Ferguson

fergusonAfter watching the wanton destruction of the neighborhood of Ferguson, Missouri, I was going to let loose with a ranting post on the whole situation, but thought better of it.

Not that I believe my comments are merely emotional laden keyboard rhetoric that add heat rather than light, but I don’t wish to deal with the simpletons with their accusations of “racism” and say that I have no room to genuinely offer an opinion as a white guy. Unless, of course, it is one of those groveling confession of manufactured culture-shame that renounces my “white privilege.”

I will say this, however: It is grieves me, almost to the point of despair, that generations of black Americans have been taught to believe by their leaders, as well as a political party, that their fellow white Americans are racists at heart and there is nothing they can do to better themselves in our society because of that racism.  Even more distressing is that this deceiving spirit has so blinded their minds to hate law enforcement that they readily accept the testimony of a lying punk that said a police officer executed an innocent black teenager in broad daylight, in the middle of the street, in front of numerous eye-witnesses, for the minor infraction of jay walking. The scenario is from the realm of sheer fantasy.

That stated, I did want to highlight an excellent podcast that addresses these issues, particularly from the point of view of law enforcement. Tony Miano, known for his street evangelism, is a retired LA county sheriff’s deputy and he pulled together a number of active officers, along with some others who are now retired, to get their perspective as Christian men on dealing with the situation in Ferguson.

A Round Table Discussion with Christian Police Officers

Also consider Tony’s article that expands upon the podcast as to how pastors are to respond to animosity toward law enforcement.

Why Many Police Officers Won’t Enter the Doors of Your Church, Pastor

 

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12 thoughts on “Ferguson

  1. That is an excellent question. I only knew of one of the guys on the panel and he’s a white guy, so beyond him, I do not know. Given the nature of the questions posed and discussed, I could not imagine a black officer disagreeing with the honest consensus of the group.

  2. @Dan: That’s an excellent and legitimate question, sir. Yes, one of the panelists, an active duty officer from Kentucky, is African American.

  3. I was pretty unimpressed by Tony Miano. I think Thabiti Anyabwile provides some good insights on what it’s like to be a black man in America. Something you or Tony or myself will never fully understand. It’s worth reading his perspective.
    Stacy Hilliard also provides some insight on underlying causes of the outrage by the black community to the Ferguson incident.
    I think it’s important to listen to what some of our black brothers have to say rather than trying to push the status quo. Tony Miano didn’t have much to offer.

  4. I was pretty unimpressed with Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile and Pastor Matt Chandler. Neither man’s comments on Twitter can be seen as part of a ministry of reconciliation.

  5. So @ Steve, individuals who are experienced law enforcement officers who deal with minority people in high crime areas don’t have good insights to a situation involving an officer related shooting? Only black people who perpetuate the myth of predator, racist cops?

    And by saying Tony is pushing the status quo, I take it you mean the status quo of the black community reacting with violence and criminal behavior when there is a perceived “injustice” done against them? Certainly you are not saying Christian police officers are not allowed to address that criminal behavior and the root causes of it? We as white folks are to remain silent and just gaze collectively at our navels wondering how we were racist toward blacks at some undetermined time in our lives?

  6. I was feeling some of that same despair after reading Thabiti’s last post about distrust of police. My main problem with both his posts was that he completely avoided the elephant in the room — to assume racist intent in the cop before all the facts were known is a racist act! All of the inciting hatred was coming from one side. This was totally ignored. He then continued to write like there was only one side of the story, and that was very disheartening.
    At some point, the cycle needs to be broken. Are there racist cops? Yes. Is this a widespread problem? Not likely — or it would be in the news every single day. Most people realize this, as they know what day to day life is like in their communities — and it looks nothing like what they are alleging in Ferguson. I was talking with a Christian friend of mine (happens to be black) about this — could this happen where we live? If there was an inciting incident, what’s in people’s hearts will come out, and perhaps those things suppressed will be given a voice. We both hope & pray not. Only the Gospel is strong enough to overcome the evil in men’s hearts, by giving them new hearts of flesh and not stone. I’m very much looking forward to every tribe, tongue and nation being in harmony at God’s throne. More than ever as I get older.
    The job of all Christians is to spread the Gospel and heal these hurts (with fellow believers first, than beyond), not continue to instigate hurt and harm. Thabiti and Matt Chandler should know better.

