Last Thursday a March for Equality was held in Rockport. It was peaceful, and I’m thankful it was. Personally, had anything gotten out of hand the message, at least in my mind would have been lost.
As a white American male I can’t tell a black American male or female I understand whatever his or her experience in life might be due to the color of his or her skin, any more than I can say I understand how a cancer patient or cancer survivor feels, without ever having had cancer.
I respect the right of those who marched, and listened intently to the speakers who talked from the heart. I know Fred Bradford, one of the men who spoke, and I heard his message.
Racism is real, but any race issues remaining in our land will not be solved through government laws, or by burning down businesses and destroying statues.
The heart of man must change, and that’s an inside job.
Our history, the good and the bad, is our history. Destroying symbols of that history, or otherwise trying to erase our history through ignorance, or playing like history didn’t happen, will not solve lingering racial issues.
A quick Google search taught me 618,222 men died in the Civil War, including 360,222 from the North, and 258,000 from the South.
The war that had by far the greatest death toll of any war in our history claimed 100,000 more lives on the side fighting to end slavery.
On a vacation long ago, our family visited the Vicksburg National Military Park. It was the same vacation during which we visited the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.
One of the stories told at the Vicksburg National Military Park is that low ranking soldiers on both sides would secretly come together at night and play poker, only to return to killing each other the next day.
What does that tell you?
It tells me the regular everyday Joes fighting on either side didn’t hate each other.
I do not believe systemic racism is as big of a problem as it’s being made out to be. I think that term is used by politicians only to garner votes.
Are there racist cops?
There are also racist nurses and doctors, as well, and I would imagine even a few racist preachers.
Our (not just my) country is being torn apart, and the lawlessness must end before any meaningful conversation can begin.
And, if and when that conversation begins, both sides must come to the table in humility, honestly admitting their own shortcomings which led to what we are currently experiencing.
Black Americans’ problems can’t all be blamed on white America.
In any relationship dispute, be it between a husband and wife, brother and sister, or black man and white cop, the healing will never begin if one or the other believes they are faultless.
Until next week, have a good week … and look into your heart. Do you think you’re better than someone else due to your skin color, wealth, or job title? If you do, take a moment, look up, and tell God he made some trash and needs to come down and get rid of it. Then, start selling tickets to your great Heavenly showdown so anyone who wants to can attend the ultimate judgment show. I will never apologize to anyone for being a white heterosexual male, any more than someone else should apologize for being a (fill in skin color, sexual orientation, and sex). Remember the song “Jesus Loves His Little Children?”
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children
of the world
Children largely become who they are based on what their parents (and others who have influence) teach them.
That is 100% true for 100% of the children born today, regardless of skin color.
Mike Probst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.