• Will Hawk

Ending Racism


Racism

It is not unbelievable anymore. Not after hundreds of years of systematic tyranny partially revealed in the brutality of abducting, enslaving, and oppressing men, women, boys, and girls of African descent. This unwanted, unwarranted, unambiguous savagery has suffocated generations from the middle passage to the New Jim Crow in America. For those who have endured past atrocities and those who currently experience reprehensible acts, there has never been an acceptance of these offenses. Each generation since the first inhumane voyage to these shores has fought vigorously for their birthright of freedom, knowing that human equality should not be deficient simply because of the color of their skin. Now a full 8 minutes and 45 seconds of similar cruelty has ended another black life. Namely that of George Floyd. This irrevocable act is yet another antagonism of a people already embittered and has energized the explicit echoes of generations of insistent demands for ending racism.

This Has Got to Stop

Although a strong desire for equality (equal treatment) existed when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the ears of former slaves in 1865, they knew that it would not be immediate. They could not have imagined, however, that 155 years later the modes of racial inequality would methodically maneuver to manipulate the ideology of supremacy for the majority race. Reconstruction, Post-Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws and philosophies, and the New Jim Crow have served to demean by subjugation and subsequent conditioning that is not easily undone. The lack of or perceived lack of adherence to subjugation was and continues to be enforced by domestic terrorism manifested as threatening, beating, killing, and lynching men, women, boys, and girls. These perpetrated by an iniquitous system of so-called justice and by the hands of so-called law-abiding citizens. George Floyd a victim of the former and Admaud Arbery a victim of the latter. Not George and Admaud alone, but countless other black people, without regard for gender or age, have been murdered, terrorized, abused, marginalized, and dehumanized every century, every decade, every year and every day for over 400 years, without justice. This has got to stop.

Waiting Too Long

While no human being should experience what black people have experienced in America, this is not the time for denial-based fragility that darkens the clarity of understanding. It is time to see things as they are rather than the semblance of perception. The widespread protests we have been witnessing are indicative of the long dark night void of equity for African Americans and the empathetic consciousness of others who can no longer stand on the sidelines. (African American agency alone will not be successful in ending racism). The protests have created momentum for a continued conversation that must end with the permanent justice of equality for all people in conjunction with the solitary justice found in the conviction of individuals who committed racially motivated crimes. The momentum is in church houses and community houses; it is in town halls and social halls; it is in every space where candid conversations can occur that will be predicated on understanding and solving the issues, challenging and overcoming the power structures that maintain inequity, and ultimately ending racism and the ignorance associated with it once and for all. Now we must seek an end to the waiting. We must turn off the silences. We must begin, in earnest, the perilous process of uncomfortable dialogue with sincere desire to disrupt the perils of racial discrimination. Experiencing racial discrimination is unnecessary for compassionate empathy. What is necessary is a true willingness to understand. The world has been waiting too long for this.

Christian Perspective

Walk into any church today and it is possible to find differing perspectives on the death of George Floyd. Perhaps because the vast maj