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GRACE and RACE.

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


“I CAN’T BREATHE."

"NO JUSTICE. NO PEACE!"


WHERE IS GRACE?

If you do not live under a rock, then I am sure you have heard about the tragic ending to Mr. George Floyd’s life on May 25, 2020. Or you may have participated or seen the many protests against racial injustice across the world. However, most of us were introduced to Mr. Floyd as he was pinned down by a rogue police officer who casually suffocated him without remorse or hesitation. Mr. Floyd was a son, a brother, and a father; to the world, he is a casualty of the Anglo-Saxon myth as researched by the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas. This myth created racial inequality in “the land of the free.”

Racial inequality has undoubtedly defined America, and at the core of her liberty and justice for all is a not-so politically correct dark truth. The unspoken history of American exceptionalism provides a veil of protection for all that is white. This reality has birthed a culture destined to separate humanity from God, self, and neighbor. And so, I am left with one question.

WHERE IS GRACE?

I am the wife of a black man and the mother of two black sons. Rightfully so, my anxiety and fear are unprecedented. My faith is unbreakable, but I am conflicted. I am hopeful and hopeless, and this is partially my why. When my husband leaves for work, I am terrified; I do not know if it is the last time I will see him. I do not know if he will get targeted because of his race. I do not know if a rogue cop will pull him over only to dehumanize and emasculate him, all while hiding behind a law enforcement badge. I am conflicted and angry. Before my teenage son walks our family dogs, I warn him: “Son, stay vigilant and visible! Do not wear your hoodie, put on a bright color shirt. Do you have your phone? FaceTime if a cop or anyone stops you." Unfortunately, my warnings provide me with a false sense of security. The truth is I cannot protect my husband nor my son’s from being black in America.


In 2012, Trayvon Martin was murdered, and my son was stripped of his innocence; at seven years old, I had to teach my son that his blackness is threatening to some. A blackness that I boast about at home, a blackness that is bold and beautiful. A blackness that was made in our Creators’ image. I believe with everything in me that black is beautiful, but I am left with unanswered questions such as:

  1. Do my black sons have the same privilege to stand their ground?

  2. Do my black sons have the right to protect their bodies from vigilantes?

  3. Does my black husband have the right to protect us without fear?

WHERE IS GRACE? Well, that often depends on your race. Peaceful or violent protest while black is proven to be equally wrong. The cold truth is that America likes her black Americans to be tamed and voiceless, seen but not heard. The silent protest led by Colin Kaepernick was condemned by the highest office in our country when it had the platform to bring change. Colin's kneel was a prophetic warning and a missed opportunity. Today, our allegiance to the myth of liberty and justice for all overshadows the power of grace, but it does not have to stay that way. We can overcome and participate in the critical conversation that can heal our broken nation.


GRACE and RACE.

First, in times of extreme division and chaos, GRACE GIVES AN EAR. Give your ear to humanity and not to political allegiances. Hear the heart of another's experiences and share in their sufferings.

Second, policies, laws, and regulations do not produce moral character. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made race-based discrimination illegal and yet racism, bigotry, and the unequal treatment of minorities have dominated our news feeds. Good character requires the transformation of the heart.

Lastly, God is a God of liberty and grace for all of His creation. Man's insecurities do not influence God's freedom. America's sense of exceptionalism is a sin. A sin very few Christians have stood against. Friends, this is our call to action! For those who claim to bear the image of Christ, to love thy neighbor, cannot be accomplished in secret.

So today I challenge you to GRACE:


Giving

Real

Assistance

Consideration &

Empathy

TO ALL FORMS OF INEQUALITIES & INJUSTICE.

XOXO


Leslie D. Ricks, OIG LLC, CEO & Founder



Copyright © 2020 OIG. All Rights Reserved.

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