So, what happens a month from now? What about in the next 3, 6 or 9 months after the news cycle has ended and the rest of the world goes back to business as usual? What are you going to do after the pointless social media debates are over? What about after we have coffee with our colleagues and say to each other “did you see what happen?” “wasn’t that crazy!” What happens when we get off our knees in prayer? Some of us will continue to minister, build-up, uplift, encourage and find ways to bring people together, HOWEVER most of us won’t do a thing.
The outpouring of emotions, frustrations, and anger over the murder of George Floyd has everything to do with the preservation of life. This is the reason that the phrase BLACK LIVES MATTER even exists. Historically black people’s lives too often aren’t valued enough to receive the same just, fair, and impartial treatment and protection under the law. The real work for and within the African American community is always ahead not behind. I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to make a difference to first educate yourself. A great place to start, especially if you don’t have a clue about inequality, is to read The Ferguson Commission Report at https://forwardthroughferguson.org/.
After the death of Michael Brown in 2014 by an officer in Ferguson, MO, former Governor Jay Nixon asked a group of local leaders, with the assistance of the US Department of Justice, to study the issues of race and inequality in the St. Louis area and devise solutions for a path toward change. This report produced a 198-page document that chronicles close to 50 years of deep racial discrimination and a multi-step plan towards racial equality. This is a great resource as it is applicable in any place where there is racial unrest. I eagerly wait to hear from not only our elected officials but also from our community and Church leaders about what they will do to fight against the sin and systems of racism.
As the proverbial leader of the 1960’s civil rights movement, Dr. King resolved to nonviolent protest because he wanted to first preserve the lives of the people involved while at the same time disrupting the economic institutions that African-Americans supported. Whether you agree or disagree, this movement led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (just 6 years before I was born…wow). Before then African Americans were legally prevented from exercising their right to vote.
Today, at the grassroots level, real change can be made through what I call the 4 P’s – through the pen, at the polls, in the pockets and in prayer. Otherwise, after the protest end, what’s next?