Ahmuad Arbery

Christian Group Support Men Who Shot and Killed an Unarmed Jogger

“These 2 God-fearing men were only trying to protect their neighborhood. This area has had a string of break-ins and this man fit the description and did not comply with simple commands. Our hearts go out to the McMichael family in their time of need. Amen.” – Christians Against Google

I know that all White people are not bad people. It would be narrow and closed-minded on my part to believe such a thing. There are good and people within all of the races of the human family: Black, Brown, White, Yellow, or Red. I wish we did not see skin-color but rather the person. Unfortunately, the world in which we live categorized groups of people as such. Most of us had no say so in the matter.

I often imagined how all 7.8 billion people on the planet would conduct ourselves all of us were struck blind.

Talk about “The Day The Earth Stood Still!”

In America, and in many corners of the world, there are major problems with the color of one’s skin, ethnicity, and – depending on what country one lives in – one’s nationality.

America has a major problem. It simply cannot resolve the issue of race relations. This issue is deep-rooted in slavery and the belief that Black people are equal and really full-fledged Americans. It one thing to say or codify into law that Black people are equal under the law, but quite a different matter in actual practice. I wonder if America really wants to resolve it. Perhaps hoping it will vanish like the wind.

For a nation claiming “In God We Trust” it certainly appears to be far removed from the god it purports to trust when it comes to its treatment of fellow Americans of a darker skin complexion.

Who is this God that so many Americans claim they believe in and worship? Is He the One True God and Creator of the heavens and earth? Or, is he the one created in the imaginations of men and in their image? Thus, a false god!

How can anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ and worshiper of the One God not want peace with his Brother? Unless … those persons do not believe persons of another color or different faith is not their Brother.

The Apostle John at 1 John 4:20-21 wrote down these words …

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

A very religious Black woman (an ex-coworker) told me that the above Scripture applies only to those who are members of the same religion. I said, “What!” (Yes, my voice did carry a bit) She viewed all persons not “saved” or a “Christian” not a Brother or Sister.

I also had a very long discussion with a Christian youth group at a bus stop a few years ago and they too believed as this woman did.

This is the problem.

We find … and look for ways to divided each other. Much of it is sheer nonsense.

The Apostle John at 1 John 4:2-21 actually echos what Jesus taught and practiced with regards to loving each other. Yes, even one’s enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Yet, we live in a system of government that does not treat its citizens equally. It does not afford each one the same opportunities. The deck is stacked against the poor and especially the descendants of African slaves.

I know many people who do not believe there is a problem when the historical record and more recent events say different. Some attempt to brush it off as “those persons” are lazy or “they are not trying hard enough.” This belief is a problem.

While I will not go into a discussion about how slaves were a source of free labor that many Whites – back then and whose offspring now – benefit from. While no White person today is responsible for what happened nearly 400 years ago, the fact is that many of the offspring of the slave owners benefit from that dark time period to this day. They inherited wealth, land, privilege, and advantage. If life in America is to be equated to a race (pawn intended), White America had a major head start and advantage. The descendants of African slaves were lapped many times over to the point as a group we own less than one-half-of-one-percent of the wealth of America. Essentially we have no share in America’s resource and what is called “The American Dream” is not a reality for us as a group. The nearly ninety-nine percent of America’s wealth is held, owned, and controlled by those who were well out of the blocks.

I read a book many years ago entitled “Black Like Me.” It is a true story about a white journalist named John Howard Griffin. To comprehend the lives of black people, he had darkened his skin to become black. He quickly learned what it was like to be a Black man in America.

Mr. Griffin disabused the idea that Black people were acting out of paranoia. He revealed that what Black people were saying about racism, bigotry, and discrimination was true. He actually experienced it for himself! It took someone from outside coming in to do that!

Sadly today, many White Americans do not believe Black Americans when we cry “foul ball.” Maybe some do and chose to ignore it.

A few months ago, a young Black man by the name of Ahmaud Arbery 25, in a town in Georgia, USA was out jogging, was followed by two White men, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34 and they ordered him to stop because they believed he was involved in a burglary and fit the description of a burglary suspect in the past. They attempted to detain him and render a citizen’s arrest. Mr. Arbery refused to be detained. The McMichaels were carrying firearms. A video shows an altercation and it appears that Mr. Arbery was defending himself. (What would you do if you were being stalked by two unidentified non-law enforcement persons carrying guns ordering you to stop, approaching you to physically detain you?

