Archive for the ‘Michael Brown’ Category

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin: Tragic Deaths, Ending Trail of Tears and Fears

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

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When a society is revenue driven, minorities can be seen as “low hanging fruit” in a quota system from writing traffic tickets to arrest warrants. It’s not so much about skin color as it is about economics.” – Niger Innis, www.restorethedream2015.com

Regardless of which side of the scenarios you are on, many would admit that the deaths of these and so many more young men, are very tragic.

So much is being said by so many already that I pray only to participate by adding even more clarity and peaceful solutions to the puzzle. With all the interviews and articles/blogs surrounding the whole Michael Brown/Darren Wilson and now Eric Garner situations, let’s include more prayer in all the discussions.

The media is portraying two-sided issues; those who agree with the grand jury’s decisions and support the law enforcement systems; and those who disagree with the decisions in support of the dead youths; hoping to make “tragic heroes” of our dead brothers.

Because, like it or not, these young people are someone’s “dearly departed,” and in God’s eyes, they are our brothers. As the old song goes; “he ain’t heavy; he’s my brothers.”

The media schedules guests from one side or the other and allow the contenders to go at each other. Conflict sells stories and hooks audiences. Many media outlets have agendas and they skew the questions in hopes of spinning the discussion in one direction or the other.

We are often asked to comment on this person or that person and what their motives might be. Yet rather than judge or accuse which leads to strife, we all need to work towards the same goal of PEACE. This concept leads us to Mathew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”

Now, as to erstwhile tragic heroes:

Aristotle’s definition is playing out across our nation.

He defines a tragic hero as having certain characteristics, among them being:

1) Flaw or error of judgment (hamartia).

2) A reversal of fortune (peripeteia) brought about because of the hero’s error in judgment.

3) The discovery or recognition that the reversal was brought about by the hero’s own actions (anagnorisis). Surely Michael had to have known that his encounter with former Officer Wilson was a direct result of his action to rob the convenient store and confront the officer.

4) Excessive Pride (hubris). Only God knows the state of the hearts of the dead or the living.

5) The character’s fate must be greater than deserved. Certainly Michael’s, Eric’s, and Trayvon’s are tragic.

Depending on what side you’re on will determine if you think these young people fit the definition of tragic heroes or not.

In our society some put certain people on pedestals and look up to them. We view them as heroes or idols because they’re famous, rich, good as a particular sport, good at playing the piano or just plain powerful.

For me, there is only One who deserves to be a hero who is flawless and without blemish; God. As in three in One; God the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus Christ. So Jesus is my Hero.

Are there people in society who live lives as virtuously as humanly possible that we can all look to and strive to be like them? Of course there are.

But we need to look at what makes them virtuous. Certainly it’s not the amount of money they make, it’s not because they hold a high office in business or government, or because they possess a God-given talent at sports or in playing a musical instrument.

Nor is it because misfortunes propel them to the media forefront. No, what makes a person virtuous is what they do with what God has given them. You don’t have to be rich or powerful to be virtuous. You can affect those around you no matter how small your circle of influence is.

There is still a third aspect of this situation that needs discussing. I’m talking about prayer.

I know people in Ferguson, NY and Florida are praying because I have contact through the prayer networks. I, and many others, have prayed with many in these communities. We encouraged people to pray for peace first and justice will follow. But I’m not hearing or reading much about prayer in the media.

Maybe because covering meetings like the 21 day tent meeting in Ferguson at www.thefergusonresponse.com; or the “2014 Evening of Prayer for Our City & The Urban World” hosted by Bishop Raphael Green and other ministers and leaders in Ferguson; or the many prayer encounters with www.restirethedream2015.com isn’t “sexy” news?

What we all need to do is step back a little from our emotions and biases and reflect on “What Would Jesus Do” As my Uncle Martin said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Brothers and sister, I fear we will perish as fools unless we pray and ask for guidance from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

While writing this blog, the grand jury voted not to file criminal charges against the police officer in the case of Eric Garner who died in New York in July when a white police officer put Garner, a black man, in a chokehold during an arrest,. Again people will protest and hopefully it won’t become violent.

So what will the race baiters and emotion stirrers come up with next. Will “hands up; don’t shoot” become “hands up; don’t choke?” I guess asking for “pants up; don’t loot” won’t go over so well with some of the protestors.

