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All Posts Matter: Don’t Get Distracted

My first podcast (S1E1: Racism,Schmacism) is barely a week old and here we are with TWO more high profile incidents involving black folks and white folks in the US.

Racism and prejudice have, at their heart, a denial of the Imago Dei. That makes it (moreso than the very sanitized language ‘sin of partiality’) a Leviticus 19:18 issue.

Let’s bring you up to date on our three heavy hitters (and yes, there are at least three more I could bring up):

  • Christopher Cooper is a black man who likes birdwatching. He’s on the state board of directors for the NY Audobon Soceity. He was in one area of Central Park (The Bramble) bird watching. That’s it.
  • Amy Cooper (no relation) was walking her dog in the same area – off -leash (against the multiple posted signs in the park).
  • Christopher asked her to put her dog on a leash.
  • Amy, not happy about being asked to follow the rules, decided to use the fear of a black man threat and tell him that she was going to “call the police and tell them an African-American man is threatening me!”
  • Christopher told her do what you need to do and I will as well (as he begins recording the exchange).
  • After telling him to stop recording her (which he ignores), she immediately goes to the fake sympathy voice talking to the operator. It is downright demonic to watch her play the poor white girl in distress from a savage negro card.
  • Christopher carries dog treats with him (because sometimes dog owners don’t immediately like putting their dogs on a leash, but will do so when the dog goes for food) and took it out his pocket – at which point Amy puts the dog on a leash and leaves. Neither are there when the police arrive.
  • Christopher posts the video to his Facebook page.

As the video quickly made its’ rounds on social media, two men who’d walked her dog before recognized and identified her (you can read their account here). Amy previously worked as the Vice President in charge of investment solutions at Franklin-Templeton. In the past 48 hours, she’s been identified, put on administrative leave and then fired from her job and has had her life fall apart, see her face show up on multiple media outlets and has earned the nickname #centralparkkaren (with “Karen” being the current slang for an entitled white woman). Her trash-level apology (no mention of what she’s apologizing for) was given while she was on leave, but was a little too late – investors were threatening to pull their money from the investment giant (currently trading at 18.96 a share as I type this). The company fired her immediately and announced it on Twitter, stating that they had no place for racism in their organization. In addition, the rescue organization that she’d adopted the dog from took the dog back, as she was also mishandling it in the video. The only good news she’s had so far is that the police have declined to charge her with anything (though they should). Her weaponizing of Mr. Cooper’s ethnicity along with her birth-of-a-nation-esque cries for help were done to elicit a harsh and immediate response from the police, much like her ancestors did to men like Emmitt Till.

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, MN, George Floyd was arrested for attempted forgery. Four videos are available online; the first shows the police pull him over and have what looks to be a fake struggle with him (his legs aren’t moving around and the police are moving and jerking him around a bit to handcuff him) to get him out of his car. The next, is the police walking him over to a wall to sit and the third is the police coming back over to him and lifting him up. In every video, he is cooperative and non-combative (the police already began circulating the lie that he was resisting arrest, even though the video shows differently).

The last video shows one of the officers with his knee on Floyd’s neck. His knee was there for eight minutes. Floyd became unresponsive after 4 minutes or so with his last words echoing Eric Garner’s (“I can’t breathe!”) and calling out to his mother for help. Floyd died during part of the video that captured the incident and was officially pronounced dead a few minutes later by EMTs. The officers in question (the three restraining him and the one standing around making jokes) have been fired. Charges are undoubtedly on the way.

In February, when Ahmaud was killed, his mother was told he was killed while in the process of breaking into a home by the home owner.

Once the video came out, this was shown to be a lie.

The story then became that he was a suspect in a string of break-ins and he was pursued and killed in self-defense.

The video showed this to be a lie AND the police said there’d been no reports of burglaries in the area for 2 months (and none of the descriptions matched Ahmaud).

Next, video of Ahmaud visiting the property multiple times was shown with the intention of trying to make it look like he’d been planning to steal something. THEN the homeowner came forward and said DOZENS of people (white, black and other) had stopped through the property before and he had no problem with it. He also condemned the McMichael.

THEN video of Ahmaud in a 2017 police stop was brought out….because they had to keep trying to make it look like he somehow deserved to be murdered.

THEN the entire story of the McMichaels and the guy who recorded it came out. They’d been chasing him and trying to box him in for FOUR minutes before they finally cornered him.

The range of reasons for them (the McMichaels) choosing to not go after any of the other people who’d stopped through the property previously is a pretty short list. And they never chased any white people off the property.

Greg McMichaels’ original police reports used all the standard “he fit the description” and “I feared for my life” excuses that have become standard fare on this topic. Of course, all of his ties to the local prosecutors came out and it became a little more obvious why this case was swept under the rug.

I’m glad the video came out. The lawyer of the guy who recorded it made a good mistake by releasing it. I’m not surprised at it (most black folks aren’t….we’ve seen this story before).

My hope is now that they appropriately charge all of the parties involved, censure or fire the prosecutors and provide some sense of justice in this life for Ahmaud’s family.

Proverbs 25:15
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
Deuteronomy 19:16-20
If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil person from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you.

When folks ignore/dismiss calls for justice in this life and default back to “we’ll never get perfect justice in this life” (as though we are not commanded to do justice and deal justly), what I and others hear is folks making unbiblical, anti-human excuses for injustice. Some of those same people are quick to point out Romans 13 gives the government the power of the sword in order to uphold justice and punish evil. This is part and parcel of Americanism and of an outward false piety and spiritualism, but foreign to the Bible. It is evil. Jesus would condemn you rightly as a Pharisee (Matthew 23:23). Paul would condemn you (Ephesians 4:25). James would condemn you (James 2:8-11, 4:1-4, 5:1-6). John would’ve condemned you (1 John 3:4-15).

