Earlier this week I wrote a piece about the murder of a homeless white man at the hands of two young black men.
There was a large response to that article, much of it quite angry at the double standard shown from the media. The day that story ran, another young white man in Oklahoma was murdered by three young black men as he jogged near their home. The early media reports indicate that the killers were “bored” and that it may have been a gang initiation.
My reason for writing the original article was simply to juxtapose it against the coverage of the Zimmerman trial and its focus on race as a motivating factor.
The majority of them, however, were from concerned readers who simply want to see an end to the violence on our streets.
One e-mailer in particular stood out to me, moving me almost to tears in her concern for her fellow man. I hope she won’t mind my sharing:
“Dear Mr. Coca,
I read your article “Another Racially Motivated Murder…” and I felt as you did. Sir, I am an African American woman and I just wanted to ask you and your race of people to forgive us (on behalf of myself and the African American race….)(though some may not agree with me, nor might you ever hear it from another African American), forgive us for all the senseless crimes we have committed against your people, if you are white. However, though I wish I could ask all races including my own, for forgiveness for the senseless crimes we have committed. We have contributed to a lot of views that other races have about us. I am disappointed as well that two well-known civil rights leaders are not outspoken against other cases as well. They should be against ALL injustices. I am sadden that this country is so racially divided and have been since I’ve known and beyond. I also believe that the reconciliation has to start with Christians. The world will know that we are His disciples by the love we have for one another. God has put in each one of us the ministry of reconciliation. I’m sure I’m not the first, but I will perhaps step out and be the first to ask for forgiveness. Please forgive us.”
I was heartbroken. This e-mailer was not the person I was trying to engage with my article — she obviously has a gentle heart and a true desire to see peace in our neighborhoods. She had nothing to apologize for, and yet she did. We need more people – black, white, brown, yellow, red, or polka dotted – like this. People willing to put aside their own feelings and meet each other with gracious and forgiving spirits.
My real concern is in spreading the message that ALL violent crimes are evil. It matters not if they are committed by members of the same ethnicity upon each other or by members of other ethnic groups. In the same vein, ALL racism is evil. The Bible teaches that there is just one race, the human race – the genetic differences between us are so small they might as well be nonexistent. We are descended from the same father and mother and to hate for reasons as random as the amount of melanin in someone else’s skin is ridiculous.
We need a culture shift. However, for a shift like this to happen, it will take all sides moving towards each other. If only one group attempts to change things – it can never work.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com