The chasm between police and Black Americans deepened. Suspicions intensified. Ultimately, Americans watched three days of living horror. Citizens now ask, “Can Americans be pro-police and pro-Black? Many think not. Yet out of our national despair we must grasp for a glimmer of hope.
Surely we can comprehend the unacceptable consequences of killing one another. Hopefully, we will summon the courage to address two issues: our prejudices and our hate talk. Both scream for reform.
- If we want our nation of values to survive, we must relinquish our ill thought out biases. Do we want to be stubbornly “right” or do we want to heal as a nation? The drumbeat goes both ways. Police fear Blacks and the Black communities suspect that all law officers are out to get them. Both groups can claim partial truths. Both alliances must also admit falsehoods. In truth, good and courageous individuals exist in both camps.
“Reap what you sow” (Galatians 6: 7-8). “Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you” (Matthew 7: 12).
If whites fear angry blacks (many do), and if blacks distrust whites (many do), then we must take an uncomfortable but honest look at the causes for anger and fear in this country. After many years, our feelings have morphed into beliefs. Unexamined, these beliefs fail to address truth and, thus, fail to heal. What can white Americans do to repair injustices and to restore trust?
Why All the Anger?
Before beginning the healing process, we need to understand the cause of the anger crying out from black communities. According to the summer 2015 Yes! Magazine, anger among blacks bubbles up from deep wells of legitimate resentment. Before dismissing this anger, consider the historical facts below:
- At the beginning of the Civil War, slaves accounted for 48% of all wealth in the southern states. The value of slaves exceeded the combined worth of banks, factories, and railroads.