Today, an article I wrote back in August, before Baby Brother’s birth, ran on the Theology of Ferguson website. My old friend, Jake, is the editor and chief who continues to drive the dialogue forward – might the rest of us not forget the events as we continue to reconcile and redeem the conversation of race in America.
“In war, truth is the first casualty.”
Although Aeschylus first penned these words twenty-five hundred years ago, their veracity remains as accurate today as then. For wherever the battle resides, within anti-government rebel groups overseas, between the cozy walls of suburban living rooms, or in the midst of an established nation still unequivocally divided by issues of race, we must be party to ripping open the wounds of truth no matter the pain.
The unfortunate passing of Michael Brown, an unarmed eighteen-year-old black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer, is both tragic and unnecessary. As Christ-followers, if we find ourselves more concerned with the explanatory details of the death’s validation — calling Brown “unarmed,” claiming that alleged convenience store robbery warrants a body receiving six bullets, or entirely dismissing the events that followed in Ferguson, Missouri purely as “race card” tactics — we miss the point entirely. Because when death has the last word, we are not supposed to defend it. We are instructed to mourn and to weep, to lament and to wail over the brokenness and pain present in our world today.
Because when death has the last word, we are not supposed to defend it. We are instructed to mourn and to weep, to lament and to wail over the brokenness and pain present in our world today.
Saint Paul tells us just this, “mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice”. It is in bearing one another’s heartache that we are moved towards justice and compassion. But if in the midst of suffering and grief we emerge unchanged, clothed not in resurrected newness, then we’ve failed to embrace the Kingdom of God. Instead, we’ve pushed truth to the wayside, sweeping war’s greatest casualty under the rug in an attempt to facilitate a false and obnoxious form of peace. We have done a disservice to the one we claim to follow, to him who is True Peace.
As men and women, as black and white, we must confront and expose the lies that separate and divide us head on. For confrontation must happen if justice is to prevail. What then does healthy inward and outward confrontation look like?
Interested to read the rest of the article? Click here to head and heading on over to the Theology of Ferguson website. Otherwise, what do you think healthy confrontation, especially when it comes to race, looks like?