But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
— Jeremiah 29:7
I saw this reaction to the rioters on Facebook from a friend of a friend:
“Their (sic) breaking the law and ought to be shot down. Their (sic) all animals anyway.”
Which wouldn’t be so heinous if it weren’t the reaction of so many Americans who aren’t a bit interested in hearing from all sides on how it came to this in a neighborhood and so many other neighborhoods where people have been “kept down” and brutalized (like animals?) for God knows how long.
Just remember that your children and grandchildren are seeing and hearing (and reading you on Facebook???) and internalizing how you react to events like the rioting in Baltimore.
If your response to the news is peppered with nastiness or bitterness or hatred or condemnation or fear and racism and a sense of moral superiority, your kids and grands are feeding on it, digesting it and growing in the image of something other than the God of true justice that Dr. King lifted up so well when he said:
“Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”