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Rush to Judgment

Baltimore, Maryland Skyline from the Inner Harbor
One of the biggest cases in the news in recent days had to do with the killing of Freddie Gray and subsequent Baltimore riots. Despite the fact that 50% of the officers charged are people of color, many are quick to label this a racially-motivated crime, offering vague and ambiguous reasons in support of their assumption. We don't have all the facts yet, but that certainly didn't stop the prosecutor from leveling ridiculously over-blown charges against the officers involved in his arrest and transport.

Of course, along come the race hustlers who see an opportunity for fame and fortune in the wake of the horrific events that took place. They are often quick to make it about race, but slow to look at facts and offer concrete suggestions beyond having a "national conversation" about the issue. Is it about race? Perhaps for some people it is. However, for many folks it's a combination of factors. Of course, the politicians who live there and are responsible for their constituents would love to shift the blame to an oppressive white majority in this country, but that sadly doesn't really wash when you look at how long they have been in power there.

Perhaps if "big government" got out of the way and protected people, instead of trying to rule every detail of their lives through cradle-to-grave entitlements (which this country can no longer afford), things might change. We might be able to find economic solutions that would finally reverse this terrible trend and provide meaningful careers and goals worth devoting much time in one's life to.

Unfortunately, the only viable alternative to liberal Democratic policy is stale, often greedy Republican policy. Not much of a choice. The problem is that both parties contain lots of politicians with their own agendas, whether personal or that of their local constituency.

Sadly, rushing to judgment only condemns many innocent people who are guilty of only trying to serve the people, making them fearful to do their jobs properly in the future for fear of unfair reprisal. Who wants to work for people who are quick to rush to judgment and throw you under the bus as a matter of political convenience or perhaps cowardice?

I am not ignorant of the fact that racism is still an issue with this country and I suspect all of humanity. In my experience and opinion, the only true cure for that is Jesus. It has not been that many years since people of color had to sit in the back of the bus (if allowed on at all) and were forced to use different restrooms and water fountains. Not that long at all. I get that. But when do we put an end to blaming the past and start forging the future together as one American people-- not African-American, Chinese-American or whatever hyphenated label you might want to use? When do we decide collectively to change? I realize that, for some older folk, that's asking a lot. There are still a great many people of color who remember not being allowed to use the same water fountain or have access to the same quality of education. Many people were not able to move into "white neighborhoods" for fear of what it would do to the property values-- even here in the 'enlightened' north. I remember seeing some of that, and I'm not that old. Even people who would tell you they were not prejudice did not want a black family moving in next door-- or even on the same street.

Thankfully, many neighborhoods in rural and suburban America have changed; at least where I live much has changed. In fact, my wife and I live in a neighborhood where we may not be the majority. I have never actually done a census there, but it seems a great many families are black or from some other 'non-white' background. But what we all share is a common American citizenship and should strive to cement those bonds that are inherent in it, not be divisive and hateful. Many Of the people in the city I live in are my brothers and sisters. My Lord Jesus has seen to that and I thank and praise Him for it.

Some of the things we hear in the news are very disturbing and do show a disturbing amount of violence and prejudice against non-caucasians. No sane, honest person can deny that. Reforms are necessary. But one of the first things I hope we work on is providing meaningful jobs to people who have every desire to work and take pride in their ability to do so. People tend to be a lot nicer to each other when they aren't broke and hungry.

God is more pleased when we are just and fair than when we give him gifts. 
-Proverbs 21:3 (TLB)

I don't know what really happened to Freddie Gray and I hope our justice system is able to find the truth. I will acknowledge his manner of death does look suspicious. If and when they do find the truth, it is my prayer that the people who live there (and everywhere) will be able to accept whatever justice is handed out in the matter. Let's turn a deaf ear to the hate mongers and look at the facts as best we can, I know the Holy Spirit can and will help with that. To know the Holy Spirit in such a way involves knowing Christ. I cannot tell you the difference that will make in your life.

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.
-Isaiah 1:17 (NASB)


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