I’ve been arrested by a cop that said “You don’t look like you are from this neighborhood.”
I’ve been called a nigger by a man at a gas station within the last 4 months.
I’ve been profiled in my Cadillac with my flat bill cocked a little right… 6 times on the same stretch of highway.
I’ve had a note that said “Go home nigger” slid under my dorm room door my freshman year of college.
I could keep going but you get it…
The black in my life isn’t African American.
My father is a black hispanic from Colon, Panama.
But black is black.
American or Panamanian.
Africa is home at some point in my recent string of ancestors.
When this Trayvon case shot to the forefront of CNN I remember first feeling like I could somewhat identify with the kid.
I’ve been profiled as someone upto no good simply because of what I looked like.
But I remember also thinking…
I. Was. Not. There.
None. Of. Us. Were.
Then the verdict.
I was so sad for the kids parents.
I just imagined what I would feel like if this happened to one of my kids.
But rage did not fill my heart as I have seen it fill so many of my friends and people I follow on twitter.
Am I broken? Is my black broken? Is my minority broken?
Is something wrong with me?
I haven’t been shot at for being a Black Panamanian/Mexican but I have been judged and cursed at.
Where was my rage?
Why am I not more angry?
It took a day but I can now tell you why.
Because the guy that called me a nigger a few months ago at the gas station, he’s no worse than I.
And the guy that slid the note calling me a nigger under my dorm room door, he’s no worse than I.
And the cops that pull me over and ask me if I’m carrying drugs or a weapon EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive my Cadillac down I-40 between Bellevue and Dickson… They are NO worse than I.
Yes we need to continue the dialogue of how to bridge race relations in this country.
But laws are not going to do it.
Trials are not going to do it.
And vengeance is not going to do it.
And I don’t think I’m soft for recommending that we do only one thing.
We be the face of Jesus to those who we resent and disgust us.
We be the face of Jesus to those who we want to spit on.
This may sound trite…
But I believe racial divides will only heal when the Holy Spirit is leading the way and not a justice system.
So in the wake of this tragedy where a 17 year old kid is dead and a man has no more freedom.
Everyone hates everyone…
Let’s stop and see how any of this is fixing anything.
March. Tweet. Cuss. Cry. Sign. Donate. Wonder. Fix. Stand. Hoodie.
All of this is important and we need to do what we can do with the skills and strength we have been blessed with…
But when you are done doing all those things that you can do on your own…
BE Jesus and watch racial, socioeconomic, and cultural lines blur into revival.
Call me a romantic.
But I think Jesus can fix things before we can.