Racism, Classism and the Christian Community
Christians have a history in establishing non-discriminatory communities among the societies they live in, whereby being an example and leading the change necessary for all to enjoy life. That there are portions of society that tries hard to stifle the voices of good people, is nothing new. To understand those voices we only need to look at what happened in Antioch when the Saints who chose to follow God were insultingly given the name, Christians in the first place. The ancient city of Antioch had walls within the city to create enclaves to separate the many peoples in blocks of their own races and cultures. The Saints of God, the fledgling Kingdom began circumventing those segregated walls visiting and worshiping with other Saints regardless of class or race. They ruling class dismissively called them Christians whom they believe would go away after a while. They didn’t. They grew.
Sadly, the 12th through the 21st centuries have produced splintered Christianity, atrocities that has culminated in slavery of an entire race, mass genocides on various continents (sympathizers call some conquests), and discriminatory customs perpetuated by being passed on for generations like the Machiavellian doctrine, and Jim Crowe laws – which is sadly among even people who are professed Christians. Even sadder, when their shortcomings and vile behaviors are pointed out, the response is anger and victim shaming. I thought it was prudent to bring up Antioch and the ancient city to remind those who profess faith in God, that it is only the devil who loves oppression and divisiveness. There is no fence to straddle where discrimination and murder shows its ugly head.
The level of carnage people have had to go to in the last few years have reached a pitch where it is now necessary to spell out that common decency avoids deaths and burned buildings. As it is, even in the sixties, as there are today; there are instigators clamoring for a rematch of the civil war by screaming that we are now in a race-war. There is no race war; not then not now and not in the future. The so-called war is for the police to stop shooting Black people on sight. And after all this time, if no one understands what people mean when they sound off any version of #alllivesmatter, #whitelivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, #babylivesmatter in combination with they “love everybody” after these incidents; you need to take a class in understanding mockery and study the language of white-nationalists to understand exactly what these words mean. In fact – police organizations around the country are now realizing what is being said and showing that they are listening (and that is what needs to happen). The typical race-baiters are trying to draw a reaction in places they know they can use “stand your ground” laws with the backing of politicians who Q“understand”Q what Q“defend”Q themselves mean.
Protesting for equality and Justice is Not About Your Flag or Your Idols
African Americans have said again and again, it is not about your flag when we kneel or refuse to pay homage to a flag that allows us and our children to be systemically singled out or murdered by the law enforcement body that is supposed to be for our defense. We also pay the taxes that are used to pay the incomes of these organizations and should feel safe when we see them or call them, or when others make false calls and they show up. Not feel that they are the tools white supremacists count on as their enforcers. We are not disrespecting the flag. We are in fact trying to add a sense of justice to the stars and stripes. Truth be told, those who seem to be screaming the loudest about disrespecting the American flag are the sect of people who hold up confederate flags, the same confederate flag used by rebels that tried to destroy the United States from within, they also hold dearly swastika, the symbol of a murderers and enemies of the United States whose own nations distances itself from them, and statues (idols) of men who fought in a civil war against the United States in order to preserve the enslavement and mistreatment of African Americans and other minority peoples. The hypocrisy is real, and if you are a Christian who holds to the values of the white nationalism or confederacy or nazi culture – you have not read the Bible. Because it specifically says “do not oppress the alien among you”, and there are various aliens in your population.
We Are Not Crying Wolf
African Americans and our children are dying, literally and figuratively because of the rhetoric from the highest levels of government. I’ve struggled with the conservative messages lately, as it is becoming painfully obvious that “conservative values” is simply a phrase used as a cover for overt-racism. We do not have to gas-light to show why we need justice. We only have to point to the brutality of slavery, the 9 minute casual kneeling on George Floyd’s neck by a police officer, the evening stalking and murder of Trayvon Martin whose killer was given a pass by stand your ground laws even though he initiated the fight, 12 year old Emmit Till whose murderer was not arrested and tried till he was old and sickly and couldn’t afford his own health care, the early and near justification of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery; the optics and behaviors are terrible. We do not have to cry wolf, it’s there for all to see now that some in the police force feel emboldened to act with impunity, even on camera because they feel they have a chance to get away with it.
Common psychology will also tell you that if this continues; the racists in the system will turn on you when they decide, like Antioch, you are Christians, or when they feel they can get away with that too – to showcase the point; the armed forces had no idea they were going to be used to attack peaceful protesters in DC so a picture could be taken with a Bible. I can only imagine the PTSD from having to attack friends, neighbors, and perhaps even family members, and people you are sworn to protect while they were peacefully protesting for rights these soldiers count on as well. It is not right. But, evil will use all of us to destroy even our closest friends when it wants to silence the truth.
Are you Christian or Antiochian
As Christians, if you have doubts about what this means – look to Antioch for a reminder of the why Saints were insulted with the name Christians. Re-evaluate your conservative views; justice, and love are to be at the forefront of those “conservative values”, the current conservative values stink. Hatred doesn’t belong to anyone living in the Kingdom of God. Everyone should have the same protection under the law and everyone should be shown the same mercy on equal terms; mercy and lawfulness should not be color-coded.