I wish our black-white tension could be more black-and-white.
Instead it’s grey, and we’re trying to make it black-and-white.
Ask someone what he thinks of #blacklivesmatter (BLM).
Rudy Guiliani will tell you it’s inherently racist and responsible for animosity toward cops. A chorus of others will say this is THE Civil Rights movement of the 21st century.
Ask someone what she thinks of the police.
The first black Miss Alabama, Kalyn Chapman James, will tell you that the real martyr in Dallas was not any one of the police officers, but rather, the one who murdered them.
The world is demanding that we take sides. You can’t be pro-black and pro-cop at the same time, they say. Unfortunately it’s not that black-and-white.
On one hand, there are aspects of BLM that make it hard to cheer for. One of the organizers of the Dallas protest, Rev. Jeff Hood, shouted, “God damn White America”, while a crowd behind him voiced approval.
Why is such rhetoric being met with such approval? Why isn’t BLM very publicly and very forcefully denouncing it?
On the flip side, BLM should not be silenced for its shortcomings—it’s not that black-and-white.
As Congressman Newt Gingrich eloquently stated, “If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America and you instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk.”
Listen, I was like most white people who assumed in 2008 that Barack Obama’s election meant that racial barriers were by-and-large a thing of the past.
But I was wrong.
Read the heart-breaking facts from Michelle Alexander:
“In less than thirty years, the U.S. penal population exploded from around 300,000 to more than 2 million, with drug convictions accounting for the majority of the increase… the racial dimension of mass incarceration is its most striking feature… The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid… These stark racial disparities cannot be explained by rates of drug crime. Studies show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates… [in fact,] white youth are more likely to engage in drug crime than people of color… [yet] in some states, black men have been admitted to prison on drug charges at rates twenty to fifty times greater than those of white men. And in major cities wracked by the drug war, as many as 80 percent of young African American men now have criminal records and are thus subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives.”
Why is this? Could it be because a baggy-jean black kid using drugs is a thug, but a preppy-dressed white kid is just going through a phase?
One goes to jail, the other goes to rehab. One never votes again, the other runs for office.
Am I saying the problem is racist cops? I’m as pro-cop as they come—a chaplain for the NRHPD! They are some of the best people you’ll ever meet. Racist? No, they’ll give their lives for you, no matter your color. Most cops are that way. It’s not that black-and-white.
If we want black-and-white, we won’t find it in America’s grey divide; we’ll find it in Scripture. Quite plainly, Jesus states that the greatest command, besides loving God Himself, is to love our neighbor.
This is one of our biggest failures as Christians.
We pat ourselves on the back for being “not racist,” and we think that’s enough. But the Golden Rule is not “Don’t hate”; it’s “Love your neighbor.”
Instead of justifying our inactivity with back-pats and counterarguments, what if we proactively did something about this racial divide?
Jesus bled for racial reconciliation. What are we doing about it?
 The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Michelle Alexander. Pg. 6-7.
 Eph. 2:11-22