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Despite Attacks on Black Community, Peace Still Necessary

by Todd A. Smith

 

Pray For Our Enemies


Praying for one’s enemies and those who spite us is one of the most difficult things a person can do.


People sometimes reduce biblical statements to clichés and pretend that they are easy to accomplish.


Martin Luther King, Jr. would pray every night for God to remove any bitterness from his heart towards the bigots who attempted to ruin the Civil Rights Movement according to “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.”


That same strength is needed now if we are to get through these difficult days of racial animosity.


According to the Associated Press, “A White Chicago police officer who shot a Black teenager 16 times last year was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday…


“City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the dash-cam video, fearing the kind of unrest that occurred in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo. after young Black men were slain by police or died in police custody.”


In addition, the Associated Press (AP) reported that five Black Lives Matter protestors were shot Monday, allegedly by some White supremacists, during a demonstration against police brutality.


According to AP, “Police say five people were shot in the attack, which unfolded late Monday near a police precinct where dozens of protestors have been camped out since the Nov. 15 fatal shooting of Jamar Clark.  None suffered life-threatening wounds.”


With the recent arrest of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald and the arrest of three White men and a Hispanic man in the Minneapolis shooting, a revolution is definitely taking place in America.


But despite what many activists say, all revolutions do not have to include violence and anger.


With the success of the Black Lives Matter movement, many have erroneously stated that no successful revolution has ever been won without a violent battle from both sides of the debate.


Those who believe that un-factual claim must not have ever heard of King’s role model in the Civil Rights Movement, Mahatma Gandhi, who was able to overthrow British colonial rule with love and nonviolence.


Although it is extremely hard to do, we must continue to love our enemy and attempt to turn them into a friend and ally like King preached.


Because after the revolution is won, we still have to live side-by-side with our brothers and sisters of other races.  Therefore, adding more violence will only lead to more chaos and a volatile community.


According to King’s autobiography, “Gandhi was able to mobilize and galvanize more people in his lifetime than any other person in the history of this world.  And just with a little love and understanding goodwill and a refusal to cooperate with an evil law, he was able to break the backbone of the British Empire.  This, I think, was one of the most significant things that ever happened in the history of the world.  More than 390 million people achieved their freedom, and they achieved it nonviolently.”


Those from the Black community that are advocating a race war must realize that we will be outgunned, outmanned and unfortunately out-unified by our adversaries.


And anyone advocating for Black violence against police officers is encouraging the unnecessary deaths of more brothers and sisters because we will lose that battle on the streets and especially in the courtroom.


On “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone, the band stated that, “we’ve got to live together.”


No race is leaving this planet soon and I would hate to live in a world of constant civil war and unrest.


Furthermore, those advocating violence against our White brothers and sisters indiscriminately must be ignoring the fact that many of them are our allies in the Black Lives Matter movement, and have been our allies since the abolitionist movement and the Civil Rights Movement.


Many, like Unitarian minister James Reeb, lost their lives trying to stand up for our rights in Selma, Ala. in 1965.


Furthermore, we must remember half of the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore were Black.


The struggle is not totally Black and White.


The struggle is good versus evil.


While we should continue to push for change in the legal system and seek to end police brutality, we have to remember that war does not stump out evil.


Only God and love can overcome that.

 

And while it is definitely hard, we have to continue to believe that and know that evil will never trump good unless we allow it to.

This article was published on Wednesday 25 November, 2015.
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