We are failing our children in real time.
We are watching the destruction of our country by a disease that is ravaging our citizens’ health. People can’t breathe. It is also wreaking havoc on our mental faculties by imposing fear and uncertainty into the mix.
We are watching the injustice of a black man (George Floyd) murdered by a white policeman (Derek Chauvin). We saw Floyd plead for his life, “I can’t breathe,” but Chauvin didn’t care as he placed a knee upon his neck. Others who were filming the incident were begging for Floyd’s life as well noting the harm the officer was causing. Chauvin pressed on.
The mayor of Minneapolis fired Chauvin along with three other officers who refused to help Floyd. He noted that injustice and expressed horror from the video. Prosecutors delayed in bringing a charge against Chuavin, but he was eventually taken into custody. Now we are watching the frustrations and acts of terror in real time as our cities are being destroyed in the name of vindication for George Floyd’s blood.
We have been witnesses to injustice in real time. We have also been witness to the failure of our country to protect its citizens of color through law over and over again. We know better than this. We have seen this in history and have progressed in our times enough to understand what needs to be done. In this age of technology, we should be able to prevent against the spread of a disease and track its movements.
Similarly, in this day and age, we should be able to get to the bottom of systemic injustices. We know that problems are solved at the root of the problem. Asserting ourselves early in the systems that need to be changed is the force for change. Diplomatic relations with other countries and world organizations establishes foundations for change. We ask foundational questions.
The same is true for local entities in cities. Engaging in the city to see where help is needed goes a long way to solving problems down the line.
We have been witness to the greatest minds who have warned against Fascism and injustice asserting itself through fear.
Visionaries who have endured in the struggle against injustice have prescribed the antidote to injustice. We have evolved. In this day and age we know better. We can take a page from history and use the playbook.
I’ve been immersing myself in the poignant prose and poetry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In one of his greatest speeches titled, “Where We Go From Here” he implores us to acknowledge where we are in order to see where we are going.
He acknowledges the wrongs of philosophy in addressing the concept of power and misinterpretation of the word. Philosophers have undervalued the use of love in expressing power. Those who have employed love, underestimate love’s coordinated effort in the act of employing power.
King said, “Power without love is reckless and abusive and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. And Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. This is what we must see as we move on.”
The abuse of power, a single action of injustice and a lack of dignity for his victim have ignited a firestorm of chaos. In the wake of so much insurrection and destruction, we need to step back and breath as a society. The tension of sadness and the ongoing frustration of not attending to structures of sin in our society are creating another powder keg that is bound to explode at some point.
Our lack of action in addressing inequities in our system and the racist behaviors of institutions will cause more harm for our society.
A measured approach to justice begins with an act of love and concern for all God’s children. It is recognition of shared power.
Children are watching in real time as injustice continues to plague our society. Real leadership is needed and it begins with acknowledgement that there is a problem. No more sweeping the problem under the proverbial rug.
It is in this same speech by MLK that the famous words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. I have also decided to stick to love. Love is the answer to all of mankind’s problems… Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Approaching any problem from a position of love is a start. Initiating a call to action in the name of love is the building block. We finish our work acknowledging God’s grace in action and abiding by the first intention by paying goodness forward.
This is the act of enacting truth in real time.