While I am completely against police brutality, racial injustice, and the overall breach of due process in our modern culture; I am also against the hypocrisy taking place right now. Quite frankly, I am disturbed! Not only am I disturbed by the police brutality, the premature death of young men and the failure of Justice, but I am also disturbed by the reaction of the black community.
There has been an overwhelming lack of moral and spiritual leadership in the black community. There has been a deep-seated hypocrisy among us that few are willing to admit. I agree that the death of Freddie Gray was extremely tragic (yet another male dead unnecessarily), but the truth is, there have been thousands of young black males killed in the city of Baltimore: not at the hands of abusive police, but at the hands of other black men.
Hundreds of black men in these communities have been killed by gang members (the same gang members who are rioting), drugs and other forms of violence, yet where is the outrage over these deaths? I am sure that there are those who speak out against such things, but it is nowhere near the reaction we are seeing in the wake of recent events.
Why? What makes people feel justified in rioting, looting, and defying authority in the name of "social justice," when these same violent crimes have committed by the hands of people in their own community? Is this what Justice looks like? Is this what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had in mind for the 21st century? Is a black man only considered a "social martyr" if he is killed by the police? Are the deaths of hundreds of young people insignificant if they are killed by people of the same skin color?
I believe that the rioting and protests (not the peaceful protesting) are extremely hypocritical. Don't get me wrong, I believe much of the frustration is founded, but where is the visceral response to these types of tragedies within our own communities? Where is the outrage when young teens are killed in drive-by shootings? Where are the civil rights leaders when young black men are committing crimes? Why is there not an emphasis on keeping young men out of the judicial system so that tragedies like this never happen?
If we are so concerned with the future of black youth, why is there not a serious dialogue among black leaders about abortion (which happens to be one of the leading causes of death and depopulation among black people). Millions of black men are incarcerated and killed by the hands of other black men while we scream, "Hands up! Don't shoot!" Baltimore has one of the highest crime rates in our nation, yet people are saying, "We won't stand for this anymore!" How can they stand for hundreds or even thousands of black males being killed every day?
This has been a clear ploy by race baiters to manipulate the black community into a state of social, moral, and spiritual irresponsibility. Black America has somehow bought the lie that they are not responsible for the condition of their own communities.
It is much easier to react to what we perceive as injustice rather than to teach our young people how to be productive citizens. The question that no one is willing to ask is: Would most of these events take place if our young black men were in school or at home rather than on the street corners?
It is clear to me that there must be revival! There must be a spiritual and cultural awakening in our nation.
We must receive the baptism of love that will cause us to treat our neighbors with respect and dignity. There must be an emergence of fathers who will teach their sons to respect themselves and to honor authority. The church must challenge our communities to break free from the shackles of poverty and ignorance which are strong contributors to violence.
We must be lights and show the world the character of Jesus Christ so that they will know that there is a better way. Lord help us to see things from your perspective. #FreddieGray #Baltimore
Kynan T. Bridges is the Senior Pastor of Grace & Peace Global Fellowship in Tampa, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Gloria, and their three children.
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