Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Tulsa is poised city-wide for significant difficulty due to the white police officer shooting and killing the unarmed black man last weekend.  Tension is so high that I hesitate to even address the matter.  However, I note something within this situation which causes me to dare go public with my thoughts because the topic is so huge I feel definite inward frailty.

I had the great fortune to be close to St. Louis Cardinal hero, Curt Flood.  He and I became like brothers.  Through him I realized concepts of racial tension of which I had little awareness.  His words and actions continue to bless me.  Curt, a black leader and friend to Martin Luther King, possessed a humility that would allow me to ponder concerns he held.  He opened me to another side of racial thought that had never occurred to me.

Building relationships with other black Cardinal players brought about consistent new awareness of our community stresses.  Much inequality and unfairness goes on.  Sure, I knew that.  But I didn't grasp the concern personally for the issues were always "out there" on the "other side" of town.  Yet, within the framework of noting the divide, I see a thread that debilitates all sides and I mean all sides.  In racial tension the stage is set as if it is color against color.  This isn't the only opposition.  Whites oppose (rob and murder) whites.  Blacks shoot blacks.  Hispanics rob Hispanics.

So why does a riot approach as if we are not all guilty of the very thing we stand against?  I've listened to blacks make fun of those they deem too black solely due to a much darker skin color.  Surprised me.  And how many whites have mocked others within their own race for being too heavy, too ignorant, too lazy, or too ugly?  Racial tension is insincere for within the respected races there is quantitative and absolute bias against their own ranks.  Yet, this insincerity seems to be dismissed by all who wish to be vocally stirred about racial matters.  Why the bias regarding which areas we will label as biased?

So, to my question, how might the racial tension be solved?  To begin, we might do well to realize that we are guilty of the very things of which we gripe and fume and complain...Romans 2:1-5.

  • It would be a good start to clean up our own slip-shod attitudes if we evaluate that we have indeed been neglectful in weighing our own personal and unfair strokes of favoritism. 
  • We might be reminded that while outspoken bias gets the headlines, interracial community has long been around with intentional support because loving all and caring for all is who many are.  Churches, organizations, and clubs experience a unity that is...well...unity.
  • Jesus is always the answer.  Why?  He cares about the other person.  We do fairly well with this concept until we reach enemy level and then faith can be found to be tossed overboard.  It is here that the love for all people will bring about a life of harmony.  It is here, each of us carrying a cross rather than burning one, that our assumed opponents have a legitimate shot at renewal and reconciliation.  
Jesus is the solution.  We are to have been buried into him that we might walk like, talk like, be like him.  His central expertise?  Love the hateful.  Reach to the reject.  Care for the neglected.  Die (the reason for the cross in the first place) for those who despise us.  As did Jesus, may we die well that others might find a profound, remarkable, new life order where we drop the accusation and join the community in gratitude that God would engineer yet one more day for us to breathe deeply from the fruit of His Spirit.

1 comment:

Fred Peatross said...

We humans have a diffuclt time seeing ourselves. Thank you for posting this piece