In searching for information from the black religious community in how to respond to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, I turned to this joint statement worth sharing in this blog. I am feeling it is going to be impossible for me as a white pastor to fully comprehend or empathize with those who experience these egregious crimes in the African American Communities every day.
Systemic racism and white privilege are realities that must be addressed if we are to live in a society where more blacks are profiled and shot than whites. I know that issues of poverty and crime and homelessness need to be addressed and dismantled. There is hard work that needs to be done in putting more minority police on our streets who live in local neighborhoods–sensitizing law enforcement to the issues that young black men (and women) face living in distressed communities. Simply, too many young black men are being killed!
This issue also bothers me because of the good and competent police officers I know who are trying to exercise good judgment. But more can always be done to help us grow in the important work we are called to do.
The bottom line: I have many more questions than answers. I want to continue listening to what my colleagues, of all backgrounds, have to say in addressing these social ills.
Let’s continue to be in prayer for healing in Ferguson and cities across the country in standing firm as advocates for equality and basic human rights. Let’s pray justice and peace on our streets.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 NRSV)
[By the say, I am sorry if original blog today didn’t get through. I tried to do some editing and an old draft version appeared that I had to take down]