Hatred laced with ignorance is plaguing many cities throughout the United States. Usually all the posts written at Rethink are carefully planned, thought out and scheduled. This post is different. I personally like to let the storm of conflict settle before stating a position or calling people to action. This topic is too serious to let a response from us here at Rethink be saturated with time.
There have been cases of police brutality where civilians are killed, protests, rallies, and open attacks on police around the country. This has led to major movements of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter. Our own Congress has even politicized this issue to try to pass or block legislation that is filled with personal agendas and probably the money of industries and lobbyists. I ask a serious and stern question of where is our sound judgment? We decide that moments after a shooting, instead of mourning the lives lost, we pick up slogans and point the finger at who is to blame. Personally, I blame no one person or people group for the actions. Please hear me when I plead with you that we need to start to act and stop reacting.
The biggest culprit to reacting is the news media. There is not one news agency that is innocent in this. I don’t care if you watch the more liberal MSNBC or the ultra conservative Fox News. There is a fire happening among the people in this country, and the root of it is hate. The news media has decided that the better ratings and viewership will come by throwing gas on that fire of hate. Therefore they skew the positions of each movement and fan the flame of hatred. When an unfit cop throws away his oath to protect and serve, the news media shows the world at 6 and 10 o’clock. The news live streams as cops are being ambushed. The news doesn’t make their featured story about African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic heritage officers working together to make their communities safer.
WHAT WE NEED
We need to push back. It is not protests that need to happen, and it’s definitely not movements that are spawned by race or career. We need community meetings where all sit down and discuss the needs of an individual’s community. We need police that patrol on foot and get to know the citizens first hand. We need more respect from the community for people that put on the uniform and protect us at home and abroad. We also need our elected officials to grow up and realize that this is not about them. Every time they can’t sit calmly and discuss the issues their constituents face, we lose.
It is not about gun control, it is not an issue of racism, and it’s not an issue of politics. For one thing transcends all of that, and it is our humanity. It is the thing we all share. We all inhabit the same country. Do we need better legislation, yes. Do we need better police training, yes. Do we need more respectful citizens, yes. Everything can be improved on. Yes, the Democrats are right, we can improve gun control. Yes, the Republicans are right, we should protect the 2nd Amendment. Looks like a stalemate, so people shout and cry. Great people share ideas and find reasonable solutions even when their opinions differ.
DON’T FORGET GOD
Lastly and most importantly, we need God. I know people might ask what God has to do with this topic. To those I answer with he is the obvious answer that many miss. For it is a love of God and Christ that begins our journey to truly embracing our neighbors and loving them no matter who they are. People will argue that religion has killed more people than many plagues, and to them I would say you are correct. Then I would argue back that religion and the misinterpretation of scriptures has killed people, not a person’s walk with Christ. I would argue that Jesus Christ himself is a self-sacrificial pacifist, where we learn that judgment rests with God not us.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
What are we to do about all this? The answer is something we teach our children as early as grade school. “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” Oh yeah, the Golden Rule which we have children memorize but never take serious ourselves. After we embrace that practice, here are some things that I and many could improve upon.
- Pray for all the victims of the violence we are facing.
- Respect the opinions of others even though we might see them as wrong.
- Thank the good men and women who are willing to protect us, for the vast majority of police are outstanding public servants.
- Be a leader not a follower. (Meaning when something happens we need to take a breath and have useful dialogue on how we can all work together as one community.)
We all know that maintaining a healthy family takes time and loads of work. It causes us sleepless nights, stress, and headaches. Healthy community takes the same. Shouting chants and hate will get us no where. What will get us somewhere is calm dialogue about how we work together when problems arise. I say to both movements, please look at each other and find the good in each other. If we can all do that, I promise you a solution is close.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this, so comment below. Please keep comments respectful.