Proverbs 18:21 (MSG)
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
16th Street Baptist Church Bombing (1963)
In the moments after the explosion, questions hung in the air – ‘Where is my loved one?’ ‘Are they ok?’ ‘How much longer can this violence last?’ They did not ask if this was an accident, they knew that his was a bomb that had exploded as it had dozens of times before in “Bombingham.” www.nps.gov/subjects/civilrights/16th-street-baptist-church.htm
This was the occurrence on September 15, 1963, in the Birmingham, Alabama bombing where 4 African American girls were killed while gathered in the ladies room chatting before church. They were Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (11). Also there was Susan Collins, Addie Mae Collins sister, who survived the blasted but was left permanently blind.
Emanuel AME Church (2015)
On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Charleston, SC, almost 52 years later, during Bible Study, 9 people fell victim to the terroristic acts of ignorance. They were the Reverend Clementa Pinckney (41) Pastor and State Senator, Cynthia Hurd (54), Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) Pastor, Tywanza Sanders (26), Ethel Lance (70), Susie Jackson (87), Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor (49) Pastor, and Reverend Daniel Simmons, Sr., (74) Pastor, who died in the operating room.
Back in 1963, the question was asked, “How much longer can this violence last?”
Today, I pose the same question, “How much longer CAN this violence last?”
As I do understand that the First Amendment gives us rights to our Freedom of Speech but to what degree does this right become lethal?
Now, although, we are protected by the First Amendment to say what we want, we don’t have the right to use this right to bring harm to others. For instance, we cannot yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.
Well, when we entertain conversations with people who are using bigoted discourse, where does our responsibility lie in saying, “No, No, NO!!” When does the rantings of these people escalate to violence? So, should we not take some action by way of an intervention? I know I am just posing question after question, but this whole thing is confusing, sad, and downright heartbreaking. I mean, we, all, have friends, who, on occasion, make racial or gay slurs, and it’s in jest, and we brush it off by saying, “Oh, they’re not like that, they didn’t mean it the way it sounds.” But, what if they did?
The Bible says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.” (Proverbs 26:4)
What this is saying to me is that, if we don’t take a stand by saying something contrary to their rhetoric, then we, too, are the problem. Someone, anyone, and everyone, everywhere must stop entertaining fools.
So, I ask, wouldn’t it be more prudent to give wise counsel and discourage such discourse? If you look at the news, we are a Nation in mourning. Debbie Dills, the brave woman, who alerted authorities as to the location of the perpetrator was a white woman, who despite being scared for her own safety did what she knew was the right thing. Meaning, this is something that impacts ALL of us, Blacks and Whites, alike.
People who spew such venom is a detriment to all of society, not just Blacks. Next, it will be homosexuals, and so on and so forth. Where would it end? The Nation is calling for Freedom from such acts of violence, across the board. Whether it be Police brutality, Black on Black, Mass Shootings…we need to stop seeing eachother through the eyes of race, religion, creed, or gender, and start seeing eachother as magnificent people created by the Hands of Our Most High God. who is, I might add, no respecter of person, because He sees us all the same.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
I love you, and we must, as a people, do better and walk our Pathway to Spiritual Rebirth.