Third, Shared blame must be accepted. The police, where they have allowed authority to become authoritarian. The blacks, by taking refuge in victim-hood. Nothing will be resolved so long as the stories are all one-sided, with blacks the innocent and police the guilty: predators preying! Truth to tell however: why is the discussion nearly one-sided? As in, “what can be done to reduce police brutality?” Why is no one asking, “What are black community leaders doing to help the police use less force by encouraging their people not to run when stopped and not to resist when arrested?”
We look in vain to find common ground in a one-sided issue.
Seeing it as a two-sided problem empowers a call for human decency under a just God against bad decisions by both parties. It brings a meeting of equals before God, seeking solutions to wounds that intentional or unintentional charges and counter-charges have festered into open, ugly, conscious distrust. Such people are agents of reconciliation, not aggravation. They compromise to seek common ground, not pontificate to defend positions. They want healing, not contention. They negotiate disputed points, not defend doctrinaire stances.
Such discussion necessarily excludes those who have a street mentality. They’re professional agitators, lurking everywhere and immediately flying to wherever they think opportunity exists to stir discontent into a witch’s brew of looting and violence. Their forte is hustling and provoking confrontations that make good press for the ever-sensational-seeking media.
Those people know how to blow smoke into fire; but not how to nurture a flickering wick into a candle-light. They know how to stomp people’s dreams to death; but not how to cradle a bruised reed in gentle hands until it heals Matthew 12:20. They satisfy themselves by disturbing the peace, exacerbating differences and creating disruptive warfare where strong divisions exist. They pass combustible situations and casually throw explosives, delighting in the blowup that follows. Then, like arsonists returning to admire their handiwork, the street agitators stand by WATCHING with pleasure at the mayhem they have caused. Obey Paul’s directive in Titus 3:10-11 regarding such people.
Fourth, black preachers need to help their people take command and assume responsibility for their lives. They have that very influence in their communities denied white ministers in theirs. Let them by teaching and personal example lead their people from believing others owe them. They instead owe themselves the right of every race in a free America. And it’s being done by hundreds of thousands of black brothers and sisters by putting effort into satisfying careers instead of waiting for someone to help them find one or to provide a living without having one.
Their success in a highly technical age proves how wrong the slave masters were. They can think with the best brains of other races, compete in every field with other races, achieve equal success with other races. Indeed, even as slaves, they outthought and outworked their masters and lacked only a free market in which to compete. Those who by effort, working with people of good-will in other races, can resolve differences that always exist in humanity, even in a thoroughly homogeneous society, certainly in a culture diverse as ours.
That “work-ethic” approach to everyday life will also resolve the problem of respect. “Show me respect” so many black people say. Funny, I don’t hear any other race in America making that demand. Maybe what they’re really saying is, “Give me self-respect.” Only the person himself, no one else, can provide self-respect. In fact, it can’t be given or demanded. It certainly can’t be TAKEN. It must be earned. And the best way to EARN it is to SHOW it to others.
I pass many people on my walks. Because I owe them recognition, I greet them. I seldom fail to hear a return greeting. Abraham Lincoln always said he’d show a man respect by getting off the sidewalk if he wanted the whole space. I’ve done it more than once. Not because I’m a pushover, but I save my warrior-nature for more important issues than space on concrete.
The difference in many societies is: some people in every race want the government to take care of them. Others in the same race want to take care of themselves, to earn their own way by the God-given talents he put in every race. People will always find politicians who promise to “take care of them” if they vote the right way. This writer had a white member of a church who was told he would have all his family needs met if he made the right religious choice. He “no-thanked” them and continued following Christ. Communists and Nazis traded welfare societies for votes, but where did it leave their people in the end? End Part II