In Eric’s case as in the Michael Brown case, and Trayvon Martin case, now more people are dead, adding to the numbers of youth dead by racism, same race murders and other causes. Whatever the cause, it is all a tragedy. But the greater tragedy is the overall lack of respect for all human life.

Recently Pope Frances said: “As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights. Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character. As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace. The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences.” [Emphasis added]

I would add that not only religious leaders but all Christians are obligated to denounce all violence against human dignity and human rights. All life is precious and does matter.

The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been cleverly used by many in this debate. Even Planned Parenthood jumped in with their tweets that they supported Ferguson and used the hashtag. I responded that all Black lives matter, even the ones in the wombs of their mothers. With over 1,000 Black babies being aborted every single day, where are the protests over their lives. And what about the Black lives being lost in cities like Chicago. Do their lives matter? Of course they do but I don’t see protests over their lives. Are they any less deserving than Michael Brown. I think not.

If we work on ourselves, our own biases, our own prejudices, our own shortcomings, and drop to our knees and repent for our own wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness, then we, the human, one blood, race, not separate races, will begin to see real change that can stop the killing, stop the looting, stop the racism.

Finally, please check out this message from Minister Jonathan Gentry at:

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/12/01/the-most-powerful-six-minutes-of-truth-glenn-has-ever-seen

Then revisit the lyrics of “We Don’t Need Another Hero” with Tina Turner.

Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can’t make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation
We are the ones they left behind…

I agree, we don’t need another hero. We have Jesus. Now let’s get busy about the business of reaching the hopeless, jobless and dreamless; addressing their fears, meeting their needs, drying their tears. Herein lie our solutions.

Praying for Peace and Love.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER – #blacklivesmatter

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Please enjoy this guest blog:

Niger InnisBLACK LIVES MATTER
By Niger Innis, Founder restorethedream2015.com

Garner should not have died for selling loose cigarettes. Trayvon shouldn’t have died for munching skittles in the wrong neighborhood. Even Michael’s death is a tragedy.

There is a crisis of Black men losing their lives; in fact there is a genocide occurring among young black men across the country.

On these matters above I agree with Sharpton and the others in the Racialist Lobby.

But that’s where my harmony with that element ends.

Because they indeed add to the devaluation of black life through their very agenda and actions. These folk, including the President of the United States and his AG, tend to only value the death of black lives when they’re taken by whites. The plague on young black men in urban centers is not white racists, nor murderous cops. It is largely other black men. 93 percent of black men are killed by other black men. There are far too many black men raised in households that have few positive black male role models; where many single mothers heroically desperately try to raise boys to manhood. Communities that are culturally dominated, thanks to the Entertainment Industrial Complex, by gangsta criminal chic. This is the central crisis within Black America, and America at large. Until So-called Civil Rights leaders have the courage to openly and honestly address this phenomenon, the plague of which I speak will continue unabated. The “Hands up don’t shoot” protest chant should be replaced with, “Pants up, Don’t Loot”.

Let’s stop and target the real genocide of young black men.

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“Everything Has a Different “Why,” But the Results Still Make Me Cry.”

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

MLK“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it….

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

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

“Strength to Love,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

A young man is shot dead by a policeman in Missouri. A photojournalist is horrendously executed by Islamists. A dear friend’s niece and her baby are killed and their bodies burned in a family dispute.

Three non-related events have touched me deeply in recent days, each having a different “why,” but each making me cry.

I am on my way to Ferguson, Missouri now. There is grief, anger, and uncertainty there. But also there, somewhere, is the truth of how and why Michael Brown died.

That truth will be revealed in time.

We yearn, of course, for immediate answers and swift justice. There can be no justice, though, without truth. And without peace, the search for truth becomes more difficult.

In some instances, such as what happened to James Foley at the hands of ISIS or my friend’s niece and her baby at the hands of a rage-driven relative, the truth is plain to see. No explanation could possibly justify what their killers did. We know who the wrongdoers are and whatever their rationales for their actions, those rationales are woefully insufficient.