  7. I thank Tony Miano for addressing this. As a LEO, I find the events in Ferguson to be truly distressing. It’s hard enough for a LEO to do his job consistently with his Christian faith without Pastors and other Christians making radically incorrect assumptions and proclamations.

    I’m disappointed with Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile’s blogs on this subject. In my experience, the actions of certain segments aren’t due to perceived racism but because of a perpetual disregard for the rule of law. The Police are the only thing that is preventing a whole lot of neighborhoods in certain areas from a constant state of absolute anarchy.

  8. Are these things a Christian man should say: “I don’t wish to deal with the simpletons”, “the testimony of a lying punk”? I find you to be a vile person, and you are the exact reason Christians are so hated and/or distrusted. And you have the gall to whine about some black Americans who believe that white Americans are racist at heart. You are one of the problems, definitely not one of the solutions to the problem.

  9. Wow dude if you haven’t already you really need to take the blinders off, come out of your lily white comfort zone, sit down with MORE THAN ONE black friend and ask them their story. Because it is obvious that you are very ignorant and know nothing of the type of harassment that black males around this country face from law enforcement every day. Because nothing like this would happen to you personally you just disregard any mention of race playing a role in a negative and unfortunately deadly encounter with an African American and a police officer and act as if such concerns regarding possible racial motives are not valid and totally fictitious. Please don’t think that because black people aren’t running scared from the klan any more that racism is dead or accusations of such treatment are based in “fantasy” from “simpletons” because it makes you sound grievously cocky and arrogant. How do you know that the young man was a “lying punk?
    You say, “Even more distressing is that this deceiving spirit has so blinded their minds to hate law enforcement that they readily accept the testimony of a lying punk that said a police officer executed an innocent black teenager in broad daylight, in the middle of the street, in front of numerous eye-witnesses, for the minor infraction of jay walking. The scenario is from the realm of sheer fantasy.” According to WHO?
    I think maybe the one with the deceiving spirit is you. You want so bad to believe that these cops
    could never INTENTIONALLY harm a unarmed black teen. But you forget one thing. They too are “fallen, sinful, wicked at heart, and yes depraved.” Dude seriously Wake up! Cops have historically done things like this and way worse before and gotten away with it. So why is it so hard to believe that it couldn’t happen again? Why do you act like it’s so hard to imagine a world where there are a segment of people on the police forces across this country that hate minorities and will take advantage of their position of power to harass such people groups. Please do yourself a favor and get “cultured”. The fact that you made a statement like shows the type homogenized world you seem to live in where if a person raises an issue that makes you uncomfortable (in this case racism) you can just dismiss it like it’s no big deal and has no bearing on reality because you’ve determined what reality is and in your world their just “simpletons.” therefore, you don’t have to actually acknowledge any of their racial concerns as being valid. I guess there would never be a racial injustice bad enough that could happen that would convince you that race is still an issue in this country and in the police forces around the nation. At any point have you prayed for the Brown family? or the residents of Ferguson because this could easily be your city. These “simpletons” as you call them are in pain right now (for a variety of reasons) and need The Gospel. Check your heart man because you do good work apologetically speaking but everyone’s frame of reference is different especially when it comes to social issues. Your comments reflect the heart of the Conservative, Americanized Christian culture that’s hooked on FOX news and talk radio both of which are Toxic to say the least!

  10. You know TheIII, any post that begins with “Wow Dude” automatically goes to the top of my reading list because I recognize the presence of true intellect and educated opinion when I see the salutation of “Dude”. Have you ever considered that bad behavior for any reason is subject to negative consequences? Just because you think that rebellion against authority is somehow excusable and warranted does not in any way mean the price for that behavior will not be met with unpleasant repercussions. The issue here is what Jesus taught in Mark 7. And that is our responses are indicative of who is in control of our lives. Our responses are in fact the “real issue”, not what goes on around us. What Jesus was trying to tell us was this, “The circumstances of life, the events of life, and the people around me in life, do not make me the way I am, but reveal the way I am.” He repeated Himself 4 times within 10 verses so my bet is He was trying to make a point. He even got a little outdone with His Disciples when they seemed to miss what He was saying.

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