behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation – 2 Corinthians 6:2(b) (King James Version)
This is America’s wake-up call. After two Black men – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA and Philando Castile near St. Paul, MN – were fatally shot by their respective police; and the shooting death of five Dallas police officers during a peaceful protest by a Black sniper. This is the newest link in an ugly chain of anti-Black violence (usually at law enforcement’s hands) that reaches back for many years in America. In the aftermath, we seen protests in major cities across the country, police officers speaking out on both sides of the issue, and even Rep. Joe Walsh (TX) speaking against the Dallas protestors and President Obama. Even the Bahamas has issued a travel advisory for its citizens visiting the US to use “extreme caution” around police.
For years, this nation has had the racial “Sword of Damocles” hanging over its head. This sword’s lone hair that’s holding it up is slowly unraveling. Every time Blacks and others of color are attacked (by the Ku Klux Klan, cops, or institutional racism), the sword’s hair is unraveling even more. If we keep going at the present rate of police attacks on Blacks and the subsequent reactions, that hair’s going to snap and America’s going to get sliced.
Now, more than ever, we need to get to the table and bring the race issue out into the open. Blacks need to be able to express their frustrations about a hobbled existence in America without retaliation. Whites need to listen and realize that “White privilege” is no longer cutting it in our world. Other races need to come and hear truths, not media-fed stereotypes. Leaders need to come together of all stripes: political; religious; and social to start the healing and reconciliation process now.
Like the verse above, this is the day of our “salvation.” Although this verse is usually read for “call to discipleship” moments; America needs a serious Day of Salvation. We also need to recognize this need fast, for time is running out. God is watching us, and we better act now.
For if not now, when?
Peace in America.
(Above image copyrighted The Huffington Post)