God Loves Everyone!
by Nick Bishop
The killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, was appalling. Sadly, this act of racial hatred has been a reoccurring feature of American society. Even during Obama’s presidency, there were killings at the hands of the police. With one voice, millions are saying: Enough is enough!
It is shocking to think in 2020, race relations in the US and particularly some within the black community and the police would be so bad. Sadly, it’s clear that police brutality and racism still lurks within some areas of law enforcement (including here in the UK). However, we must remember that the large majority who serve in law enforcement are not racist. In our country, for example, we must also commend some of the excellent training that police officers receive to restrain attackers and those who threaten the peace. Sadly, when we have seen videos of police brutality in the USA, it appears there is a far greater need for proper training. No officer should ever kneel on another person’s neck and especially for nearly 9 minutes, to restrain them.
It easy to rush to criticize and judge a police officer unfairly as they do their job. They often have to make a judgement call when they arrive at the scene of a crime (alleged or actual). Sometimes the officers have to act quickly when things get out of hand and still the problem escalates. Questions have to be asked if there is a disproportionate number of people from an ethnic group, class of people, religious group, nationality, etc, who die or injured at the hands of law enforcement. The police officers who were complicit in George Floyd’s death are without excuse.
There is one group in the US who have been suffering ever since Europeans first stepped ashore in the Americas. These are the Native Americans with a population of approximately 5 million. Surprisingly, the mortality rate of Native American people when dealing with law enforcement is 12% higher than the mortality rate of fatal incidents in the black community. Native American spokesman, Daniel Sheena for the Lakota People’s Law Project, says, “Native people are basically invisible to most people in the country”.
The Black Community make up 13% of the American population, and ‘Black Lives Matter’ was set up during the Obama era to highlight the disproportionate number of black people who were being mistreated and even dying at the hands of the police.
However, the protests and riots we have seen since the killing of George Floyd seem disturbingly dangerous. There have been peaceful protests, but now we have groups like ANTIFA, a far-left group, adding fuel to the fire, with their activities. This group may be an anti-fascist group, but many believe that their far-left credentials are no better than the far-right. It is understandable they would be against Trump (who some see as a far-right demagogue) but their activities often cause trouble and anarchy – something they seem to thrive upon – to push their political agenda.
President Trump has a reputation of bypassing the political establishment in an effort to connect to the ordinary people. At first, he said was shocked by the killing of George Floyd, but then he made careless statements like, ‘after the looting, comes the shooting’. This is a very irresponsible thing to say and plays right into the hands of ANTIFA.
Sadly, we may see the US military sent in to restore order on America’s streets. This would be an unthinkable action in a Western democracy like the US. However, some believe that the US President will be left with no other choice if the violence increases. When we have seen such demonstrations in the Middle East, Hong Kong, etc and they are met with overwhelming force, these actions are condemned worldwide, and the US is usually the first nation to condemn such outrages. It is ironic then, that Trump is threatening this in the US.
Jesus understood the grievances of his time, just as he understands our troubled world today. In the world, he inhabited there were riots and uprisings against the Jewish authorities and the Roman invaders and oppressors that controlled them. There was hatred of certain groups just like there is today. Both the oppressors and the oppressed have always existed in the history of our planet, and until our Lord returns, probably always will. Human beings may have good ideas to bring people and their communities together, but sadly, these ‘sticking plasters’ often only work for a short time.
Whether you agree with Trump or the protesters, the USA and all nations, need prayer. Black Lives Matter, and these words must be heard. One has only to look at history to see why millions of people are saying, ‘enough is enough’.
Wherever racism exists, it must be condemned. All people are equal before God and are loved equally. The challenge for the human race is to follow the example of Christ and his teaching that we should love one another and be peacemakers for those who thirst for righteousness.
Here are some encouraging scriptures we should take note of:
John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right appearance”.
Romans 2:11 “For God shows partiality”.
Acts 15:9 “And he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts”.
Matt 25 – 40 And the King will say, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.
God bless you x.
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