I would first ask that this be read with an open heart and not with a fist tightly gripped around a scalpel just waiting to cut apart and mince my words. My intention is to break down walls and start building bridges.
These are hard conversations and they are often avoided because of the fear of being ridiculed.
But I am going to be brave.
I am going to go there.
Second, I need to say that my father is in law enforcement and I have the utmost respect for all those who serve and protect society in every way.
Third, I was raised with old fashioned manners and I was taught that police officers deserve the highest respect… I use still “yes sir” when I get pulled over. [Hypothetically speaking, of course.] I grew up calling all my friends parents by Mr. and Mrs. and I am raising my children to do the same.
Now that I have given all my disclaimers let’s get down to it.
We live in a fallen world and that proves to be a problem more often than not because…
not every officer is going to behave in a respectable way
people abuse their authority
and kids test boundaries
I absolutely feel the McKinney debacle can be boiled down to a racial issue.
I can also see that the sweet girl was asked to leave and didn’t.
But the issue that stands out most to me is the lack of love and respect amongst human beings.
It’s not a matter of what the girl was wearing, how old she was, or the color of her skin… she was not treated like a respected human.
The fact that she was so young, a female, wearing a bikini, and of a different race only makes this story more disgusting.
She is someones daughter and she even was calling for her Mama.
It hurts my heart to think of how it would feel if that were one of my kids being treated in such a way.
I live in a middle class white suburbia where racism is not much of an issue and it may not be much of an issue in the community you are in… But racism is still an issue in America and not talking about it will not make it go away.
Segregating, even when it’s not formally done, is not a solution.
We need to open our eyes and our hearts.
We are all God’s creations and I can only imagine the hurt and heartache it causes him to see this behavior.
It reminds me a bit of how it feels as a mother watching and listening to my children fight with one another. I love them all so deeply and it physically pains me when they hurt each other.
I don’t know why God made different skin colors but I do trust that His intention was never for us to use it to compare, resent, or foster hatred.
God is love and God is just.
We are to be his hands and feet here on Earth.
God calls us to love him and love others.
It’s really that simple.
Jen Hatmaker wrote,
We are part of an important generation, one who might be ready to start listening humbly and maybe even move beyond to something more like racial healing and justice. Generations before us have done this hard and brave work in other arenas, and now it is our chance. What important work lies in front of us.
Jen is so right. There is much work to be done and I think it needs to start with me and you. The bible even says that we will be known by the way we love one another.
It sickens me that people are treated wrongly, paid less, or more likely to be imprisoned based on the color of their skin.
IT IS JUST WRONG
I was at the IF Gathering earlier this year and Latasha Morrison lead the most eye opening racial conversation I have ever heard in my life.
It literally brought me to tears.
She has developed a guide to help bridge builders get started.
(Seriously… she gives you step by step instructions. It’s amazing.)
Please check it out.
Let’s have healthy conversations.
Let’s get past the awkward.
Let’s release the stereotypes.
Let’s break down the walls and start building bridges.
It’s going to be messy, uncomfortable and probably inconvenient too.
But if I am called to love God and love people we are going to have get in there and embrace any weirdness that comes along with it.
To be honest… I struggled with writing this post. I was nervous about putting myself out there and taking on such a controversial topic.
But, I did it.
I have started the conversation.
I know there will be backlash and differing opinions and that’s ok because I am literally heart broken by the racial divide on the planet.
Bring on the awkward!
Let’s be the generation that changed the world.
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