Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020

What is the Kingdom Response to Racism on our Watch

We can decry injustice with clenched fists held high, yet fail to act as the salt-infusing, light-filling presence of Christ’s body in this world.

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Horrific.

I couldn’t actually watch it.

To me, there’s no other way to describe the recently released video of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. For most of the world, the release of this footage was the first we had heard of the death of Arbery—a 25-year old African American man. His killers? A white man and his son, wielding a shotgun and a .357 magnum handgun, seemingly acting as a self-proclaimed neighborhood posse.

In broad daylight, Ahmaud bled out on a suburban street.

Consequences?

Seemingly zero. Walking free and uncharged for almost ten weeks, they rested comfortably in their homes. It appeared from the outside that the law was firmly on their side. Only until public pressure mounted from a released video that recorded the horrific event were charges ever leveled.

The thing is, this is not a historical account of life in the Jim Crow past. These are today’s headlines. Its today’s breaking news, eerily reminiscent of the historical fate so many had endured; unjustly beaten and murdered as if they were meaningless beings. Charges seldom ever brought forward.

Nothing, it seems, has changed.

Poignant outcries follow each subsequent wave of tragedy as Christians grapple with the Kingdom response to racism – how best to respond, lament, mourn, and even rage against the overt brokenness of the world around us. In the coming weeks, details will emerge that will try to color our limited view of what happened, yet nuanced details will not change one unalterable reality.

It’s a reality common to neighborhoods throughout North America. On our watch, racism and hatred are evil bearing their natural fruit in even the most supposedly manicured neighborhoods.

And so, it would seem, that emotion-filled outcries the day-after, simply are …

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