I’ll say it again for the folks in the back – the way we (the Body of Christ) defeat this thing is Acts 6. I said it on episode 1 of my podcast and I’ll say it here:

“Oftentimes, folks will use ‘cultural marxism’ and/or ‘wokeism’ and accusations of believing ‘critical race theory’ or other throw-away terms to dismiss legitimate concerns and issues like these in the culture of the US. This is the common tactic of many in conservative political circles of the US, but not the practice of the Bible. Acts chapter 6 is a good example of this; concerns in other parts of the body of Christ were not ignored, downplayed, denied or dismissed. They were dealt with in a manner that built trust and unity.

As a side note, cultural marxists and subscribers to critical race theory do exist. But those accusations are tossed around too flippantly by people who want to avoid hard subjects. We will actually deal with them in a future podcast.

That said, being people of truth, believers should be the first ones out front to acknowledge the lingering effects of past institutional racism on different ethnicities in the United States at the present. For example, redlining (the systemic practice by the Federal Government and financial institutions of either refusing loans or overcharging customers with high interest rates, refusing services and arbitrarily raising prices based on ethnicity and skin color) happened. In fact, the Federal Government in the US made it policy with the establishment of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934. Denying it or blaming it on laziness, poor credit scores or some other conservative-media talking point is a dishonoring of the image of God in fellow believers whose families – TO THIS DAY – have been and were impacted by this. I say ‘to this day’ because the Civil Rights Act did not magically erase racist attitudes and actions – it just made folks have to conceal them – Bank of America just settled a redlining case as recently as 2013.”

and also:

“I believe that this is the pattern and the solution to dealing with the lingering effects of racism in the United States (and everywhere else for that matter). Believers have to acknowledge, disavow and actively work against those things in the country which reek of injustice. The larger culture may minimize, dismiss or make excuses for the sins of its’ collective past, but believers are not permitted to do so. Now when we handle things this way, it should be clear that the basis for doing so is the Imago Dei. Believers should be clear that the reason for doing so is because God is a God of truth – even when it is painful truth and goes against our cultural and political sacred cows. It’s not a difficult step to say “we are doing this because the gospel states….”.

TTM Podcast, S1E1 “Racism, Schmacism” – tcdc.me/ttmpodcast

A series of isolated incidents are no longer isolated. Falcon Heights, Minnesota (where Philando Castile was murdered by a jumpy, nervous and possibly racist officer) is only minutes away from downtown Minneapolis.

Yes, it’s no longer 1961. Yes, we do capture, arrest and prosecute folks for criminal actions based out of their racist attitudes. So a few of my friends on my timeline have concluded that American must not be racist because of these things.

Here’s the point you miss: if America did NOT have a problem with racism still existing, NONE of these issues would be happening.

What’s happening now is that people are getting CAUGHT. They are getting recorded, shared, tweeted and doxxed and outed on social media. THAT is the big difference. You think black men haven’t been kneed in the neck to death until Eric Garner ? Naw…it’s been happening. YOU may not have been aware of it. You think the excuses “I feared for my life”, “he fit the description” and “I’m going to tell them it was a black guy threatening me” are new and only happened since Obama got in office ? Talk to some older black folks. It’s not ‘marxism’ or any other foolishness. It’s BEEN happening. YOU are now aware of it because it can’t be ignored anymore thanks to social media.

There IS still a race problem in America. Has it gotten better ? Yes. Laws have been changed. More people are quick to call out racism when it comes up. There are plenty of white folks who GET IT and a larger number of them as of late are conservative theologically!!!! And it didn’t require them subscribing to CRT, intersectionalism or anything else other than understanding the Imago Dei and choosing to be Christians first rather than Americans.

The Acts 6 approach works. What doesn’t work is blame the victim, plausible excuses/deniability for racist behavior, smearing the victim’s name and whataboutism. Too many folks who are supposed to be Christian (especially, sadly, in reformed circles where we should know and think better) spend more time parroting these things (hint: they come from secular post-enlightenment, moral therapeutic deism America) and shut off all critical faculties. All this does (and has done) is build mistrust, drag down the name of Christ and make the general witness of anyone in the body of Christ question the faith and its’ genuineness.

“Y’all can’t even get white and black Christians together. Y’all can’t even deal with the issues we’re having…and you want to talk about my soul ? Chile, please.”

Even with this, I firmly believe (because I am a Calvinist) that the gospel and all of the Word of God, brought to bear heavily on this situation will work. Therefore, I work. I keep speaking up, I call out (Ephesians 5:11) and expose the wickedness of racism and as needed, name names of folks who constantly step in and defend it (you need to stop it). But most of all, I continue to push forward for a better solution than colorblind ideology or intersectionalism and critical race theory. I press for biblical solutions. And you should too. It will make some of you uncomfortable. You may have to call a relative out and call them to repent. You may lose a long friendship.

But we’re talking kingdom business.

These blogposts and long discussions on social media, bathed in scripture and prayer with the gospel and the Imago Dei as their basis for starting will yield fruit. An example of this ray of gospel hope happened earlier yesterday on my Facebook feed. I’ll leave you with a screenshot. Names and faces blurred or covered, except mine.

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