Protesting Prejudice, Pursuing Peace

“You’ll like this one,” she said as she thrust the sign in my hands and ran off into the crowd, leaving me in a dilemma. I attended this peaceful anti-racism protest organized by friends of my seventeen and twenty-one-year-old children to keep a watchful eye for any trouble, to support several involved whom I love, and to learn. Well, it was a peaceful protest until we arrived at the state police barracks where the march ended. It got a little hairy for a bit when a couple of women attempted to take over while hurling a high decibel, disrespectful tirade of questions and demands at the law enforcement officers who stood in front of the barracks. “Once the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace,” the quote on the sign I held read.

Jesus demonstrated this love for us when He set aside His crown and endured the cross to pay the penalty for our transgressions, to redeem and restore us and bring us into a relationship with Him. The all-powerful God is love, and He overcame evil so we could too. He is the Prince of Peace.

Thankfully, the organizers of the protest regained control and some productive conversation ensued. I had no problem with the quote on my sign, but with the hashtag in its corner. It said #BLM. I’m an immigrant turned American citizen who was born and raised in Jamaica, a country of mixed ethnicities, as am I. I have many close friends and family who are Black. While I wholeheartedly support the cause of Black lives matter and I vehemently oppose racism, I cannot condone the organization Black Lives Matter as some of their ideology diametrically opposes my values and Biblical standards.

I feared some who saw me with the sign might label me a Marxist and as promoting extra-biblical behavior, but if I put the sign down, onlookers might think I was a racist. I am neither.

“God, what do you want of me? I’m in the middle again.”

“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe,
nor politic, nor popular,
but one must take it because it is right.”

 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I believe it is imperative that Americans see that Black and White people have worked and continue to work together to help each other. My father-in-law and Andrew Young were Hartford Seminary classmates and friends. My in-laws and their best friends (White and co-ministers at Chapel on a Hill in Oak Ridge, Tennessee) were Civil Rights activists. I’m working on a compilation of theirs and those of the Black and White communty on the intergration of Oak Ridge .

Set in the 1960s in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, two white ministers oppose Jim Crow and the KKK, rally with the citizens of the Black and White community and embark on a mission to integrate the town. 

Heartrending historical accounts of these brave men, women, and children’s Civil Rights stories serve as warning, inspiration, and instruction to aid resolution of the issues in the current cultural climate and as a beacon to navigate the future.

I’m hosting a series of interviews featuring police officers and their families. I believe most are worthy and in need of our support. My vision is to have representation from different ethnicities and every state in the USA. My goal is to encourage and shine a light on the often misunderstood and underappreciated ones who serve, to be a bridge between them and those they serve. — My questions are ready and I’m seeking interviewees.

“Lord, how do I dance this dance? How do I communicate and mediate? I am small in the storm…”

Look at the fires set by one man’s evil action! But I do not believe evil is more powerful than good. Imagine if we gave ourselves to the good of loving each other. I know sin is the issue, the root of the problems, and Jesus is the answer. God uses His power to serve—to rescue and protect us, to put down evil. That is also the purpose of police power.

To those law enforcement officers and their families who faithfully serve, thank you and may God put a hedge of protection around you, give you wisdom and strength. May you serve graciously, humbly, and justly. May you know God’s joy and peace and receive the love, support, and respect of your communities.

And for those officers who see injustice, I implore you—clean house! Lest the citizens you are called to protect, and the innocent law enforcement officers pay the price for the guilty ones due to lack of righteous judgment of wrongdoing.

I believe the vast majority of our law enforcement officers are honorable. But we have a serious problem with racism and some corrupt police—and it’s critical we remedy the situation quickly.

If we say nothing and do nothing when called to stand and speak, we become part of the problem.

Those who abuse their power should be removed from their positions immediately and disciplined according to the law.

Likewise, those who break the law should be disciplined according to the law. Need I say the law must be just?

You don’t serve justice with injustice. Two wrongs don’t make a right. They just make more wrongs.

for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  
(James 1:20 NKJV)

My heart breaks for the hurt, the injustice, the burdens my Black brothers and sisters bear, the prejudice some are subjected to, and the fear many of my Black brothers and sisters live under.

I am humbled and grateful for the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect others. And my heart breaks that they are often treated without dignity and appreciation and sometimes pay the ultimate price.

I had seen videos online, but at the protest I felt firsthand the angst as some protesters took a knee and pleaded and demanded that all join them. They then accused those who refrained from kneeling of racism hidden in their hearts. You cannot coerce, bully, or force genuine allegiance, so why pressure people?

Please do not call me a racist because I reserve kneeling for God in prayer and display my love and support for my Black brothers and sisters otherwise. It grieves me when asked to show what I believe is disrespect to the flag and the land I love, and to the blood of the men and women who laid down and those who lay down their lives daily to grant and sustain the freedoms we enjoy. Please respect that.

