Jamal Bryant, pastor and founder of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland, called out church leaders for their absence from the Black Lives Matter movement Monday, charging that it's the first civil rights movement in America that isn't being led by the Church.
"We cannot diminish or presume that this is a colorblind society. It is not," said Bryant. "Race is a real issue that has to be dealt with and discussed as we move forward. But the thing that I really relish in this dialogue is historians long after us will footnote that this [Black Lives Matter] is the very first movement of civil rights in America not led by the Church.
"It's the very first time that clergy are not on the frontlines. And the absence of spiritual mobilization is evident in how it is that we move, how it is that we perceive," he added. "I want to speak to clergy, black and white, if you want to heal America and change a generation, take your robe off and go hit the street corner and do something that is gonna change where it is that we are going." more >>
While appearing on Fox News this week to discuss racial tensions in America, NFL player Benjamin Watson asserted that young black men grow up knowing their "leash is a little bit shorter" with police, but stressed that is no excuse to disobey police officers' commands.
Watson, a 12-season veteran tight end who signed with the Baltimore Ravens this past offseason and author of the 2015 book Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race. Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us, was interviewed by Megyn Kelly Tuesday night about the ongoing tension between the black community and police officers nationwide.
Watson, an outspoken Christian who recently took to Facebook to write a lengthy post about what Black Lives Matter means to him, told Kelly that there have been a number of experiences from his life, even some recent experiences, where he was treated unfairly because of the color of his skin. more >>
Tragically, America continues to slide backwards on its long and tortuous journey to racial reconciliation and racial justice.
The latest flash points in America's centuries-long struggle to overcome racial strife involved two terrible incidents in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where African-American men were shot and killed by white policemen. Whatever the circumstances ultimately turn out to be in those two cases, it cannot be denied that there have been far too many such incidents in which African-Americans have been victimized, often fatally so, by police brutality. The African-American community brings a long, shared history and memory of such deprivations to each current episode, and understandably so.
All Americans, whatever their ethnicity, need to make a life-long commitment to the eradication of racial prejudice and hostility from our culture. I, for one, refuse to give up on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of a nation where Americans are not "judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." more >>
DALLAS — President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised Dallas police officers including the five slain at a protest against police violence last week for saving lives during the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement in almost 15 years.
"We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally," Obama told a memorial service for the slain police officers. "They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn."
"And when anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine those officers we depend on for our safety," Obama added. more >>
As America stands at the precipice of deadly, coast-to-coast, race wars, this is not the time to mince words. I would rather speak the truth in love, even if it means offending some, than avoid confrontation out of fear of offense. In return, I expect others to be just as candid with me.
I also recognize that, if racial tensions escalate in our nation and more blood is shed, the ones who are likely to suffer the most (and perhaps the longest) are Black Americans. And so, I write this column because I do believe that Black Lives Matter.
Prof. George Yancey, himself an African American, has also urged for open, candid conversations, writing, "Maybe now with people on all sides of the political and racial arguments feeling such pain, we can begin taking the necessary steps to move towards real racial reconciliation." more >>
When it comes to the topic of race relations, outspoken Christian rapper Lecrae is striking a note that resonates with some of his fans but might leave others covering their ears.
In an op-ed published by Billboard on Friday, the Grammy award-winning artist once again spoke out against racism, insisting that harmony and understanding require humility following the police shooting deaths of Louisiana resident Alton Sterling and Philando Castile of Minnesota, and the subsequent killing of five Dallas police officers — Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith — at the hand of a black sniper who said he was targeting white officers.
The music producer referred to an excerpt from a TEDx Talk in which he explained that everyone has a story and a crucial step toward trying to relate to one another is understanding those stories. Doing so, however, takes some humility. more >>