Black lives matter is a bigger issue than the organization


Black lives matter is a bigger issue than just the Black Lives Matter organization. I'm afraid this article will be used by those who are merely tired of people saying that black lives matter, small letters, because either they don't agree or don't care. This is a huge issue in our country. Your other race article doesn't quite answer the current situation either, and rather looks like the diversion "all lives matter" often seen by those who don't know and don't care about the hurting and mistreatment of their dark-skinned brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow Americans who may be looking to Christians to shine a light (whether they know it or not), and fellow human beings created in God's image.

Just a heads up.


Thank you for writing about your concerns. My point remains. There is only one race -- the human race. We are all descendants of Adam. "He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation" (Acts 17:26). Are there people being unfairly treated because of their ethnicity? Absolutely. People sin, so we expect that in any large sample of society you will find biased people. Any unfair treatment between people is wrong because Christians are commanded to see every individual as equal. "But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors" (James 2:9). In this passage, the arbitrary distinction under consideration was wealth but we can apply the same to any other distinction between people. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

What is too often missed is that this is a two-edged sword. You can't fix partiality by being partial to any particular group. When so many object to "all lives matter," they are claiming that one group should be considered first; yet, that is partial treatment. When there is a problem, it must be addressed with the view that everyone is equal; otherwise, we become guilty of sin.

One of the problems people have is their tendency to see what they expect to find. For example, my mother always said, "Bad things come in threes." It seemed like it was true because once you noticed something bad happened, it was easy to find two more bad things happening. The problem is that life is full of good and bad events. All that happened was that the good things were ignored and only the bad things were focused upon. Paul applied this principle to morality. "To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled" (Titus 1:15).

A reason for mentioning this is that as I was looking into finding exactly what is known about the problems, I kept running into disclaimers that what information currently exists is incomplete and known to be skewed.

“Based on analysis of these data, we found evidence for a significant shift in attention to stories about police killings of unarmed Black men in the wake of Michael Brown’s death, which we considered a ‘key event’ in changing the media framing of these deaths,” Zuckerman and his colleagues write. “In addition to an increased volume of coverage, we saw evidence that police-involved deaths after Michael Brown’s death were significantly more likely to be reported on as part of a larger pattern of police violence against Black citizens, and some evidence that these stories were more likely to be shared on social media.” ["Deaths in police custody in the United States: Research review," Journalist's Research].

"They found an average of 1,028 deaths per year, or 2.8 deaths per day. Overall, police were involved in 8 percent of U.S. homicides of adult males. During the six-year study period, black men were killed by police at a rate of 2.1 per 100,000 people, Latino men were killed at a rate of 1 per 100,000 and white men were killed at a rate of 0.6 men per 100,000. ... A limitation of the study is that Fatal Encounters depends on public records and media reports, so cases are likely missing if they weren’t reported by news outlets, particularly in places that don’t have media coverage or don’t publish online." ["Police-involved deaths vary by race and place", Reuters].

This is not to say there isn't a problem. It is saying that what little we know is skewed but we don't know by how much. There is enough there to warrant a deeper look into matters, but mass protests are not going to produce the answers people want.

The numbers also amplify the events. "In 2015, about 53.5 million U.S. residents age 16 or older had one or more contacts with police" [Bureau of Justice Statistics]. Thus, out of 53,500,000 contacts between police and civilians, we have roughly 1,028 deaths in a year. Of these, how many involved unarmed civilians? In that much smaller number, how many were due to racial bias? People assume that when a death occurs between a black suspect and a white officer that it was racially motivated, but that can't be true in every case when the total numbers are so low. What hasn't been shown is evidence of widespread systemic racial bias between police officers and civilians.

Therefore, each violation of the law must be looked at by a court where we try to remove emotional judgment and facts are to be analyzed. "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil" (Romans 13:3-4). Mass protests are not going to get to the bottom of why an officer violated his training and killed a man. They did not cause the government to look into this matter -- the officer was already charged and jailed. Rioting and looting are not going to bring about a peaceful society that we all wish to live in. "Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" (James 3:18).

Christians must be at the forefront of advocating law and order and not chaos.

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