I’m so tired of left and right finger-pointing. I’m tired of “but you guys” did this or that. Or statements that include the words “both sides.” I’m done with this week’s responses like “criticizing the Capitol participants is hypocritical of you.” Or “you didn’t condemn the violence at Black Lives Matters protests last summer.” Actually I did. Lots of people did. And the other truth is that those BLM events were largely peaceful. And you know what else? The two things are not equivalent and cannot be compared.
BLM is protesting the actions of people and a society in which many, many people will not admit that some of their actions or the actions of others have been wrong and racist. We don’t promote, punish, show grace, forgive, pay, support, offer trust, or treat all people the same way. Everyone who is white who reads this is guilty of some sort of bias. Our job as good humans is to call ourselves and others out when those biases come up. But we largely don’t do that, either because we benefit from the bias, we don’t want to make waves, or because we want to protect people we love or work with. One of the main purposes of BLM is to simply get people to see the inequities in our society so that we can do something about them.
What happened at the Capitol was some people showed up to protest and some people showed up for an insurrection, to disrupt the will of the majority of voters in this country and our election process. That event was the result of 3 things: (1) people falling for blatant and easily disproven lies, (2) people blindly following a lying leader, and (3) a group of people who truly and very honestly admit they are white supremacists, and proud of it, and want the world to be led by people who are not any color but white and not any faith but Christian (although they clearly haven’t read the whole Bible).
Supporting BLM is not a Republican or Democrat thing. It is not an act of the left or of socialists or liberals. It’s an act of humanity. It’s a realization that some people and processes and things need to be fixed. And it should be a movement that all people can get behind, especially Christians.
For God so loved the world.
We were all knitted together in our mother’s wombs.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.
Christ is in all.
As he has loved us we are called to love one another.
We shall love our neighbor as ourselves.
God sees our hearts, not their skin-covering. It’s our job to see how we’re behaving as it relates to skin and our sin as it relates to skin, and then to do better.
My heart is heavy for my country. My heart is heavy for the family of the officer that was brutally dragged into a crowd at the Capitol and then beaten with clubs and flagpoles and crutches. My heart is heavy for the blood we all have our hands because we refuse to acknowledge, let alone try to fix, the corrupt and racist systems we have in place. My heart is heavy as I listen to the pain in the voices of people of color who are tired of a lifetime of judgment and explaining and unease. My heart is heavy that we elected this four years ago, and that it will take lifetimes to repair the damage of that choice.
We can’t just undo policy with the next administration and think things will get better. Because people can’t just un-know the support of such evil. And the reality is that lots of folks separate their vote from the crazies who did that at the Capitol and the one day when things got out of hand. How do you get people to see that a vote empowered racism, especially when no one wants to admit that while they may believe they aren’t prejudiced or biased or a racist, they are?
Ideas all of us have about how people not like us will behave and whether or not we can trust them and about intentions, beliefs, intelligence, faith, and on and on are deeply rooted in all of us. Maybe the first step in healing is just getting us all to admit that. To speak and realize the truth in these awful words: I am a sometimes prejudiced. I am sometimes biased. I have supported racist people and behaviors. They are very ugly truths, but anything less than those statements is a lie.