In the case of Michael Brown, we have conflicting reports as to the events that led to his shooting. The jury is not in. Yet, rather than wait for the truth, some have acted from a deep-seated sense that they already know the truth. In the name of “justice,” some victims have inflicted great injustices on themselves and the collective by turning to violence. In their pain and anger, they have brought more harm than good.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have righteous anger at acts of oppression, hatred, or cruelty that are offenses before God. God’s Word teaches us, though, that we should be slow to anger. And we should be careful to distinguish human emotional outrage over an offense to ourselves versus an offense to God. God’s righteous anger is most powerful; seeking to restore righteousness, not trample upon it by committing more wrongs.

In my book KING RULES I write about how my uncle, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and my father, the Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King, knew injustice. They, like millions of other African Americans, needed no introduction; injustice greeted them virtually every day of their lives. But they also knew peace in their hearts, the peace that surpasses all understanding. And from this peace, they sought and achieved a modicum of justice for the masses.

three headed monster Revised2Yet Ferguson teaches us that the dream is still lacking. Until we slay the three headed beast of racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion, we still have mountains to climb and to overcome.

We live in a corrupt world. Yet God’s Word teaches us not to repay evil with evil. Instead we must live to overcome evil with good.

When Jesus was being wrongly arrested by the Romans, Peter took up a sword and cut off a soldier’s ear. Jesus responded, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” In compassion, Jesus healed the wounded soldier who had come to arrest him.

Wow! That’s a higher frequency that we should tune into our heart. Love overcoming hate.

As men of God, and students of history, Uncle M.L. and Daddy understood that violence begets violence. Violence is often borne of rage. And rage destroys – not only neighborhoods, but also lives. Rage is borne of hate. And hate does not seek the truth, but rather spawns victims. And victims seek other victims to make them suffer as they’ve suffered. Hurting people hurt people. And on and on and on souls fall towards a yawning abyss.

As Uncle M.L. Once wrote, violence is a descending spiral.

But inspired by 1 Corinthians 13, believing “Love never fails,” he also wrote, “darkness cannot drive out darkness and hatred cannot drive out hate. Only light can end the darkness, only love can drive out hate.”

My prayer is for the peace and healing of Ferguson, but also for the peace and healing of those who have recently lost loved ones – the families of Michael Brown, James Foley, my friend, those who have died at the hands of the abortion industry such as LaKisha Wilson and Tonya Reaves, and those who are victims of human trafficking, war, poverty, and other horrors of our fallen world.

My prayer is that we love truth; loving truth, that we seek it. Once finding the truth, that we seek justice. And once finding justice, we enjoy peace. As Uncle M.L. said, “true peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.”

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#knowpeaceknowjustice
#rachelweepingforherchildren
#heartsoftheparentsreturntochildren

Grieving, but believing, please join me in prayer for all of Ferguson as well as for all victims of violence who suffer in sterile hospital units, in darkened rooms, in abortion chambers, and by tear-drenched gravesites. We need repentance, forgiveness, and love. Let us seek them first.

Alveda King is the author of KING RULES, Founder of Alveda King Ministries and Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life. www.AfricanAmericanOutreach.com

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Looking Towards Ferguson: Heart Heavy Yet Hopeful

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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It seems that I will be in Ferguson soon. Two of my MLK cousins and many friends preceded me. We have all been in prayer for many days. I don’t know if you read my earlier blogs and reports, but the message was consistent from the beginning… Know Peace, Know Justice.

I’ve put together a couple of graphics that begin to approach how one can be burdened with a heavy heart, yet hopeful at the same time. I know that justice is called for. My heart grieves with the families who have lost their children at this time. Many reports are flooding in from around the nation and land from families whose tragedies aren’t “on the news”, yet they are weeping all the same.

A dear friend has lost a niece and her baby, who were killed and their bodies burned in a family dispute. How devastating.

Some people won’t understand why I include the families of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, James Foley, LaKisha Wilson, Tonya Reaves, my friend’s burned relatives, and all who are victims of human trafficking, war, poverty, and on and on and on in the same prayer. This isn’t a time for accusing people. This is a time for repenting, forgiving and seeking peace so that justice can prevail.

Please take a look and listen to a song my assistant Eugene brought to my attention, along with a scripture my publicist brought to me this week.

“See that none render unto any one evil for evil; but always follow after that which is good, one toward another, and toward all…And may the God of peace keep us pure…

#knowpeaceknowjustice

God bless you. You pray for me and I will surely pray for you. Peace and Love. Grieving but believing, Alveda.

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