Charlottesville: A Microcosm of What Most People Fear; A Reality Most Will Not Acknowledge

Years ago, many Black men and women imagined a day when their humanity would experience the same equality and equity as others in this nation. People of right thinking marched, protested, and spoke truth to power regarding the basic civil and moral rights not exercised and granted. In 2008, people believed that the fight was finally over with the election of U.S. Senator, Barack H. Obama, to the office of President of the United States. People declared that we had fully entered into the season of the post-racial society. On August 12, 2017, post-racial thinkers were proven wrong. Post-racial ideology has finally met its final resting place. 

In my early days of seminary, I encountered many people who were determined to be so “heavenly minded, that they were no earthly good”. In the name of being progressive, they wanted to superimpose the idea that people had evolved into the place of being reasonable and intelligent. People were now more informed; therefore, they did not have the reason or premise to be racially bias toward anyone. On that premise and the marginal movement of people of color ascending to prominent places, my colleagues expoused the idea that we could finally move away from the conversations of past history. So wrong….

Here I am attempting to make sense of what my eyes have seen. The first question I wanted to ask: Now will they see it? I didn’t ask it. I realize that many people will do the same thing that they always do. We must find a way to united and move forward. Bigotry and hatred are unacceptable. I got to be honest with you. I am plenty tired of the talking points, conjecture, and sanctimonious opinions of race in this country. 

Let’s be clear. Racism is not going away. I know you don’t want to believe it. I know you will say to me, Charles, where is your hope? My hope is in God. I have no hope in frail humanity. I have hope in those driven by the Spirit of God. I have no faith in those who are unwilling to address what is in front of their face for what it is. Charlottesville was not an accident. It was a moment that was brewing for years. This time proved to be the moment that Goliath’s brothers would rise up. Let me explain. 

Remember when David killed Goliath in his earlier years? Everyone shouted and praise God for the exploits of the young man, David. As a matter of fact, David was bold enough to challenge the soldiers present about their commitment to God. David was pressed in his heart to face a giant that was twice his size because that giant mocked the God David loved. The imagery of David taking down Goliath with a rock is the sanitized perspective of what David did to Goliath. David not only took Goliath down with what he had in his hand, but David took Goliath’s sword and cut the giant’s head off also. David was violent with intent. 

Before you misinterpret where I am going, walk with me a moment. David was passionate, intense, and focused on eliminating the greatest threat to his people. He was not going to rest until the threat no longer existed. He didn’t just win a fight. David definitively showed his people how much standing for God meant. Some caught the clue over time. Others relaxed believing in the power of “let the other guy do it”. 

In my opinion, that mentality has permeated the psyche of many different entities of life–especially in the African American community. When Martin spoke truth to power about equality and equity, everyone was fine as long as it did not affect them or any interests. They wanted a mouthpiece for civil rights. Yet, Martin decided to speak out against the Vietnam War. You would have thought that he declared that people should return to slavery. The message was still the same. Injustice was not limited to the Black disenfranchaised. Injustice was must be addressed on every level. 

Consider this also. When Martin was assasinated, people began to scramble to see who could take on the mantle. Funny enough, nobody was ready to fight forward. In the following years, the momentum of the Civil Rights movement began slow down into mental museum of yesteryear. Yes, there were and are people still fighting for justice. But the magnitude of pressing the issues began retreating as advances took place. 

When Barack H. Obama was elected our 44th President, many people began to believe the rhetoric that our nation had entered into a post-racial society. Mr. Obama represented for many people David slaying Goliath. All was now over. We could all embrace equality and equity in this nation without exception. I can count the numerous conversations I had in classes dealing with over-theoratical progressive thinker attempting to tell me that racism is gone. Yet, Goliath (racism) still had brothers waiting. 

Charlottesville was not the resurrection of Goliath. Charlottesville was the unveiling of the next generation of Goliath’s DNA. With the actions of these unhinged, short-sided thinking people, my question is were are those of “the lineage of David”? I’m not talking about people with great talking points dipped in the sweet nectar of knowledge. I want to know where are the people who have the courage to organize, fight, advocate, and position a great movement of what is morally correct? 

Yes, I recognize many organizations and pockets of people that continue to stand the premise of advancing moral and civil rights. But, you must excuse me if my frustration will suggest that many of us are still waiting on someone else “to do it”, wanting others to be passive about the facts, or explain away nonsense by blaming “both sides”. I wonder are there people who have gleaned from the past, embraced their own gifts, and gained enough determination now to see what is upon us. 

When the Philistine giants came looking for revenge, whole armies did not step to them and fight. No. Individuals said that they had enough within them to battle those giants and win. What is needed now to defeat these giants?

  1. Heart (Emotional Balance)
  2. Fully Connected Spirit (Constant Interaction with God)
  3. Active Gifts (Using Your Talent Without Hesitation)
  4. Confidence (Have Hope and Faith that Victory Will Come)
  5. Resolve (Recognize that the Fight Will Continue)
  6. Empowerment (Give Others the Chance to Glean and Learn in Order to Produce)

Every element is necessary so that we might see a shift that is necessary for the world. Do not become a sideliner believing these things will go away. Make up in your mind that you will be the change agent that ends the rhetoric and creates a flourishing, equitable environment for all.