George Floyd, Racism, and Riots

My heart ached and my anger raged as I watched the video of George Floyd being suffocated to death by a merciless excuse for a policeman. 

I could not help but ask myself, “if I had been present, would I have simply been yelling and recording the act on my phone, or would I have attempted to physically remove Derek Chauvin from committing his act of evil?” I honestly believe I would have done the latter, but that’s easy to say after the fact when you are sitting in an armchair.  

What happened a short, few days ago was a pure tragedy, and even though not all the facts have come out, there is a clear video that in all aspects indicate that a murder was committed. If this is indeed the case, Mr. Chauvin deserves to die, slowly suffocated with a knee to his own neck.  This is what he deserves, but then I am reminded that I myself have not received everything that I deserve either.  God has dealt with me in mercy because of Christ and to the best of my knowledge I have repented of my crimes against God that also warrant the condemnation of eternal death. 

Knowing this, I can only hope that one day Derek Chauvin will also deeply repent and seek the forgiveness of George Floyd’s family, and most important, of Almighty God, the one final judge.  If he does not, Mr. Chauvin’s problems will continue long after he breathes his last breath on this earth. 

Yes, we have a right to feel indignation, but I would like to point out a few things that may help help in a small way to bring some calm to this situation that has quickly escalated into a national emergency.

The first is that 99.9 percent of people of all ethnic backgrounds and skin colors absolutely condemn what happened that terrible day in Minneapolis. This includes white people of which group I belong.  Some may say that because I am white, I do not have a right to even discuss this issue.  Well, it’s because I am that I wish to address the subject!

I love people of all backgrounds and colors.  I may look whiter than a Swede, with blonde hair and blue eyes, but I especially identify with people of Hispanic origin, having lived in Mexico for nine years.  My dear, lovely wife is Mexican, and my four children are bi-cultural. During my life I have had dear friends from places like Iran and Kenya, and in school I always seemed to gravitate around that “weird foreign student” no one else wanted to talk with. I am also a pastor of a Hispanic church- all our services in español, and help to support and give direction to many other Spanish speaking congregations.

So now that you know me a little better, I wish to address the crisis that is happening in our country right now.  I am writing this on May 30th, 2020.

I believe there are malevolent forces at work that are desperately trying to make everything an issue about race.  Why?  The radical political left knows very well one of the first rules in the handbook for Socialist (and later Communist) takeover is to create divisions within classes and races.  I believe this is the hand at the top of the marionette puppet, which is controlling many players, most who are unaware of who is the real pied piper playing the music to which they are marching. There is a larger goal here than to just protest injustice.  The “left” never lets a good crisis go to waste. How else can we explain the fact that most of the violent protesters are imported from out of state? It seems there is a clear, coordinated agenda here. And how else can we understand the seething hatred that is being stoked against police and authority in general?

It could very well be that Derek Chauvin is a racist, I don’t know.  What I do know is that 99% of policemen and policewomen do their job well and protect most of us every day.  Without them, our society would be in complete chaos and crimes like murder, robbery, rape, etc, would be much, much more prevalent. 

Can we talk a minute about the honorable policemen that serve every day just to protect us and enforce the law?  How many assaults, rapes, murders, and robberies were averted because they were present or came to the scene of a desperate 911 caller?  Hundreds of thousands I believe.

Most of these valiant people risk their lives every day for an extremely low salary and little thanks from the public they protect.  They go home to their families after seeing the very worst in humanity, Yes, there are bad cops and probably some racist cops, even as there are bad and racist teachers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen…well, you catch my drift. 

We do not hate, threaten, or attack teachers in general because one is found sexually abusing a student.  We do not burn the schools.  We would not riot against doctors and set fire to hospitals because of a physician that was racist and let someone die because of their skin color. We condemn that teacher, or that doctor, but not the profession: because we know the great, great majority are not like that.

What is happening right now in our great cities in the USA is a reaction of hate and anger that is completely misdirected. People have a right to be angry with Derek Chauvin, not with businesses, buildings or even police in general, many who are black themselves. In many cases this rage is being used as an excuse to pillage, destroy, and steal, often even from black business owners.

Burning, destroying and looting will not end racism, it will only add to it. The only way to truly end it…and any other sin, is to have the heart transformed by the love, power & grace of the Savior of all nations, tribes & tongues: the Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, my heart grieves, and I am indignant about what happened on that street a few days ago, but does this act of cruelty justify other acts of violence?  Two wrongs indeed never make a right.