It does not matter what one’s skin color is. In America, all Americans have a right to jog on any street in America free from being harassed and detained if they have committed no crime; especially by persons who are not law enforcement. If the McMichaels believed that Mr. Aubery committed a crime, then they should have called the police. Maybe they did. If they did! Oh my!

As a Vietnam and Gulf War Era Veteran with twenty years of honorable service, I volunteered and sacrificed my life so that all Americans are afforded the same freedoms and opportunities regardless of the color of one’s age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, race, color, or sex.

In America, there are elements within our society who always view Black and Brown people with suspicion and believe we bear considerable watching … and even controlled … by them.

I must admit, I do not know all of the facts of the case because this event is still being investigated. Yet, why did it take two-and-a-half months before an arrest was made? I will tell you why? Because someone caught the event on video! When the video went public, there was a public outcry. Else, the McMichaels would be at home, free, and enjoying their families.

Yet, a man is dead.

There is a video that shows a Black man – allegedly – Mr. Aubery leaving a construction site, which is not a felony. Certainly not something warranting taking his life over. There were other people around and no one approached him to inquire about what he was doing. To my knowledge, nothing was found on his person. It was alleged that he had a gun, which was not true. It was also initially claimed that a burglary had occurred. This was also not true. That it took a video going public and arrests being made strongly suggests a cover-up. Local law enforcement had to do something they were not willing to do months ago. This underscores a mindset that places little to no worth and value on the life of a Black person to take no action until video surfaces.

Black Americans have had to deal with things far worse than this in America. It saddens me that less than 60 miles from where I live Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other hate groups freely hold rallies and march with police-protection. Yes, I sacrificed going into “The Service” to defend their right to assembly and dispense hate.

It also saddens me that less than ten miles from where I live and viewable off of interstate I-95 is a humongous Confederate Flag flapping in the breeze just above the tree line for all drivers to see. (See story here)

Here is the flag I see every time I commute to Washington DC.

It is very difficult for Black Americans to move on or “get over it” when things like this – the flag and murder of another Black man – are thrown in our face as reminders of how despised we are to some. We are constantly being send the signals of, “We don’t want you here” or “You are not Americans” or “This is our (the land of the Whites) country.”

I want my White Brothers and Sisters to understand what the impact of over 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow semi-slavery, the stripping away of one’s African identity, and having a non-African identity – or mark – of another people imposed up us, and the hateful events of today … does to a people!

Mr. John Howard Griffin died in 1980. It would be interesting to hear his perspective about the issues of race facing America today.

A Christian Group – Christians Against Google – have set up a support group to support the McMichael’s. No tears shed for the dead man, Mr. Arbery, or his family.

It is as if this Christian Group is saying Mr. Arbery deserved what happened to him. That if he obeyed the orders of these White men (who had no right to be issuing orders to anyone), he would be alive today.

While I am aware that the actions of these two men and this Christian group do not reflect all of Christianity, it is a strange beast. It has a heinous history of war, conquest, and murder. Yet, it has the ability to massage its moral conscience to trick it into thinking God is with them and its actions are righteous and justified.

My fear is that my loved ones could be next. I could be next. Over what? Because I am jogging? Barbecuing in the park? Minding my own business?

I do not want the weight of worry that some self-righteous person believes and has the right that he/she can stop me, detain me, prevent me, question me, and treating me disrespectfully because they think I did something wrong!

As I am writing this I am chuckling because I gave 20 years of my life (plus and additional 22 years as a Civil Servant) so someone can steal it!

I am never surprised at the conduct of the religious system called Christianity. It does not self-regulate. Even the hateful are allowed to thrive within it.

Lastly, an image of this “god-fearing” man, Gregory McMichael at a Klan rally.

I would be interested to hear what this Christian group has to say about that.

I whole-heartedly believe that the Creator of the heavens and the earth will end the craziness in the world, by removing this world. (Not to be confused with the earth, it remains). We are hurting each other and ruining God’s earth. The earth is not our property as some like to think it is. We did not create it. We are just tenants upon it. There will be a very rude awakening for those who think God is with them. (Remember 1 John 4:20-21)

The governments must go. (Daniel 2:44)

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R. Jerome Harris

No one of importance. A disciple (student) of Christ apart from the established religious systems who reasons, thinks and concludes matters for myself. Something is not right with the state of religion in the world. The real dichotomy is that we live in a world so full of religion, yet is an evil, immoral, and dangerous place to live. A mental and spiritual separation from this world that Jesus said his kingdom is no part of is the first step to a "break-through" to freedom and entry into a much larger spiritual world where God and Christ resides and the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God can be accessed.

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