Anger. Frustration. Disbelief.
These words, and other synonymous words, are the only way I can think to describe my response to the violence that has taken place in Ferguson, Missouri. The troubling thing: Ferguson is not the first, nor will it realistically be the last. How did society get to this point? I find myself asking that question more often than not these days. Although it is hard to know for sure exactly what happened in Ferguson, one can gather a pretty good idea. I feel infuriated for so many different reasons.
What about basic human rights? Michael Brown was shot 6 times (at least). I’m going to let that sink in for a second. The final shot went through the top of Michael’s head. In order for a bullet to enter the top of a skull on a man who is 6’2″, that man would have to be falling towards the ground. This means that he was either already dying, or clearly surrendering. I don’t care what Michael Brown may have done, there is not a single person on this earth that deserves to die while in the surrender position. There is not a reason to kill an unarmed individual. Perhaps I could understand a debilitating shot to an extremity if the officer felt that they were truly in immediate danger. ONE shot that would incapacitate the offender, but not SIX shots that ultimately kill the offender. Nobody deserves to die that way. Nobody. On another note of human rights: what about the innocent people of the neighborhood? They are forced into a dangerous situation that shouldn’t even involve them. They are living in fear of being tear gassed and shot at. Perhaps all of this came to be because of some riots, but then we must ask ourselves; is it ever okay to use our military forces and lethal weapons on the civilians that we are “protecting?” The answer is no. We are attacking our own people with lethal weapons that you would find out on a foreign battlefield. The only question I can think to ask is, WHY? Forgive me if I am ignorant on this topic, however I feel that I have really tried to reach some kind of an understanding and I simply can’t come to any good conclusions. I am always left with the question of “Why?”
Where is God in this situation? As a Christian, I feel heartbroken on the issue of racial injustice because I know that my God weeps over these issues. My God loves ALL people, ALL the time. I try to subscribe to the same patterns in my own life, however I know I am not perfect. The people of Ferguson are my brothers and sisters in Christ. We may not know each other, but God knows each and every one of us and He calls us to love complete strangers simply because He loves them. So what does this mean in the context of Ferguson? For me it causes even more anger, unrest, and utter frustration. I understand that not everyone is coming at this from a Christian context, but I am. What is my role as a Christian in this conflict? I don’t know the answer to that question The only thing I want to ask is; Why? just yet, but I do know that I am called to do SOMETHING. Where is the church in this situation?
I have been wrestling with the reality of racial injustice for quite some time and I am extremely uncertain what my next steps are, however, I will openly express that I am angry. I will not stop searching for ways to help until these issues can be resolved. I know that I will probably be searching my whole life, but I am okay with that. It is what my God would do. As I said earlier, perhaps I am mildly ignorant in some ways, but at least I am trying to do something.
The only thing I can seem to ask is; Why?