I am doubly saddened because what I am seeing is an effort to create a narrative of racism that I believe is simply not there.  Yes, racism still exists in the United States.  There are still whites that hate blacks and blacks that hate whites, but I believe it is an exceedingly small percentage of people, way less than 1%.  After all, did not our country elect a black man for president…twice?  With blacks being just 13% of the population, it was the majority white vote that put and kept Barak Obama in the White house.  This does not sound like a racist country!

Many of our most beloved and popular entertainers, athletes, singers, actors, etc. are black.  How could this be if we lived in a “racist” country?  History tells us that a terrible war was fought in which more than 330,000 white lives were sacrificed to free black people from the chains of slavery.  A racist country?  Actually, the United States of America has done more to combat racism in the world than any other country in human history. How I wish today’s young people understood the true history of our nation!

Compare our race problem with countries like Sudan, where the Arab north has massacred untold millions in the black south during the last 35 years.  And need I mention the terrible genocide in Armenia a hundred years ago or the Jewish people who have been suffering hate, discrimination, and genocide for the last two thousand years?  America racist today?  When compared to these examples: not even close.

I believe there is a great misunderstanding of what racism really is and what it isn’t.

To love one’s culture or country is not racism. Racism is to hate, reject, or discriminate against another human being simply because of their ethnic origin or the amount of melanin under their skin.  No doubt this happens, but not like the narrative that is being created wants you to believe. 

How can you say that,” you ask?  “You are white.”  Yes, I am.  And it’s because I am lily white that I get to hear firsthand what other whites think and believe.  I hear things that would not be spoken in front of people of color. And my life experience of almost 50 years and knowing multiple thousands of white folks is this…. I have on one occasion, yes, just one, come across a white person that hated others solely due to the color of their skin.  You may have a different experience than me, I am just stating what I have personally observed, and I have lived in California, Tennessee, Florida, New York, Mexico, and Iowa.  If true racism were as prevalent as the political left’s narrative would have us believe, I certainly think I would have observed it spoken a little more.

What I have observed is that there are friendly, considerate people from every “race,” as there are angry, mean, and rude ones from almost every ethnic background.  People are people. Several times my Hispanic congregants where I pastor suspected racism when they were treated poorly by a certain white person, not knowing that the same person had treated me the same way a few days before! Is that racism? No, it’s just a angry person who treats every race in this way.

I am troubled today because the narrative being propogated by different nefarious powers is causing divisions, hate, and yes, racism!  They may be creating the very thing they are supposedly attacking! 

So what is the real solution?

We need to simply view every man or woman as God’s crown creation and understand there is just one race…the human race. Yes, we’ve heard it before but we really need to hear Dr. King’s words again:  “I see the day when a man will be judged, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.”

Once again, I am not saying that racism does not exist in the United States.  What I am afirming is that it is not the problem that many on the left are making it out to be.  And for any racism that exists in any part of the world, I have the solution: Jesus, the Christ. 

“In Christ,” there is no black, white, brown, red, or yellow.  There is only a redeemed man or woman who has birthed within him or her the amazing love of God.  It´s a love that transcends race, culture, language, or social status. The humble Nazarene, who was probably too black to be called white, and too white to be called black, has called us into one family: the family of God.  This loving family of saved, forgiven, and born-again believers are from “every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue.”  They have God’s DNA- the Holy Spirit. These are my people!  This is my true family. I am a Christian before I am white

If you are part of this family, you too have your identity in Christ before your identity in any other demographic.  You too are a Christ follower before you are white, black, brown, red, or any other color. This is why Christians of all different ethniticities can truly love and care for one another. They don’t see color, they see a brother or sister!

I understand that George Floyd may have been a Christian.  I certainly hope he is in God’s presence right now waiting for us to join him. If indeed he is there in that glorious place, and if he could speak to us right now, I am pretty sure he would not say “avenge me.”  He would rather tell us… “love and forgive one another!”

If you are not yet part of this wonderful family of all nations and colors, you can be.  Bow humbly before Him today and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He died to pay the penalty for your own crimes against God. Confess and believe that He rose again from the dead in victory.  Give yourself to Him, because He has already given Himself to you.  The transformation that Christ will bring to your own life will cause you to see all people through His eyes- the eyes of His love.

This is what the world needs. 

This is what you need…

Jesus.

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