Some of our biggest problems are solved at the dinner table. At least that’s what President Ronald Reagan once said. Last night as my family and I sat down for dinner, we were completely satisfied with our delicious meal, but we sat there perplexed, saddened, and angered by the police brutality that played out on the national stage in a neighboring town that ended a young man’s life.

I refused to watch the video in its entirety because what I saw from that vantage point and heard courtesy of an amateur videographer just didn’t seem fair. When I watched the news last night, that story was the headliner. What shocked me most was the narrative that followed. It was all about the victim’s criminal past. I turned off the TV. Ssshhh! Too much too soon. Did they just justify taking a man’s life, or did I infer incorrectly? What happened to objectivity?

Something similar happened recently when a young woman’s death was reported on the evening news. She wasn’t murdered. She wasn’t a celebrity or philanthropist. She was an ordinary citizen. Odd, right? Sadly, this troubled young woman was convicted of a crime and served a short sentence for that crime which rocked her small community. What shocked me was the narrative that followed the report of her death. Did they just suggest that death was the punishment for the crime she had committed? Ssshhh! Enough!

We want facts. We want the system to work. We want justice. We want peace. Sometimes, though, we want revenge because our hearts and minds can’t understand what’s going on. Thankfully, we’re reminded of what God wants.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. ~Romans 12:19

I went to bed with Alton Sterling of Louisiana on my mind and woke up to the news of another death by cop in Minnesota –Philando Castile — another family and community in need of our prayers. I’m struggling to find the words to assure mothers, wives, and sisters that their sons, husbands, and brothers will return home unharmed and unfettered. Ssshhh! I can’t make those promises. I wish I could say “Just comply, and you won’t die.” If I said that, it would be a lie. Cell phone footage has proven that that strategy doesn’t work.

The rise in police brutality, racial discord, and media pot stirring aren’t new problems we’re facing in 2016. Marvin Gaye wrote a song about these issues in 1971.  Some of the players are new, but the issues are old — lack of trust, loads of fear, and very little empathy. Until we stop thinking that our problems are black and white, we’ll continue to fight and wonder what’s going on.

© 2004 – 2015 by Bible Hub

51 Thoughts

  1. I love this post, because it speaks so much truth. My prayers and thoughts are sent with those families who have suffered the horrible loss of their family member.

    1. Thanks, Sheridan. I hope you are well. 🙂 My heart goes out to the victims’ families as well as the officers’ families. All lives are forever changed.

  2. This infuriating presentation manipulation of facts must change. I pray it shall right soon. And I pray for these families through their tragic, senseless losses. Excellent post, Michelle. <3 <3 <3

  3. Well said Michelle. I must tell you, that this saddens me so much and I fail to understand the digging into the victim’s life to flay him and justify his killing. Just disgusting. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. I don’t watch the news for that very reason. You are not getting the facts you are getting what they think will create a large viewing audience. It is very sad all the way around and I wish God had made us in a rainbow of colors so we wouldn’t have this ignorance because of someone’s skin color! Sssshhh! Well said Michelle.

      1. You know you’re right…there’s so many things we’ll finally come to understand once we meet Him. I guess the key is to try and enlighten yourself now.

    1. I have a background in Journalism, and that aspect of modern reporting is what irritates me the most. Nothing you say about these victims can justify what happened to them. Let he who is without sin cast the first doggone stone. :/

      1. Preach! I just came across a few blogs listing the victims supposed backgrounds and was so tempted to respond but I know better than to engage with ignorance. Blessings to you Michelle.

  5. I’m not Christian -I’m Buddhist -but that doesn’t really matter. The issue is the same. We don’t believe an outside entity will avenge. We believe the causes we make will have an effect on our own lives. We are responsible for life’s pain – and happiness, too. In keeping with the lesson, you reap what you sow. I, too, have seen so often, and it seems so much more now, that the victim’s lives are put on trial and found fault with, making it their fault for what happened to them, causing them, and their loved ones even more pain. We see this in greater numbers when a crime is perpetrated on a woman where she has to justify why she didn’t deserve what was done to her. How and when did we get to the place where a victim deserved to be hurt, and have people gleefully pass judgement. I know this happens to more than just women. I advocate for inmates who happen to be predominantly black. Why? Because they are the majority in prison. I was talking to an old friend about a book I’m writing about one man and she asked me why he was in prison. I explained the unfairness of sentencing and the usage of solitary confinement and told her some of his story. She flat out said, “I don’t believe you. The guards wouldn’t abuse him for no reason. My brother used to be in prison (for robbing a bank) and he said blacks are treated better than anyone else.” I’m fairly sure she pulled that out of thin air just to take a contrary viewpoint. Some people just simply enjoy the negative. Maybe they feel their own pain less by imagining the pain of others.

  6. Thank you for sharing and your openness. I do not understand and do not try to understand. All I can do is pray for the victims and their families and thank God for His justice. One day and I pray that it is soon that our eyes will be opened and see that everyone matters and the truth matters and is what should be reported not biases.

  7. All of this is just beyond comprehension. None of it makes sense. Prayer for the families and the communities affected that’s all we can do….

  8. As the mother of two teens, these murder cases have really hit hard. There’s no way to rationalize why no one is being held accountable . Sad.

    1. It is sad. Someone asked if I fear for our sons, brothers, uncles, and husbands. I said, I replaced my fears with daily, specific prayers of protection for them and us. Apparently, Black women are a threat too. 🙁

  9. this was only a few months ago. However, it feels like this was just the other day. I believe that everyone in this world need to abide by the laws of the land and actually know the laws that are here for them. Unfortunately with the cases in the media so many have acted as if the law does not apply to them. I hope that moving forward change will happen for the better.

  10. It truly breaks my heart hearing and thinking about these stories! I pray constantly over my family, the world and this election…its so scary!!! But I know God is in control…so I try not to worry! Just pray…EXCELLENT POST!

  11. One thing I teach my teens are to not just trust one side of a story. Always research something you hear, especially a news story. I wish that more people would do this when watching the news. It bothers me to know that the media has the power to twist words for either higher ratings or to get viewers to adopt a particular point of view. I think it is good for bloggers to write about topics which are important to them to also encourage people to see the whole story. The recent deaths I have read about in the news are very troubling. I can only imagine the other injustices that have not been reported.

    1. There are always two sides to every story (and sometimes a third side — the truth). Good lesson to teach your teens. Take care, Jennifer. I look forward to reading your next post. <3

  12. It’s very dishearten to these stories! We have made so much process but it seems lately we are taking so many steps back! I don’t like when the media paints victims as the perpetrators. There past has nothing to do with why they died. I’m actually glad we have social media instead of just relying on the news stations to tell a story! We can now come to our own conclusions

  13. Although months have gone by, these incidents still have an effect on us. I hope an pray it can get better. It’s very hard to see it though…

  14. My heart was and still is broken about all of these brutal deaths. I know we as black people are still dealing with many emotions about these happenings, and like you have highlighted in your scriptures, we have to continue to trust in God during these times, and know that He will have the final say.

Leave a Reply