Friday, July 08, 2016

Sterling, Castile, and Dallas TX

Alton Sterling
I have chosen not to post anything related to the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, until now. I thought there was more than enough rhetoric and emotional rants being posted, especially on social media, and did not feel I needed to add my voice to that chorus. What is publicly known at this point looks like grossly excessive use of force by law enforcement. Is there any wonder that, in a nation where a wealthy white woman avoids being charged for clearly violating the law while simply being black means a large segment of the population is viewed with suspicion by police, blacks in this country not only don't believe they can receive justice but they also conclude that law
Philando Castile
enforcement believes they can take the lives of black Americans with impunity. Though I do not share their conclusion, I certainly understand it and how they arrived there. We can never know if Sterling and Castile would still be alive today if they were white but the fact that is even a possibility grieves my heart.

This morning, like many others, I am learning about the ambush and assassination of five Dallas Police Officers by snipers (yep...that's the term being correctly used in this instance) and seven others wounded. The images on television are just as shocking as the videos of Sterling and Castile! Details from Dallas are still forthcoming but we do know the police have three suspects in custody and so this story will continue to unfold. Some folks will focus on the shootings of Sterling and Castile mostly ignoring event in Dallas and while others will ignore the loss of these lives and focus on the murder of police in Dallas.

It is possible to be outraged by both the excessive use of force by members of law enforcement and to be supportive of our law enforcement community. This is not an either/or situation! This morning, there are now fourteen families in pain with seven grieving the loss of loved ones. While I do not see a moral equivalence between these events, the time for that debate is not now. Christians should be grieved by all of these events and clearly articulate that the love of Jesus Christ is the solution. However, before the message of the love of Christ is going to be received, it must be lived out (1 John 3:18).


Rosalyn said...

Excellent Christopher. I agree with your words completely. But how do we change the situation on a national scale. Blacks and whites are still very segregated for the most part. It seems like we are living the 60s all over again. This week here in Atlanta they found the body of a young black man hanging in a Park. It has been ruled suicide, but I am not sure that the black community will accept that conclusion. We need real leadership and we don't have it. Very sad, My heart breaks for all those who have lost loved ones.

Christopher Sanchez said...

Ms. Rosalyn: Thanks for your encouragement and taking a moment to leave a comment. Most who visit here do not. I think the solution has to start in the pulpits and in the discipleship ministries of local churches across our nation. The leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention is trying to work towards racial reconciliation, which I support, but those efforts are being met with resistance. Sadly, Sunday remains the most segregated day of the week in the United States though this is changing.

Like you, my heart breaks over the loss of life we have seen this week and I have been praying earnestly for God to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).