Total Restoration Ministries

Restore unto me the Joy of Your salvation (Psalm 51:12)

I can't breathe

Permit me to open with this: I am a naturally born American Citizen. I am a veteran of the United States Navy. I am a scholar - having graduated magna cum laude from one of our nation's fine universities, and having recently been offered the opportunity to further my education and pursue my masters degree. I am a Christian - a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ. I am a minister of the Gospel, one who teaches and shares the love and peace God intends. I am also a descendant of African slaves who were brought against their will to these shores in violation of their rights as members of the human race. That last point is one that no one can can ignore, because you can tell by the color of my skin, the fullness of my lips, and the texture of my hair. Of all the aforementioned attributes, only my ancestry is virtually unmistakable because it can be observed with the naked human eye, with no effort, word, or even motion on my part.

As I write this, understand that I abhor the violence and destruction that has taken place in recent days. It breaks my heart to see the fires that have burned. It makes me sick to know lives have been lost in the wake of these riots. I hate what I've been seeing on TV and what is coming across my various social media feeds.

What I hate more is the insensitivity and disdain of some of my fellow Americans. I hate to see people, some of whom I consider friends, decry the actions of people without even attempting to understand (or in some cases not caring) what drives them. I worry how these friends of mine would react to a woman who lashes out at her abusive husband, or a child who snaps and erupts violently at her abusive parent. Please understand that what I am about to say is going to be hard to read, and digest. Just keep reading to the end... And don't read just to respond, read to understand...

This nation has a bloody history of mistreatment, abuse, and murder of inhabitants of these shores that happen to have darker pigmentation in their skin. And the truth of the matter is that while we recognize that no one today is or was a slave or slave owner, EVERYONE in this nation lives with the reverberations of the beatings and hangings, the rapes and the disembowlments that African slaves and their descendants endured on this continent.. And that the original indigenous inhabitants of this glorious land endured on this continent - both groups subjected to unimaginable horrors at the hands of European settlers and their descendants...

What is most infuriating is that some of those European descendants act as if time is all that it takes to heal those wounds and that everything is okay now. How can the wound heal when the scab is constantly being ripped off and irritants added to it? They cry out, "White men get shot. White people get car jacked." Bring that to the table after you've endured it for 400 years at the hands of an oppressive government built on the backs of your ancestors.

This nation, the UNITED States of America, has neglected to properly redress the grievances of the people whose blood was used as the mortar and whose bones were the bricks that built this country.

In a cross country race, when you've been given a 400 meter head start, how DARE you look at the people who are upset and angry that they are getting tripped by the system that designed the race??? Even if you stumble, you are still far ahead of your competition who is being weighed down by the history of this nation, weighed down by systemic racism, weighed down by implicit and explicit bias. You run free and clear and want to get upset with the people who cry out because they have to run with ankle weights?? Are you kidding me right now??

When armed protestors in tactical gear can storm a state capital and still go home to their families, but a woman (and EMT - a first responder) is shot by authorities serving a warrant in her home on someone who isn't even there, explain to me how there is equity?? No. You cannot. You can't say we live on equal footing when things like this happen. (note: someone pointed out that the armed Michigan protest was peaceful, but ask yourself this and answer honestly : how peacefully they would have been received if the armed protestors in tactical gear had been Black or Hispanic)

And so no... I don't approve of nor agree with the rioting or the looting. I've posted against it and asked for it to stop. But history has embued me with the moral justification to make a judgment call like that. Unless you and your ancestors have been beaten, broken, battered, and crushed by this system you don't have the right because you don't have the experience to justify it. You cannot tell people not to be angry or how to express their anger because you don't know what they know. You can't feel what they feel. You cannot identify with the blood and sweat and tears that have been shed trying to get out from under the boulder of oppression that has been crushing them for generations.

When you experience life and history from this point of view, then your perspective into their actions will be justified. Until then I submit that your best course of action is to impress upon your elected officials to treat acts of racism against a vilified and victimized people as acts of domestic terrorism and you demand that such acts be met with severe and swift Justice... And I'm not talking about a post on social media or just a single call to your congressional representative. You protest. You march on the statehouse en masse demanding that this happen. You peacefully protest until the government listens. You drop the "Democrat VS Republican" mess and demand this issue be resolved equitably. You demand that an end be put to redlining and that victims of it be compensated for the injustices. You topple the system that has traditionally and historically abused, victimized, and vilified people based on the color of their skin.

If you want things to be fair, help us catch up. YOU help level the playing field so it's really Justice and not Just US.

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