Much ink has been spilled about the grand jury verdict in Ferguson that was handed down last week and its violent aftermath, as black citizens took to the streets and commenced rioting, looting and burning their own town down. It would weary me to enumerate every instance of smug talk-talk that was churned out, hastening to remind “white evangelicals” that racism is still a Problem and they shouldn’t “use the riots as an excuse” to “not listen to their African-American brothers and sisters” about it. (What’s that, the evidence overwhelmingly implies that so-called systemic racism was a non-factor in this case? Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts.) Reformed pastor Thabiti Anyabwile even tried to dispute the verdict with his own legal analysis of the case. I can only conclude that Rev. Anyabwile should stick to his day-job.
The most nauseating thing about it all was that while these opinion-makers could fill paragraph after paragraph with concerned noises about how their “African-American brothers and sisters” might have had their feelings hurt by the verdict, they seemed incapable of sparing more than a couple lines for the “African-American brothers and sisters” whose livelihoods were being destroyed by their fellow black men as the presses rolled. But for most people, that was apparently too uncomfortable to think about for more than a couple lines. The best thing “white evangelicals” could do right now, apparently, was to “stop talking and listen.” Because presumably, talking volubly and forcefully about the evil of the rioters and the need to stop them with force if necessary would be “insensitive.” Or “poorly timed.” Or something. As for the innocent people of Ferguson, yes, yes, of course, everyone agrees that burning their businesses down is bad. Now, hastily moving on to spend the next two pages blathering about white privilege.
Meanwhile, I’m listening to sound bites on the radio of one of these mobs screaming obscenities and death threats. “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!” Over and over and over again. Continue reading