THUG. This is the word our president recently tweeted in regards to black and brown people. Little does he know that using words like this one says more about him than whatever message he is trying to convey. No matter how essential we are or how hard we work to help build this nation, we are seen as just a threat, a danger, and less than, in many eyes. The Hate U Give (an acronym of THUG) is just a sad realization; when you treat a race of people as sub-human, we all suffer the consequences.
My life matters, your life matters—we were given this life from God above. To hold one higher than the other is wrong. As the church, we should be the first ones showing how to have unity in Christ, to display how we are all brothers and sisters. If you saw your brother being shot in the street without consequence, your heart would break and you would be outraged, too. Where is the outrage from my brothers and sisters in Christ?
No, it should not be normal that the most segregated time in a week is church time (Sunday morning 11 a.m.). What does that say about us? We should be showing the love and compassion Jesus showed to anyone who would listen. The Church should be vocal about these wrongs in a way that shows peaceful unity. We should not have hard identifying lines of political affiliations, but should show love and inclusiveness. Our identity is in Christ, not in black or white, Republican or Democrat, or even as Americans. It is Christ, period. Once we start with that point of view, we will see the whole picture, not just parts of a frame.
As a Christian, I sometimes feel orphaned, not by Christ, but by my brothers and sisters. The Church must be proactive, not divisive—educating people on all sides and coming together to combat what this is – HATE! Pure and simple. Unfortunately, hate is a learned behavior which penetrates the hearts of man, but the only way to combat it is with a change of heart. Only the transforming power of Christ in the hearts of man can do this. Church be brave, be strong, and fear no man. The Church and its preachers (not just black preachers) must address these issues head on and not sugar coat or skate around them. Otherwise, the Church will deem itself further irrelevant and have no place in society. As long as we are here on this earth, we were meant to be a light, so let us light the way.
I have sat in board rooms, in educational facilities, and community meetings listening to the overarching issues, but we (the black & brown community) are just talking to ourselves. I have also sat and uncomfortably listened to racially insensitive speech. I bit my lip and said nothing, just to be sure I didn’t make white people uncomfortable. White people have lived in their comfortable, privileged cocoon for too long without asking the question, “Why is it that their black counterparts live with such struggle and injustice?” If you really want to be part of the solution, then be a part of the solution, stop acting like nothing is wrong! As if everything is equal and everyone has a fair shot – not so! If we are to truly love our neighbor as ourselves and God has enriched our lives with our neighbors, our (black, brown, and white) brothers and sisters, then let us be a true neighbor, let us speak with one loving voice. Until we all become part of the solution this country will never be great!
Francine Comarcho, Jersey City
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