“God is a man, and he is white.”
“I’m not racist. My friend isn’t white.”
“The ‘lil black man’ should have been shot and killed in the convenience store” (reference to Michael Brown and Ferguson).
Why am I back after a 6-month blogging absence? These are some of the brilliant comments I’ve gotten over the last day on Facebook, much of it in relationship to Ferguson, Michael Brown, and Darren Wilson. Someone started a conversation about Ferguson. Literally every person who was commenting was very happy with the grand jury decision not to indict Wilson. Literally every person who was commenting provided very negative, often racist, comments about not only Michael Brown, but blacks in general. I jumped into the fray, and as you can imagine the conversation took off.
The second quote is a classic, and a pet peeve of mine. Whenever someone uses the line “I’m not racist, but…” or “I’m not racist, I know people (or have a friend) who isn’t white”…you know there are prejudice issues. They are old, tired lines you hear a lot. The last statement came from a fine gentleman who said the store owner should have blown away Michael Brown in the store where he stole the cigars. The conversation then turned to how BIG Michael Brown was. Somebody piped in that Trayvon Martin was also a BIG black man. As if that justifies killing them.
Then the top comment when religious belief came into another conversation, the comment that personifies everything that is WRONG about religion, race relations, and injustice in the United States. The exact quote was “God is a man. He is white. God created Christ in his image”. Because, as you know, god only cares about white people. This quote, by the way came from a (white) woman, one who also noted she strongly believes in creationism and teaches it to her children.
Is it any wonder Darren Wilson didn’t get indicted? Is it any wonder why the black community is upset? I certainly don’t condone the looting and violence, but we’re 50 years beyond Selma and Montgomery. On the face of things, we’ve seemingly made progress. But simmering under the surface there remains profound prejudice.
After about 100 comments on the aforementioned Facebook discussion, I tallied up the number of comments that said ANYTHING negative about Darren Wilson, the number of comments that implied he did ANYTHING wrong. The grand total…ZERO, unless you count my responses. A very long conversation involving many people, all of whom condemned Brown…and yet not a single comment that even implied Darren Wilson did anything wrong.
Granted, I live in lily-white South Dakota, and granted, Facebook conversations typically occur among like-minded individuals. But it was seemingly impossible for these individuals to even rationalize another side to the story. It was seemingly impossible for them to understand why events such as those in Ferguson drive protests. After all, Michael Brown was black. He was a BIG black man. He committed a crime. Despite contrary testimony from other witnesses, it’s (white) Darren Wilson’s story that was the only one that mattered to these folks.
I haven’t blogged in 6 months because, frankly, it’s depressing to talk about events such as this. A breather was needed. I’m not naive enough to think that blogging will change anything, but at least another voice will be heard to counter those who think it’s acceptable to kill an unarmed man, as long as they’re big and black. At least another voice will be heard to counter those who think god can only be a white man.