The events in Ferguson, Mo are truly heartbreaking. Mike Brown is my brother, my friend, my neighbor. I don’t really have words for my feelings on what is happening to Black Americans across this country. Every week, I am confronted with a new name to add to the list Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Travyon Martin, Jordan Davis, Jonathan Ferrell, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, and Mike Brown. Honestly, it is hard not to internalize the message that some lives matter more. I don’t know what to say, but I do know that my God is a God of justice and that even if society tells black people our lives are less valuable, I know that is not true in the eyes of my heavenly father. I know because He tells me so in Isaiah 58:6, the fasting that the Lord has chosen is “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
I am reminded that once a upon a time a young Alabama preacher was the clarion call for justice and equality in this country. His dream unfulfilled and likely to remain that way if we are unwilling as a nation and as Christians to actively break the chains of racism and confront our biases. I have posted links to posts that are much more eloquent than I for those who want to understand Ferguson both historically and in the context of our faith.
Here are some links on Ferguson that put the events in the larger context of what it means to be black in America.
Melissa Harris-Perry: No Rights Which A White Man is Bound to Respect
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Reparations for Ferguson
Jelani Cobb: The Anger in Ferguson
Greg Howard: America is Not For Black People
Here are some links on Faith and Ferguson ( I am grateful for leaders like Matt Chandler and Russell Moore)
Austin Channing Brown: Black Bodies White Souls
Sarah Bessey: In which I have a few things to tell you about #Ferguson
Russell Moore: Ferguson and the Quest for Racial Justice
Matt Chandler: More on Ferguson and White Privilege
Thabiti Anyabwile: Coming (Back) to America: My One Fear
Baptist Press: Ferguson and You
I hope that every Christian that has posted about ISIS in Iraq and cares about justice will be on their knees this week praying for the people in Ferguson and for their African American neighbors, co-workers, and friends because weeks like these are a heavy thing to carry alone.
“How long, not long because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr.