Everyone in our country and beyond knows about the ruthless murder of George Floyd and a host of other African American men, boys, women and girls that have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement. This is nothing new, however, now it is being caught on video more and more and is being exposed for the evil it is. To be clear, even if someone commits a crime, it is not an automatic justification they should lose their life. Please trust I understand the anger, frustration, hurt and pain that comes from generations of murder, oppression, and criminalization of people in our culture. I completely understand the gamut of emotions we experience every time we see on the news or social media a police officer taking the life of another black brother or sister without consequence. In the RARE instance police are charged, there is an almost NON-EXISTENT rate of conviction. What troubles me also is the rioting and looting as a result of these acts of evil. We must not tear down, steal from, and destroy property. Sadly, the riots and looting now get more media attention rather than the senseless murder that caused the riots and looting in the first place. Again, I empathize on every level with where the hurt and anger comes from, but there has to be a better way to express ourselves. I have a strong black husband, sons, father, brother and a host of other loved ones. Our culture deals with mass incarceration on a whole other level, different from any other in our country. Many would agree that mass incarceration is modern day slavery. Here’s my plea to my black brothers and sisters – Please do not put yourself in a position to be put in handcuffs and taken to jail/prison. We too are experiencing incarceration in our own family and the thought of more black men and women being handcuffed and jailed from expressing their own hurt isn’t the way.
On another note, some people ask why rioting and looting are even taking place. Food for thought – We are all born in sin and shaped in iniquity (Psalm 51:5) and can only be redeemed by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7). Unfortunately, violence begets violence in our society and world. May want to read that again. Violence begets violence. That requires the people of the world we African Americans live in to take a look in the mirror. This is human nature from the beginning of time (Genesis 4:8). The ONLY way to combat violence is by being redeemed by Christ’s blood, having the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2) and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galations 5:22-23). This leads to a heart change (Ezekiel 36:26) and the Holy Spirit is what enables us to express ourselves peacefully in the midst of evil. Is it right that we are killed randomly because of the color of our skin? NO. Is it right or fair that as black parents, we have to TEACH our black children how to conduct themselves because of harm that can come to them because of society’s perception of them and the color of their skin? NO. The list goes on. We absolutely should continue to use our voices and video to expose the injustice and evil prevalently perpetrated against African Americans. What I don’t want to see is us destroying the property of others and communities we live in, perpetuating false stereotypes, potentially being jailed and adding to the incarceration of our beautiful and misunderstood black brothers and sisters. Just something to think about.
God Gets all the Glory,
Michelle Smith Lewis