OP/ED: “Has God Blessed America?”
More deaths, partisan rhetoric emerge. Turning point?
By Marcinho Savant,
As I write this, I’m live streaming a growing demonstration against police murder for #BlackLivesMatter (BLM), getting under weigh, in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. In a week of shockingly candid reports and footage of the deaths of Alton Sterling at a convenience store in Baton Rouge, and Philando Castile in his car, in Minnesota. At the hands of a, lone-wolf, black sniper, five police officers were slain in Dallas.
Mostly-peaceful BLM protests are sprouting in a spreading pattern nationwide. Have we seen anything like this before? Perhaps, but never with the, ubiquitous, instantaneous, reveal which can be found on social media, and in the twenty-four hour news cycle. At the time of this filing, demonstrations have surfaced in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Memphis, Chicago, Tampa, and Newark, NJ. Is it time?
Facts are surfacing, long-masked by the authorities. Opinions are rebounding far and wide, even in other nations, and the tenor of the comments is nothing, if not shocking, comforting, welcomed, or all of the above.
According to Afro.com, “Blacks and Whites are deeply divided on their views of racial equality and the state of race relations, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
“About six in 10 Blacks say race relations are generally bad, rather than good. White Americans, however, are evenly divided, with 46 percent saying the relationship between the races are good versus 45 percent who think it is bad.
“It makes sense, therefore, that while an overwhelming majority of African Americans (88 percent) believe the United States needs to make significant strides for Blacks to have parity with Whites, only 53 percent of White Americans think the same. Blacks are also a lot less optimistic that such changes will be made.”
CNN reported, “Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani stood by his recent comments Monday that the Black Lives Matter movement is "inherently racist."
"It's inherently racist because, number one, it divides us. ... All lives matter: White lives, black lives, all lives," he told Fox News on Monday. "Number two: Black Lives Matter never protests when every 14 hours somebody is killed in Chicago, probably 70-80% of the time (by) a black person. Where are they then? Where are they when a young black child is killed?" I found it interesting that his daughter was arrested for shoplifting this week, evidencing the former mayor’s grasp of child rearing, and right and wrong. The mayor, an orangey candidate, and many other republican talking heads, are using this crisis as a wedge, with which to further-cleave the country.
Uncharacteristically-sane, and candid, and forthcoming, have been Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings, and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) who said he believes that if Castile had been white, he’d still be alive. “Would this had happened if those passengers were white? I don’t think it would’ve,” Dayton said. “So I’m forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, [that] this kind of racism exists.”
Giuliani, with his ignorant, biased, statements, is shaming victims as a means of deflecting the indelible truth about police killing blacks? He can go sit down.
Of course, all lives matter. But if he had attended the “triage” of the problem, and its victims, he would have known that, even though all matter--- black lives are the most critical patients arriving in the emergency department, or the morgue. It is in the math.
“African-Americans suffer a disproportionate risk of being shot dead by police. While white Americans make up 62 percent of the U.S. population, they account for only 49 percent of those killed by cops over the past year and a half, according to the Washington Post. For black Americans, those figures are 13 percent and 24 percent, respectively. What’s more, the Post found that unarmed African-Americans were five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be fatally shot by police”, according to New York Magazine.
The question always merits the asking: “How are black clergy reacting to the current racial tension?”
In an interview on NPR’s morning show, Pastor Delman Coates, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md., said “The role of the black church, in my mind, is to equip those in the African-American community with the tools to understand and to explain the social, political and economic pain that they experience during the week. Also, the role of the black church is to galvanize and to organize the foot soldiers to get up from their knees in prayer and to protest in the streets.” Timing is everything, is it not?
I believe that women’s right to vote happened when it was time. Civil rights movement? On time. The Voting Rights act? When it was time. Black Lives Matter? Time. Broad, interracial, nationwide, support? Time. You see?
I am convinced that God in all his mercy, wisdom, love, and forbearance ties loose aspects together, and aligns all the stars for the betterment of all of his children--- so that the desired outcome can be borne. Perhaps God has blessed America, in that we are ready to handle, and sick and tired of waiting for, change. Changes are happening before our eyes. Is this the turning point?
If we are not part of the solution, no matter how we wail, we become an, unwitting, part of the problem. What can we each do to help it along?