Thursday, March 22, 2012

Should Not Happen

There are so many things we see and experience where we look at it and say,
"This should not have happened!"

The death of Trayvon Martin is one of those things.
If this is news to you- Google it.
If you have made judgments about this already- remember this.

I wrote about justice earlier today.
I'm not sure what justice looks like here.
We cannot bring him back.
We cannot stop people from assuming a young black man will harm them- even when he's only carrying a bag of skittles and an iced tea.

All I can think is- we have to stop this kind of thing.
All of it.

We need to stop assuming the worst of people who look, think, act differently than we do.
We need to stop being so afraid.
We need to stop being so afraid of difference.

For sure- Trayvon Martin was afraid.

I wrote about privilege earlier today- about the basic core that- for me- that being born white endows me with privilege- its power and privilege that I didn't ask for, but that I have.
Because, when it comes down to it-- this article "White People, You will Never Look Suspicious" is actually pretty right on.

There is nothing that is okay about what happened to Trayvon Martin.

Will every young black man fear now?
Did he already?

What do we tell their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, Grandmas, Granddads?
What do we tell ourselves when this happens.

What hope do we have for an end to racism, fear, ignorance?

To me- these are demons - that must be cast out.
To me- these keep us chained from living into the freedom Christ offers.
This should not happen.
But it does.

Ism's keep us in bondage-- "
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1

When you ask the questions?
When you stand up and say, "This is wrong. This should not happen."
It matters.
It raises the consciousness of those around you.
It educates.
And God willing- it transforms.
Relationships create transformation.

If the death of Trayvon Martin does not bother you, I believe you may need to dig deeper.
I am not saying that to shame you- to make you feel bad. Not at all....
Rather I say this to release us from the illusive comfort of numbness.
Sometimes we would just rather not know... It is overwhelming and sad and haunting....

Is knowledge power? Is knowing that this happened a good thing?
Because we can feel defeated with knowing... this has already happened....
It should not have happened.

But I do believe that knowing is good.
We are broken and we feel more broken by this.
And yet we gather our shards of brokenness together-
To understand that this is not the end.
And to know we will stand in solidarity with all the other broken-hearts.
And together we will lift our voices and say - No more.

1 comment:

Morgan Guyton said...

When I look at the picture of George Zimmerman, I'm reminded of a Hispanic kid I knew who was kind of nerdy and really liked comic books. He was a fish out of water living in the hood. He didn't fit in with the rest of his family, a lot of whom were affiliated in things he didn't want to be a part of. One day, he got mugged and beaten up pretty badly by a couple of black guys on the way home from Walmart. If he'd had a gun, I suppose he might have shot them just like George shot Trayvon, but he didn't, and so I had to have about an hour-long conversation with him about whether or not what happened to him proved that God doesn't exist.

I think this whole incident demonstrates the utter bankruptcy and inadequacy of individualist morality. Sin always happens in a context. It is always a collaborative effort of many different actors, in this case a homeowner's association that inappropriately deputized an unstable kid to play cop, gun lobbyists who created a very stupid law, whoever sold Trayvon the weed that got him suspended from school, whatever gave Trayvon the instincts to pummel a guy who was following him rather than getting indoors quickly, etc. 21-year old kids who don't have any kind of training or official accountability as law enforcement officers should not be allowed to carry concealed handguns around as deputized "neighborhood watchmen." Every gangsta in the hood who I've ever met thinks of himself as "the neighborhood watchman" and every time they shoot somebody, they could probably argue quite persuasively that they were "standing their ground" with a legitimate fear of deadly force being used against them.