I think about how yesterday my mom greeted me with a kiss – something Samaria Rice, Leslie McSpadden, and a host of others will never get to do with their own sons.
I think about how my father prayed for our Christmas dinner – something Eric Garner will never get to do for his family again.
I think about my brother, seven years older than Tamir Rice, how he wears hoodies like Trayvon, and also walks to and from a gas station in a middle class neighborhood – and I hope and pray that no vigilantes see him walking through his neighborhood at night and try to harass him on his way home.
I think about the Christians who changed their profiles to support Christians in Iraq and Syria, but who can’t find that same compassion for their Black Christian brothers and sisters.
I think about how my grandmother sat at the table with her son and grandsons – when she was in school it wasn’t even legal for Blacks to go the same schools at Whites and she ate dinner sitting across the table from her grandson who graduated from college and was working on a Master’s degree as well as next to her grandson who graduated from a high school that has the old “Negro school” on its front lawn.
I think about the fear that must be in the hearts of Black moms across America not knowing if their child will be the one taken this 28 hours or if they’ll get to spend the New Year with them as well.
I think about the people who try their hardest to find out why these unarmed Black men and women deserve to die – who rush to dehumanize and vilify even a 12 year old and I try to pray for them and love them as Christ does.
I think about the good police officers that are being lumped in with the bad – and those who are lumped in with the good…I think about how those deemed unfit for service by other departments are still hired by others. I wonder what good police body cams will do when they mysteriously all got turned off before Antonio Martin was killed.
I wonder where the God of justice is.
I think about the irony of the US calling itself the land of the free – when basketball players can’t even wear shirts without a police union demanding an apology for it. I think of the irony of the US criticizing China and North Korea for the way the treat dissenting opinions when people in Ferguson awoke to find their homes had been tear-gassed and pastors were shot by police for praying.
But mostly I think of Jesus: an unarmed man of color living in a police state that was colonized by people from Europe who was killed at the hands of law enforcement. Like the mother of John Crawford, Mary had to bury her son. Mary watched as people told lies about her son, and tried to make him look guilty of crimes he did not commit, and she watched as even his memorial was desecrated by the very people who killed him – like Michael Brown’s.
I think about how much joy this woman must have experienced when her son who was taken from her, when given back to her 3 days later.
And I think about how all mothers who lose their children are given this promise by God: that death does not have the last word.
- Saturday, March 26 – A Season of Becoming Lenten Devotional - March 27, 2016
- Tamir Rice and the other holy innocents - December 29, 2015
- Where the leaves of the trees can heal the nations – a review of Gather at the River - August 13, 2015