Those people looting and burning our cities do not represent our Black brothers and sisters. Likewise, the corrupt cops who abuse and murder citizens do not represent our police force. The wrong actions of a few do not define the many. So let us not treat each other as such, but with respect, a listening ear, and love.

Speak out against unrighteousness, stand for truth and justice, give honor where honor is due.

Yes, America is flawed. She is sick and needs tending to. But I’ve chosen her as my country and I will stand for the flag, kneel for my God, and walk beside and speak up for justice for my brothers and sisters—for justice and liberty for all. I will gladly kneel in prayer and beseech God for justice, understanding, respect, to bridge the racial divide, and for unity, healing, and restoration for our nation.

The Great Seal of the United States declares: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One). The Bible says a nation divided against itself cannot stand.

Common Ground

We share a common root

There is one Vine

How wonderously God colors our lives

With vibrant brushstrokes of many hues

Facets of Himself reflected in our differences

But come, let us recognize our common ground

From one blood made He all nations

With His blood He calls all to Himself.

Love came down and showed us how to love one another

Let us plant righteousness

Cultivate unity 

Weed out hate and water with Truth

Grow in grace and harvest peace

Come, let us walk together,

Marvel at the majesty of the Creator in His creation

And celebrate the ongoing work of the Master Artist

I feel our nation is at a dangerous junction of slipping into a new prejudice. Many Whites were and some still are guilty of grave atrocities, injustice, and prejudice against black people. Some want to forget history instead of acknowledging past mistakes and current shortfalls and injustice. But failure to acknowledge others’ hurts widens their wounds. In the name of past evils, some cry for restitution and vengeance rather than justice, understanding, and unity. No doubt past mind-bending atrocities abound, and much still needs to be addressed and changed.

Had certain forefathers, lawmakers, and citizens adhered to the precepts in the excerpt from the Declaration of Independence below, there would have been no slavery or segregation:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

People walking on eggshells for fear of offending or hurting each other will not fix the racial divide either. The solution is not a new separation, widening the gap with silence or slander, or letting our differences separate us.

“I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. 
They fear each other because they don’t know each other, 
and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other 
because they are separated from each other.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Prejudice is prejudice, whether Whites toward Blacks, Blacks toward Whites, or any other combination. We need to listen to each other with respect and compassion, and talk openly, to come to an understanding and appreciation for each other as a nation. It needs to be modeled and taught to the littlest of ones. We must take responsibility for our wrong actions. And remember, one injustice does not merit another, whether acted out or harbored in a heart. Be better than that. We have a right and responsibility to do what is right, even when we are wronged.

“In the process of gaining our rightful place, 
we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. 

We must forever conduct our struggle 
on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Jesus and the Bible define Christianity. If I say I’m a Christian but live contrary to God’s Word, that does not make Jesus and the Bible proponents of or guilty of my sin or beliefs that deviate from righteousness and truth. Others’ evil actions do not define Jesus or Christianity, nor does it nullify or define the true Church or genuine Christians. And neither does the evil doing of some define our entire nation.

I believe it is a dangerous thing to erase history. Some media outlets are skilled at manipulation and seem to work deliberately to widen the divide rather than help build bridges. What if we told the whole truth, the good, the bad, the ugly, and in context too?

We have a serious racial crisis and it’s crucial we address it and work to rectify the situation. Our job was not complete with MLK and the civil rights movement of the past. What if we acknowledged the problems but worked together toward solutions, to bring the long overdue and much needed change? We must learn from the past but live in the present and take steps toward a better future.

Bottom line: America and the world needs Jesus.

We can legislate laws and we should. But only God can truly change hearts. What we have is systemic sin. But the good news is Jesus is the remedy for our malady. He is the answer for all that ails us.

Let us learn, and pray, and grow forward and upward together for the better of all. Division is a device of the devil. He loves to have us pointing fingers (us versus them) rather than uniting toward the goal of good.

Christian, be careful not to cut off those Christ calls us to reach. We must be mindful that our method does not eclipse our cause.

The U.S. Constitution grants us freedom to peaceably assemble, freedom of speech and of the press. The Bible admonishes us to walk humbly and speak the truth in love. The Bible says love is not easily offended. God commands us to love one another.

Can we talk without being canceled? Can we listen and love each other?

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? 
(Micah 6:8 NKJV)

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 
(2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

*Post updated 2022

CLICK BELOW TO WATCH MY INTERVIEW ON Mountain Climbers: Becoming a Bridge – Honored to share my testimony and thoughts on race relations in my interview below with Whitney Ward of Mountain Climbers Ministry.

