Saturday, November 29, 2014

Another "Last Post" About Ferguson

Unless something drastic happens, I sincerely hope and intend for this to be my last post about Ferguson.

This guy has written what I consider to be a masterpiece in boiling down the conflicting thoughts and emotions that (I hope) we are all feeling concerning the tragic and muddled events that unfolded on that dark night many months ago.

To top it off, he's a professional football player. Talk about stereotyping - I must admit I was surprised (pleasantly surprised) to find that a pro jock was capable of such intellectual and emotional depth in reflecting on a national tragedy - a depth that far exceeds anything I've seen from the well-known talking heads, politicians, and commentators. It made me seriously re-examine some of my knee-jerk reactions.

Hopefully it will make you do some soul-searching as well...
"At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I'M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I'M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I'M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I'm a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a "threat" to those who don't know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I'M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I'M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I'M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I'M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I've seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I'M CONFUSED, because I don't know why it's so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don't know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I'M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take "our" side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it's us against them. Sometimes I'm just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that's not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That's not right.

I'M HOPELESS, because I've lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I'm not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I'M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it's a beautiful thing.

I'M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I'M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that's capable of looking past the outward and seeing what's truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It's the Gospel. So, finally, I'M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope."
Benjamin Watson - thoughtful commentator, and a person I would love to have a conversation with.


DoninSacto said...

A very good "last" post on the subject!

Anonymous said...

Yup, this guy is good. He nails the problem without making excuses.

Unfortunately he's a 10 percenter like Dr. Carson or Allan West.

In the argot of ebonics: An Uncle Tom!

CenTexTim said...

DoninSacto - the best I've seen so far.

Toejam - I just wish we had more 'Uncle Toms' like him.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a large percentage of Conservative African-Americans out there.

I've spoken to quite a few. But they're afraid of the "Uncle Tom" brand if they come out of the closet.

I can't really criticize these people.

They're the ones working hard to support families and EARN part of the American dream and if they go rogue the Neanderthals like the Rev. Sharpton or worse will go after them.

CenTexTim said...

You're right. It's like some of my former students. They were afraid to study and do well because they would be accused of trying to be white.

For them, it's a no-win situation.