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Many opinions are being shared concerning the response of some American’s to the murder of Mr. George Floyd. Some see the non peaceful demonstrations displayed in the destruction of properties as excessive while others differ. What’s certain is that there is no band aid to fix the underlying wound as its puss oozes to the surface.
A simple injection of antibiotics would be overwhelmed by the millions of bacteria causing the infection; instead just like a puss filled abscess its outside needs first to be cleaned with the proper sanitizer. It must be cut open with a clean and sterile surgical blade. Pressure must then be applied as the puss is forced out. The interior of the wound must then be cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
But not just cleaned! The antiseptic soaked swab must be rubbed hard against the inner walls of the wound to remove dead and infected tissue. The procedure is only seen as effective when fresh blood begins to flow. The wound is flushed again with antiseptic solution, treated with antibiotics, and in the case of animals packed with clean gauze. Daily the wound needs to be taken care of and daily a little of the gauze is pulled out and cut off. At the end of the period when all the gauze is completely removed the wound is well on its way to healing, albeit a scare might result.
The procedure of dealing with an abscess starts from the outside in. The same I believe is the case of what is happening in the United States where the infection is systemic. It is impossible to go directly to the root cause of the problem instead the external or peripheral condition is addressed. In the same way we see water not being enough to clean the abscess, so too the outward cleaning of America’s systemic abscess of racism cannot have a superficial approach.
To this there needs therefore to be a genuine evaluation of the situation, a ‘sit down’ between officials and the people to first come to a common understanding on the approach to be used. Both sides must be will to venture towards a therapy that heals. From this understanding calm can be called upon from those whose anger has breached the walls of self restraint, and an equal response should be reciprocated by the law enforcement agencies.
A cut is then needed. A zero tolerance against those whose actions and history have reflected racial indifference should be adopted, as offenders are immediately cut from having custody of law enforcement. Good officers likewise have a responsibility to themselves and to the public to root out this infection from among their regiments.
Cutting deeper, those in administrative positions who also reflect racial bias should be seen as unfit for the job. And even as the incision goes further its blade should cut away and remove elected officials of like persuasions from offices, through existing laws or by the polls; from Governors to Mayors, and from Senators all the way to the President.
The wound needs to be abrasively rubbed. No one like the feeling of pain as it is a part of life most would gladly forfeit. Yet pain is usually an indicator that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. So what is to be rubbed? Racism, especially against Black African Americans as it is the fundamental agent responsible for this abscess. If we are to be honest with ourselves we will admit that biases exist among all people.
However when a bias trespasses on the dignity of human life and the sovereign will of God concerning his creation, then it become an intolerable problem. America needs to have a deep and honest look into its soul and heart. Perhaps a fitting start would be with her laws as her people collectively come together to seek remedies. There needs to be accountability and review boards that are impartial, not only in law enforcement but throughout all its systems.
Finally the biggest scraping of the walls of the American abscess of racism involves the people themselves. What makes someone so hateful towards another that he is unwilling or unable to stop himself from literally squeezing the life out of a subdued man?
What level of hatred and disregard for a fellow human would cause a man to continue a murder that is live-streamed around the world even as by standers creams and pleads for the man’s life? It is this type of hatred, its origin, its nurturing, and its tolerance that must ultimately be rubbed so hard that it bleeds. America’s conversation has to look at its perceptions on race, or more accurately its hatred toward certain ethnicity, as there isn’t a plurality of races, but a single race to which we’re all a part of.
She needs to ask every citizen black, white, red and yellow to self evaluate asking probing questions perhaps never asked before. Questions like, do I hate those who do not look like me? Do I feel as if I am better than those who do not act or talk like me? You see this rubbing has to be done not only from a state or corporate level but most importantly from a place of silent introspection. When the wound is rubbed to the point of bleeding only then can America with its many members again be united as a whole.
Through the overhauling of her legal, social, and economic systems, along with individual accountability, America would begin to flush herself of the residue which has caused her to fester. When she gets this far she would realize that her problem is not really a race problem or a superiority problem, but that her problem is an issue of the heart. She would recognize that without God true love and acceptance cannot exist 1 John 4:9-11; that without Christ there can be no reconciliation, not among men and certainly not with God Rom 5:10.
There is however comfort and hope in that even as the flowing a fresh blood signifies that infected tissues have been removed from the abscess and healing can begin, so too at Calvary Christ allowed his blood to flow signifying the forgiveness of sins and the reconciliation of man to God Col 1:20-22. Man’s heart can now be healed. Submitted to Christ we are no longer slaves to sin. No longer slaves to the tendencies of biases and racism, of hatred and indifference. Instead we truly become as God intended, his people, his creation, his body John 1:12.
Throughout the world reconciliation is needed, within nations and between nations. As a people we have shared responsibility and accountability. Although not in the same sense the Caribbean region too has infections that are divisive and threatening. From the existing political conflict in Venezuela to ethnic tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, to issues within our very shores, even as we journey through this election year. How we approach and resolve our issues begins firstly with a firm foundation in God. On the political front it will serve us best to realize that having a political affiliation isn’t in and of itself a bad thing, as long as we do not have blind affiliation. For the Americans, be a Republican, but not a blind Republican. Be a Democrat but not a blind Democrat, an Independent but not a blind Independent. At home the same caution is given, be a supporter of the ULP but not a blind supporter; a supporter of the NDP but not a blind supporter. Blinded we will become indifferent and accepting only along party lines. With such disposition it is our knees that will be sunk into the necks of our fellow countrymen because we fail to see and speak out against prevailing injustices. We must all strive to be that voice that speaks especially for the voiceless, and the catalyst for the changes that are needed.
So to the question: “To Riot or Not – Peacefully Protest or Not?”
Adolf Hitler and the Axis Powers were only defeated by the brute opposing force of an alliance of nations, the Allied Powers. Likewise the abolition of slavery throughout the United States only truly took root on the fields of battle following the North’s Union army’s defeat of the Confederate south.
Upon the testimony of thousands it is never a parent’s first response to physically discipline [hit] a child. It is usually the last resort after the talking fails, after the time out fails, after depriving of certain things fail. When the rod is used the child takes notice, he or she pays attention remembering who is parent and who is child, and acknowledges that their actions are wrong and need to be corrected. This however is only possible if it is done early in the child’s development, only if the child is willing to be reformed. Whether one supports a peaceful protest or a violent one, the questions America has to ask herself are, does she want to change, can she still be reformed or has she become a totally rebellious child?
Further she needs to also consider whether she is willing to repeat her bloody civil war past in an effort to again reunite her fractured self, or if she is willing to learn from history and seek a different recourse? As for me she will do best not to repeat her past, but take notice even as the rod is striking and the infection erupting. She should also expect that just as the gauze is daily removed and cut from the healing abscess, so too America’s systemic infection of racism would require time and daily attention if she is to properly recover. And what if at the end she is scared? Scaring can be a beautiful thing, if it is the evidence of being healed.