“It demonstrates the deep pain of American people of color in an age of one police killing after another,” I wrote in 2016 of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me. How many more killings have occurred since then? More than I can count. (There appears to be a Washington Post data base of police killings that might answer that question, but I’m afraid I’m not a subscriber, so I don’t have access.)
Last week we watched in horror the video of a policeman kneeling on a black man’s neck until he died—far longer than necessary to subdue him even if he had been resisting arrest as alleged, which he is definitely not doing in the nine minutes of the video. The huge outpouring of protest in the days that followed show that much of the country agrees with me that until we hold police responsible for their actions, we will not see an end to this racist violence. (Holding a policeman of color responsible for shooting a white woman does nothing to break the cycle.)
I’m white. I can’t help that. But I can listen. And listen is what we are called to do in these days. In no way do I condone the the theft of TVs from Target or the trashing of local groceries and pharmacies, but I can hear the frustration that leads someone to pick up a brick and throw it through a window.
Hear with my heart, not formulating my own defense.
Look through God’s eyes of compassion, justice, and yes, wrath at evil.
Click here to read my 2016 thoughts on my own whiteness and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book.
I was impressed this week:
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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