Black Lives Matter And The Christian Message Whites Have Spread But Have Not Yet Learned
There are tens of millions of whites who are afraid to face blacks in a non-confrontational way. Without the threat of violence, which is what law essentially is. They have no idea of how to relate to a black person except by expecting that person to behave according to their own expectations, which is to say, in a way that makes the white person feel entirely comfortable and in control. They say they are more than willing to get along with black people who act the way they expect them to act, but they never once consider if the person on the other side also has certain expectations that are worthy of being considered.
They have no idea how to react to black people in the way blacks have always been forced to face whites. In the way all races have been forced to face whites. In the United States, indigenous people and African Americans have always had an extremely unequal relationship with white people, and the threat of violence has always been implicit. Overseas it has been no different. Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America have all been colonized by Europeans and when the people were not exterminated they were subjugated. Always with the threat of violence, backed by laws written by and intended for white people.
But something sublime and miraculous has come of this. It has given birth to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Hell, Jesus was a Middle Easterner who was living in a country occupied by Europeans. And since then, Europeans have spread His message of non-violence and loving one’s enemies all over the world, and many who saw the futility in violence saw the wisdom of Christ’s message. Those who could not match violence with violence learned that the battle for justice could be taken to a higher plane, one in which the use of violence demonstrated not superiority but the truth that violence is a tool of oppression. But while the Europeans spread the message of Christ throughout the world, few of them took the time to learn it themselves. They haven’t had to. It is a lesson not willingly learned. But it is a profound one, and it must be learned.
It falls upon the European race to learn the lesson by choice and not of necessity. If white people wish to prove their race is in any way special, they can do so by being the first to freely come to grips with a message they’ve been sharing with others for thousands of years now. They can be the first group of people to find alternatives to violence and dominance without being first subjugated. It will not be easy, but they can learn from the examples of countless people of color whose people have been decimated and enslaved and have still found room for love and forgiveness in their hearts. It would perhaps be humbling, but it would be an astonishing accomplishment. This would not be an act of weakness, it would be an act of incredible bravery.
A first step would be to just say the words so many are longing to hear: Black Lives Matter. Go ahead, do it. It will cost you nothing. You won’t have to subscribe to some philosophy or join some group that might use the three words to promote ideas that you don’t get behind. It’s just three words and you know they are absolutely true. It won’t just be comforting to others, it will untie that knot of fear and hate that has been clogging your heart for way too long. It will feel good. And just so you know, your life matters too