Ferguson and Eric Garner: 3 Needs regarding the race discussion in America


via: blogs.wsj.com

Since the decision by the Grand Jury not to indict Darren Wilson over the death of Michael Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, our country has been in racial turmoil. Some know it, others don’t.

The difficulty though with this is that the tensions felt between racial groups in America seems like it’s been taken from the street, into the living rooms of people’s lives. Now it is not as easy to avoid.

Many people have told me about social media arguments that have come out of the opinions towards these situations. Everyone has an opinion. I have seen pastors, lay people, police officers… pretty much everyone voice their issues with the racial tensions in America.

In short, here are three things we need concerning the race discussion in America:

1) We need to have a learning spirit when discussing race, all of us.

I have read many books and have many experiences that I figured would teach me about race. The amount of articles and blog post I have read since the decision not to indict Darren Wilson in Ferguson, has taught me so much about racial relations that I didn’t know though.

As much as it is easy to pride myself on having a pretty good handle on race because of life experience and the number of books I have read, I have realized the need I have to come to the table with a learning heart. There is plenty that I am completely ignorant of regarding race relations. While that doesn’t seem like a surprising statement, it’s a very necessary statement that all of us need to come to.

2) We need to seek dialogue with others BEFORE engaging into online monologues.

This isn’t easy.

And maybe that’s why it doesn’t happen.

But it is vital.

Consider how many times that by NOT running an idea by wise counselors, you made a horrible decision that could have went differently. It’s important to take time and talk with people about their story.

I honestly believe this has been the biggest problem that has come out of the Racial issues America is seeing right now. Tons of people have opinions and freely give but very few are open to dialogue on these issues. Many are more than willing to post a blog post but won’t make a phone call or reach out at all to people with opposing opinions.

3) We need to listen more than we speak.

This is an age-old lesson that you have heard a thousand times but it is so true. Maybe this can be apart of being a learner but regardless, it’s an important attribute of people who want to see healing. Sadly enough though it seems that the majority of people speaking on these issues have little concern for healing. The majority of the concern is to be heard.

These three needs are simple pieces of advice but I really believe that the best words of advice would come from Jesus Christ, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If we really loved our neighbors and questioned ourselves on how we can do that more often, it would save face from many broken relationships in our lives that don’t have to be broken.

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