CLICK BELOW TO WATCH MY INTERVIEW ON Mountain Climbers: Becoming a Bridge – Honored to share my testimony and thoughts on race relations in my interview below with Whitney Ward of Mountain Climbers Ministry.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience   Colossians 3:12 (NASB)

Resources

Mountain Climbers with Whitney Ward | When Your Strength Comes from the Right Source, there’s Not a Mountain You Can’t Climb Link to Whitney’s interviews featuring a variety of inspiring guests from Preachers to politicians, pod-casters to award winning authors, athletes, and more.

Children’s books for everyone to read:  Beautiful Books that Encourage Redemption and Racial Reconciliation

Black Books Matter by Rachel Kang in Christianity Today

PLEASE NOTE UPDATE below regarding this link: Black Lives Matter – What We Believe (This is a link to the Black Lives Matter organization’s website stating their beliefs so you can compare their beliefs to the ideals America was built on and to Biblical principles.)

*UPDATED 10/8/20 The page entitled “What We Believe” and linked to above on the Black Lives Matter website has been taken down and replaced with these pages HERE.

However, some of their statements of belief including those regarding “We disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family…,” “dismantling cisgender privilege” and reparations have been removed. Their language, demands, stated agenda and aggressive tone have also been modified to a much quieter tone. Interesting… And just happens to be around the time of some major events in the USA. However, I stand by my statements in my article: While I support the cause of black lives matter and I vehemently oppose racism, I cannot condone the organization Black Lives Matter as some of their ideology is diabolically opposed to my values and to Biblical standards.

Let us pray for our nation for healing and reconciliation, for justice and truth and love to rule, and for repentance and salvation. Let us pray for the redemption of those who oppose God and His standards which He set in place out of His great love for all and for our good.

Here are links to some news stories about the deleted “What We Believe” page from the Black Lives Matter organization’s website:

Fox News, NY Post, The Daily Wire. And as of 10/8/20 the now deleted page is still viewable as it was on the organization’s website in the archives on Way Back Machine.

SUBSCRIBE to my Tattoo it on Your Heart Newsletter for notifications of new blog posts and occasional offers and FREEBIES like this: CLICK HERE for Good News in a Sea of Bad News! FREE downloadable Gospel tract .

I welcome your comments and questions below. 🙂

© 2020 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaith Chat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, and the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate. Her WIPs include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website, TattooItOnYourHeart.com—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

16 thoughts on “Protesting Prejudice, Pursuing Peace”

  1. Rachael, Well said and so needed. Your heart of love shines through while addressing sensitive issues with grace, wisdom, and compassion.
    I especially like this: “The Great Seal of the United States declares: E Pluribus Unum — Out of Many, One. The Bible says a nation divided against itself cannot stand.”
    Amen.
    Keep shining, sister!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Beckie and thank you for reading! The goal is by the grace of God to hear from Him, to speak the truth in love, and pray He uses my words to minister to others.

      God bless you and your writing ministry, Beckie.

      Like

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jeannie. It’s scary to speak up sometimes but that’s the goal, right? To by His grace speak the truth in love, to connect culture’s questions and quandaries with Christianity’s answers. – God bless you and your wonderful writing ministry, Jeannie. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  2. Anyone who even remotely knows you, knows you are not a racist. Nor are you a dissident, troublemaker, or leftist ideologue. You are a strong, thoughtful, surrendered Christian woman and friend to a great many. I pray your children see that and use your example as a compass for their lives my friend. If you’re ever standing in peaceful protest, be that to combat racism or to protect the police and others who protect and defend us, then know I’ll be standing there beside you, if only in spirit and prayer because of the distance between our homes ma’am. God’s blessings; and I’m grateful you are safe and were not harmed. So much violence and yelling that real people looking for real solutions can no longer be heard.

    Like

  3. Rachael, your blog is spot on and you have the backing of many scriptures to solidify your position. I wish more people would see things through biblical lenses. There are some things that God hates, but it is never a race or people. It is the wickedness of their heart that he hates. Also we are called to love our enemy and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).
    Stand firm in championing righteousness! ~ Ben C.

    Like

    1. Amen, Ben. -T’was a scary one to hit “publish” on, though. But yes, we must stand firm in championing righteousness, and faithfully offer the answer of God’s love and forgiveness.

      Like

  4. Rachael – I just watched you climb that mountain and give a wonderful interview! Am so glad you are sharing your story in such a beautiful way.
    Love you to the top of the mountain!
    Mom❤️

    Like

  5. Beautifully written – you have articulated a difficult topic with humility and compassion. “What we have is systemic sin.” So true! Jesus Christ will always be the answer. Unchanging, full of mercy – His love never fails. Organizations will – whether black, white or every shade in between, because we are human.
    Thank you for your courage in speaking truth and giving us the Answer!

    Like

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Robin. Means much from such a writer and Christian as yourself. Thank you for your courage and testimony, for your faithfulness to share God’s Truth in your writing and speaking and life. Blessed to call you friend.

      Like

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