racism

9/26/17 : Sports Sports (Politics?) Sports

D-Wade is gettin' back with Bron Bron! He gave 8 million of his remaining deal with the Bulls back to them so they could reach a buy-out the day training camp started, and then signed with the Cavaliers today for 2.4 million. This has been the most exciting off season in the NBA as long as I've been alive, BY FAR. A few months ago I said, The dominance of the Golden State Warriors is no good for the NBA. It's not competitive and people don't wanna watch and it just makes players want to form more superteams.

Well, I was wrong. This is incredible. SO MANY ALL-STARS SWITCHED TEAMS! It's like we are all just watching some teenager control the NBA like he's on MyGM mode, 2K18 style. The NBA is fun. 

Meanwhile, in the NFL...

So the players, coaches, and even some owners responded to Trump's comments Friday evening with varied forms of familiar silent protests during the National Anthem, and some fans seem to be pretty upset about it. 

It seems important to me to remember what is being protested, specifically.

It seems important to me to recognize that everyone has the freedom of speech: players, presidents, AND fans. It doesn't seem important to me to use my freedom of speech to tell others that they need to find a different, equally peaceful/non-violent way to protest.

It is important to me to pray, to listen, to understand, and to love.  

8/19/17 : Racist or Ignorant?

Today I came across this photo on Facebook. 

slavery.JPG

The picture and the comments following got my wheels turning and I couldn't help but post my thoughts, which I'll post next. My post may seem off-the-wall considering the image above, but I promise that they tied in with the direction the comments went! 


I've found that the word "racist" has often turned my ears off in my past. That word would make me instantly stop trying to hear what those crying it were trying to say. After all, I considered myself the furthest thing from a racist!

However, now I stop defending myself and try harder to hear what is actually attempting to be communicated. 

There may not be overt slavery today, but what I've heard since I started listening and what I've seen since I started looking is an entire community that has been and is still being oppressed, in a myriad of ways. And I've been shocked to see how I perpetuate it through my ignorance. 

I believe a huge percentage of accused racists are actually just ignorant. They're ignorant to the oppression others endure for reasons outside their control, and they're ignorant to their own privileges they did nothing to earn. 

But until we stop trying to defend ourselves against the "racist" accusation, we'll never get the blinders off our eyes to really see what is goin on TODAY. We'll just keep perpetuating "systemic racism" through our own ignorance.


So I guess in short, I'm trying to be less defensive and more sensitive to the cries of others. I'd appreciate you holding me to that!

Day 48: Charlottesville

The first time I wrote this I started with, "I don't know where to start" but then I wrote like 2 pages of stuff that the internet deleted. So now I kind of know where to start and finish, but I'm frustrated that I have to write it again because my feelings are more developed and less raw now. However, I'm going to try and write it all over again because it's something I believe needs to be written. 

Maybe you aren't aware of what has been going down in Charlottesville, VA lately, so I'll start with a quick summary. I think it was back in February, the city voted to take down a General Lee statue in "Lee Park" and rename it "Emancipation Park". This decision spurred the anger of many white-nationalists, in turn making Charlottesville one of the most racially tense places in America. 

This weekend people (members of the KKK, alt-right, white-nationalists etc) came in from all over the country to protest the removal of the Lee statue, for a rally called "Unite the Right". Counter-protesters have come together in much larger groups any time these racist groups have assembled to let them know that their racism and hate is not welcome in this country. As the crowds packed the streets, someone in a gray Dodge Challenger sped through the crowd, hitting several counter-protesters before slamming into two other cars. As far as I know a 32 year old woman lost her life, and over 20 others were seriously injured by the impulsive attack. 

I don't post political things on the internet because I'd rather not give someone reason to dislike me before they get to know me personally. However, I will stand up for what is right and against what is wrong. Somehow, the line between politics and the treatment of humanity has become blurred, so let me clear it up a bit in this case.

 

Hatred and violence against humanity is always wrong. Plain and simple. 

 

Yesterday morning I sat in church and listened to a great sermon. Typically, great sermons talk about God's love for humanity, and how that love will change the way we love each other. I love those sermons! But honestly, I don't remember much about the sermon, because when I got home my thoughts were much more consumed by what happened in Virginia than what I had learned in church. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like I had spent my morning learning about Jesus while these counter-protesters in Charlottesville were actually being Jesus. Let me explain:

Being a Christian means simply to be a follower of Christ. It means to walk in His footsteps. To treat others the way He would treat them. To love the unloved and defend the defenseless. It means we are to stand up for love in direct opposition to hateAs children of a God whose law is unwavering and whose love is infinitely unconditional, we are to be extensions of those virtues to a world in desperate need of them.

So as I was literally sitting down in a pew, learning about this God of love and justice, there was a multitude of people literally standing up for it in a street as if they were bowling pins as a hate-fueled sports car came barreling through their protest.  

I'm definitely not saying we should all quit going to church and replace it with any protest or social justice rally we can find. However, when there are people so blatantly mistreated in our communities and we don't stand up for them while call ourselves Christians, we are taking God's name in vain AND lying! 

Here's the deal; I fully recognize that we live in a world full of gray area, and it's difficult to know what to boldly stand against and what not to. However, what happened yesterday is easy! There are groups and organizations today who still ostracize, demonize, and marginalize other human beings based on the color of their skin. This is wrong and as Christians we shouldn't be quiet in calling it for what it is.

I don't care if their reasons are justifiable or not, if someone simply FEELS mistreated, hurt, rejected, less-than, persecuted, or simply lonely, then as Christians we should be the FIRST to treat them with kindness, to give them healing, acceptance, value, safety and companionship.

While I believe this post applies to everyone in the world, regardless of their faith, I'm looking at myself and my fellow Christians first. We don't have time to sit around and wait for it to affect us directly. If evil, hatred, and violence is in our country, it is in our community. We must overcome evil with good. We must stand up for love in the face of hate. 

Jesus set the perfect example of liberating the oppressed. We have to stop pretending like there is no opportunity to follow it.