agree with my ideas or not. Thank you for reading respectfully and for leaving this comment :)

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