A post from Christopher Deans a few months ago. Check it out!
"I don’t usually post to social media and when I do it’s rarely anything serious. Mostly because I know social media isn’t the best medium for conveying certain messages. The past several days have been difficult for me. I’ve struggled about whether to post or not…but you’re all my friends…and this is supposed to be a safe space, so…
I know and wholeheartedly believe all lives matter.
I know and wholeheartedly believe violence and destruction is not the way.
I know I can be bitter, vengeful, and hateful.
I know I have judged people by the color of their skin and not the content of their character.
I know every instance where a white person kills/hurts a black person is not racially motivated.
I know black people kill/hurt white people, too.
I know racism is a complicated issue and ultimately an issue of the heart.
I know and wholeheartedly believe the most holistic method of changing a culture is by changing the hearts of the people. As a Christian, I believe Jesus has that transformative power and try to live my life to reflect Him so that lives can be changed for the better. I don’t always do the best job of that but I’m thankful, that even in my failures, His light can still shine through.
I know that I don’t speak for all black people.
I know all black people don’t speak for me.
I know I’m not like most black people…it's ok, I’ve heard it plenty before and I’m sure I’ll continue to hear it.
I know a lot of other things about these issues as well.
With all that being said… It hurts when I see people, who look like me, mistreated, brutalized, and even killed by those who are supposed to protect them. It hurts when I see people, who look like me, filled with anguish, pain, sadness, and frustration because of the hopelessness of their experience.
It hurts when I see people, who look like me, try to do the right thing over and over again, and still come up short. It hurts when I see people, who like me, have their message co-opted or distorted by others (politicians, media, extremist groups, etc.) who care nothing about the true message that’s attempting to be communicated.
It hurts when I see people, who look like me, feel like they’ve never had a voice.
It hurts when I see people, who look like me, that are fighting a battle they aren’t resourced to win.
All of this hurts because those people could be me and those people are me!
But do you know what else hurts?
It hurts when I see people that I consider friends, spend more time focusing on the violence and destruction of these riots, rather than the purpose of these protests. In doing so, you’re empowering the rioters/looters and silencing the message that should be heard.
It hurts when I see people, that I consider friends, give statistics rather than compassion to people in pain. Numbers can’t be empathetic or sympathetic, people should be.
It hurts when I see people that I consider friends, support the rights of protesters being forced to “lockdown” during a pandemic; but not even attempt to understand why black Americans are so upset. It hurts when I see people, that I consider friends, say things like “at least its better now than it was 50 years ago”. As if killing Jim Crow ended racism in one fell swoop. We’ve come a long way but there’s still work to do.
It hurts when I see people, that I consider friends, say things like “there’s black on black crime, too". There is. It’s a horrific, sad cycle that seems to never end. But, if black on black crime ends, will racism go with it? We’ve come a long way but there’s still work to do.
It hurts when I see people, that I consider friends, say things like “I didn’t own slaves” or “I’ve never oppressed black people”. Me neither. But we’re both living in the aftermath of a country that did. Maybe some people want you to say you’re guilty because you’re white. I’m not asking for an admission of guilt! I'm not saying you’re guilty. But if you can’t, at the very least, acknowledge the possibility that there are lasting impacts of systemic racism in our country…I don’t know what else to say.
It helps when you listen It helps when you pray It helps when you don’t assume It helps when you love It helps when you’re not defensive It helps when you say racism is wrong It helps when you say racism is a sin It helps, when those who know and love Jesus, act like Jesus, and care more about people than about being right.
Sorry it' so long. I have a lot more thoughts but it could go on forever. I'm willing to discuss with anyone who wants to. I'm willing to listen, too. Shoot me a text and we can talk."