9 Things I’m Ashamed to Admit about #Ferguson

Ferguson-Fallout-Riots-school-cancellations-and-unrest-in-wake-of-police-shooting

If you’ve been watching the news this last week, then you should know about what’s going on in Ferguson.

A white police officer shot an unarmed black man 6 times and killed him.

So many opinions have been given about what happened. So many pieces written.

There’s not much I can add, except to admit these 9 things I’m ashamed of when it comes to Ferguson:

1. It took me 6 days to even hear about Ferguson.

I’m ashamed to admit that it took a Canadian blogger rebuking American Christians for their silence to get my attention to what happened in Ferguson. That was a full 6 days after Michael Brown was shot.

2. I made some pretty serious conclusions before getting all the facts. 

Did you do this too? Did you form a strong opinion about who was guilty and who was not within minutes of hearing what happened? Yeah, me too. And I wish I hadn’t.

3. When I heard that Michael Brown had robbed a convenience store, I wasn’t surprised.

I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. My knee jerk response was “aha. that’s why he was shot”. Shame on me.

4. When I heard Al Sharpton’s name pop up in the news, I rolled my eyes.

Please understand that I’m trying to be as authentic as possible here to prove a point. We all bring so much baggage to the discussion of race, baggage that I’m ashamed to admit is more common than most of us are willing to admit.

5. “See? I always knew most cops were corrupt!” is a thought I’m ashamed to admit I had.

For a split second everything I ever thought about policemen seemed validated. Did that happen to you too? You always suspected policemen were corrupt, and they’ve just proven it to be true.

6. I am way more cynical than I am racist.

I have come to the prevailing realization that I believe everyone is basically evil and that given enough time everyone is going to disappoint you in one way or another. As a follower of Jesus, I’m ashamed to admit this because it leaves no room for the gospel. The gospel changes everything and everyone and leaves no room for cynicism. Turns out there’s still a lot of work God has to do on me.

7. I’m a tiny bit more racial baggage than I give myself credit for.

Look, we’re living in post modern America where no one under the age of 45 would ever admit to being racist. I mean, we’re the generation where everyone has at least 3 friends: a lesbian, a minority and a foreigner. But when push comes to shove, real stories like Ferguson unveil just another layer of racism that we’re still very guilty of.

8. Given enough time, I’m going to lose interest in the story.

The tragedy in Ferguson is that a few days from now most of us will have moved on to a bigger and better story. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, this is not a conversation that we can quickly move away from. Repentance takes time. Understanding requires patient listening. Don’t rush the process.

9. The Gospel wasn’t the immediate filter I ran Ferguson through. 

Oh, there were many filters I used. There was the filter of my traditional beliefs and cultural background. There was the filter of the media, and other bloggers. I used more filters to try to figure out what I think about Ferguson except for the only filter that matters: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. For someone who believes in new life and redemption, I’m ashamed to admit I failed this test big time.

Hey, my goal is not to beat up on me or on you in this blog. I’ve just tried to be honest to help you see how easily we forget who we are and what we’re here for. What has your reaction been to Ferguson? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

  1. M.P says

    Same, I think it could have a snow ball effect. American news to a foreigner is not pretty. I do not. Know the bible enough to know which story matches up but if seems to be a group conscience .it is horrible, needs a miracle.

  2. Martie says

    Lina, what I have learned is that I need to sit back and wait for this sort of thing to unfold. I spent most of life forming quick, uneducated opinions without waiting for all the facts. So what do I think k about all of this? 1. We may never uncover all of the truth. There is too much bias, too many quick judgments, too many racially motivated opinions on both sides. My question is, why is it alright to loot and burn people’s businesses over this? Is it helpful in any way? Does it change what happened in the original incident? Do two wrongs make a right?

  3. says

    Thank you for your honesty. What I love about Christ is that he confronted what we do not want to see. The reality is that Americans love to help other countries in need before they help their own. We are quick to respond from injustices it those overseas and give a rather slow response to whats going on in our own backyard. I love that we help those in other nations, as we should. But perhaps we should get the plank out of our own eyes first. What we don’t want to admit us that White Privilege exists. As a young Black woman, I’ve had my share of experiences. Is someone being rude because they’re a rude human being or are they racist and that’s why their behaving that way to me. That’s a small example of what I and other Black people have to silently question when a silly encounter occurs. But America is afraid to admit truth. The conversation about life, police, education, etc for a black child is different than a White child. One can be a foreigner and get more respect in America than a Black person. That’s our reality. We have a President in office and no matter what your opinion of Him is, He’s had to prove more about citizenship, etc than any other President. Why? Because He’s Half Black. What would Jesus do? He would confront injustice. No one should have to be killed to dialogue about race. You can’t deal with what you won’t confront.

  4. Lisa says

    I absolutely understand and respect your feelings Lina. Your honesty is pure and never be ashamed of that because we all are guilty of misjudging, misunderstanding, miscommunication and ignorance in some form. I struggle with my feelings about the issues in Ferguson because I want to support both sides… The police rights to serve and protect and this young black man’s right to be black without profiling and excessive force. It is going to take much more than the awareness, media attention and riots to move forward in this storm… Its going to take all of us being honest about how we really feel and praying for peace and unity within our selves.

  5. Patrick Flynn, Jr. says

    Part of our baggage is our “opinions” (ya, everyone has one). So, instead, I’m going to try and keep my mouth shut unless I’m sharing Truth (Christ) or facts. Questioning if it’s true or factual may be a good observational filter too.
    Thank you Lina for your honesty and providing an opportunity to confront our own biases or prejudices. It will be glorious when we no longer live in a realm of hatred, racism and our own sinful nature.

  6. Deanna says

    Lina,
    I appreciate your honesty. I think resonates with many, as it did with me. Overwhelmed with “knee jerk” reactions, I try to turn God’s words to bring peace and understanding out of living in the flesh.

  7. Andy says

    I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around the reaction of we have to wait for all of the facts of this to come forward versus the fact that racism is real and stares us in the face. In the conversation with myself I wonder why I have to believe why nothing can settled until the facts come forward in this case and that it has nothing to do with racism against the larger picture of this has a lot to do with race. Unless I just said the same thing twice I guess. Fwiw, I think the cop is not going to be charged.

  8. Carolin Guthorle says

    Facts. A strong armed robbery was committed. The kid attacked the officer and there was a fight for his gun. The gun went off in the police car. The kid attacked the officer again. He was shot in the arm, then head. The officer was treated for injuries in the hospital. Stores in Ferguson were looted by more law-breakers. Outsiders are stirring up trouble in Ferguson. Let’s wait for the investigation which cannot e done in an unbiased manner because of political involvement.

    • says

      Carolin, are you sure you’re referring to Ferguson? These are not the facts that have been reported in the news. There’s a video that’s been circulating that does not reveal there was armed robbery. There is a question of whether the young man in the video is the same as the young man that was shot. When the young man was shot, he was on the ground and not in the police car.

  9. Jim says

    Sad to see how the culture causes the rush to judgement. Flag Jesus did not do that with me. . A sinner saved by grace.