There’s lots of work that still needs to be done. Last week while surfing the net, I stumbled across an article on Google that read, “Ohio Teacher Keeps Job After Telling Black Student Classmates Would ‘Lynch’ Him if He Didn’t Behave.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading! My adrenaline was pumping and my heart was racing as I cautiously and curiously consumed the contents of the article. A thirteen-year-old “black” student named Nathan was told by his middle school social studies teacher that “he would be lynched if he didn’t behave,” according to Annie Branigin at theroot.com.
This is inappropriate on several levels. Nathan was the only black student in the class and when he respectfully suggested to his teacher that she had made a racist comment, she asked, “How so?” Seriously? A week later Nathan broke the news to his mother Agee-Bell, who immediately met with the teacher and reported the incident to school officials. Nathan’s mother Agee-Bell noted that although the teacher (Renee Thole) apologized, she NEVER explained WHY the comment, which was made to a majority-white class, missed the mark.
In light of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, this incident is repulsive, heartbreaking, and disrespectful! Damaging, discouraging, and disappointing! America, where is your dignity? A professional can behave like this in 2017-2018 and all they receive is a slap on the wrist? We have better protections in place for animals who receive inhumane treatment! What are you teaching your professionals? You ask your citizens to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, but do you pledge to protect those who do from the perils of racial and ethnic injustice?
We won’t stop there! In 2017, Chicago “saw 624 people shot and killed, and 2,937 people shot and wounded. This surge of mayhem and murder was perpetrated after several notable events: the release of the video showing the police fatally shooting Laquan McDonald, the launch of a Justice Department, investigation of the Chicago Police Department and a new policy on street stops put forth in an agreement between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union resulting in a decline in the number of stops which emboldened criminals.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-crime-increase-causes-edit-0118-md-20170117-story.html “The average age of those arrested for a homicide or shooting was 26, and the percentage with a gang affiliation was 67 percent.” Many of these murders were simply black-on-black crime. This is atrocious, appalling, and alarming! It’s hideous, horrible, and outrageous!
Pastors, we have work to do! Parents, do your part! Police, we have to be honest! Young adults, get it together!
At this point it’s not wise to argue whether the glass is half empty or half full. There’s more than enough blame to go around. The question this nation MUST answer in this moment is WHAT we will fill the glass with? Love or hate? Dr. King once said, “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” Fill the glass up with love! I admit there’s lots of work that still needs to be done.
By: Troy L. Campbell/Sr. Pastor,The Secret Place Church