“I think evangelicals and Baptists were closer to the truth 30 years ago when they used to say that character counts. I think the abandonment of character as a political standard is tragic and regrettable and we will reap what we have sown.”
The riotous fire of a burning police precinct might not be the Pentecostal flame many of us expected, and that itself is a failure of white Christians to listen to the suffering around us.
This God-forsaken red stain on our white hands will never be washed clean until we white Christians repent and through peaceful, nonviolent protest declare, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take any more dead black men at the hands of white police.”
From my vantage point as a lawyer, judge and Baptist minister, I have reviewed carefully the matter of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers and the stream of events in the wake of his death. The list of what went wrong is long and damning.
We have a systemic problem, one that our African American brothers and sisters have tried to warn us about year after year, decade after decade, only to be ignored.
Those of us who are white are asked by the cross to stand in solidarity with the crucified class to dismantle the structures of white supremacy that sustains itself through the use, abuse and destruction of black and brown bodies.
Now more than ever, we need that Breath in our bodies, that fire in our bones, that vision of an otherwise possibility that bespeaks sheer revolution and not a measured tinkering with a supposedly “broken system.”
Today I am trying my hardest to find solace in Jesus, another man who cried out to his mother, and to his father, when he was bleeding and suffocating on the lynching tree, being put to death by people who believed they had more power than he.