Tag Archives: Humanity

STEP INTO THE GAP

On May 12, 1961 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. John Lewis, an African-American seminary student and Albert Bigelow a World War II veteran and white Freedom Rider were viciously attacked as they attempted to enter a whites-only waiting area. Two days later in Anniston Alabama a vicious mob of about 200 people bombed a Greyhound bus and brutally beat the Freedom Riders as they fled the burning bus. Later that day in Birmingham Alabama a Trailways bus carrying another group of Freedom Riders was meant with a similar fate These Freedom Riders were aware of the dangers they would encounter and over several months they were attacked repeatedly yet they persevered so that the racist practice of segregated bus terminals would come to end and in the fall of 1961 their perseverance bore fruit as the  Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations that prohibited the segregation of interstate transit.

THE FREEDOM RIDERS STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Liu Xiaobo was a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate from China who through nonviolent protests fought against communist one-party rule in China. For his efforts he was imprisoned in 1989 to 1991, 1995 to 1996, 1996 to 1999 and 2009 until his release in 2017 after he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He died less than 3 weeks after his release. Despite his multiple imprisonments he continued to fight until his death for the betterment of the Chinese people.

LIU XIAOBO STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Razan Zaitouneh was a Syrian Human rights activist who was involved in the Syrian uprising. She acted as a lawyer for political prisoners, was one of the founders Human Rights Association in Syria and the Syrian Human Rights Information Link through which she reported about Syria human’s rights violations. Razan Zaitouneh worked tirelessly for years to bring light to Syria’s oppress regime despite the obvious dangers involved with doing so. On December 9 of 2013 she was kidnapped and has not been seen since, presumed to have been killed.

RAZAN ZAITOUNEH STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Michael Todd has been getting bullied at his new school since the year began. He would wear the same clothes every day and students at MLK College Preparatory School would make fun of him for it. High school football players Kristopher Graham and Antwann Garrett didn’t just go along with their class mates to be part of the crowd and on September 10, 2019 they surprised Michael with a bag full of bags full of shirts, shorts and shoes and apologized to him for previously laughing at him.

KRISTOPHER GRAHAM AND ANTWANN GARRETT STEPPED INTO THE GAP

Everyday countless number of individuals step into the gap. But sadly many in a position to do the most good lack the courage to step into the gap Last week at church my pastor preached to us from the book Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

In Bible times, cities had walls around them to help defend them from attack. Broken parts of the wall created a physical gap in the city’s ability to protect itself from invading armies.  In this Bible verse, because there is a gap in the wall, God is looking for someone to step in and guard the broken, vulnerable territory.

Today God is still looking for us to step in and guard the broken and the vulnerable. Victims of violence, oppression, discrimination, bigotry.  Those who are denied fundamental human rights such as medical care, food and shelter and education. Yet when we turn our eyes to Washington D.C. we find there are far too many concerned with their own self, maintaining their power and reaping the benefits that come along with it than with stepping into the gap.  We see children, the Lord’s most innocent souls, gunned down in mass shootings yet no action has been taken to enact sensible gun control to protect them. We see mothers and fathers working two and three jobs, sixty and seventy hours a week yet still unable to earn enough money to put a roof over or adequately feed their families. Yet at every opportunity the very social programs designed to help them through these troubled times are slashed, and more and more money is appropriated to building weapons of war.  Racism is unbelievably on the rise again in this country but far too many in power either pretend it doesn’t exist and simply ignore it or worse tacitly give their approval, so they can appeal to a base of unenlightened individuals they believe will allow them to maintain their power. Education budgets are cut and college tuition soars while tax breaks for the wealthy are passed into law. Prescription drugs prices rocket, inflating the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies while the affordable care act remains under constant attack. The gap between the haves and have not continues to expand as CEOs take home millions and workers struggle to survive yet steadfast opposition to raising the minimum wage continues.

We are witnessing the abject failure of the very individuals we have tasked with stepping in the gap. However, it is never too late as a people to change things.  United each of our whispers becomes a mighty roar for change. We can demand that change takes place and we can start at the voting booth. We can educate ourselves on the issues and not let some 24-hour news network “opinion” show host skew our perception of reality. We can protest racism and social injustice and when those in power try to change the narrative and quiet us we can roar louder.  We can rise as one and let our voices be heard.  We can let them know that it is we not them who are the coalition of the many and if they won’t stand in the gap we surely will find someone who will!

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They Don’t Really Care About Us

They don’t really care about us.

This statement could be attributed to the attitudes of many so called American “Christians”. Many of whom have decided, led by Pat Robertson, that our current President was sent by God to save America. The same President who rose to power by preying on the baseless fears of many. Campaigning on a platform of hate, fear and division.

A President who turns his back on the concept of global unity for a doctrine of America first.

A President who appointed an Attorney General in Jeff Sessions who once said: “We are a Christian nation. We should only be accepting Christian refugees.” This at a time when some twenty-two million people are displaced and the world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. Almost a quarter who are refugees from Syrians. Yet each iteration of Trump’s travel ban has sought to block travelers trying to enter the U.S. from Syria, and to restrict refugee admissions from the country. A country whose people are so devastated Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in May of 2018 “I’ve seen refugees from Asia to Europe, Kosovo to Africa. I’ve never seen refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria.”

A President who has submitted proposed budgets that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies. A budget that would gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, by $17.2 billion in 2019 — equivalent to 22 percent of the program’s total cost last year. It calls for cuts of more than $213.5 billion over the next decade, a reduction of nearly 30 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

A President whose policies are applauded by many of his “Christian” supporters as Making America Great Again.

But Matthew 25:41-46 is clear in saying:

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

This is a resounding answer to the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9), The person who helps those in need will inherit the kingdom. The person who fails to do so will be relegated to fiery punishment.

It has always been easy to say to the world I am a Christian. It is not so easy to live your life as a follower of Christ and his teachings.

Are you ready to show through your actions that you can love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39)?

Are you ready to show through your actions that you can feed the hungry, clothe the needy, visit the sick. (Matthew 25)?

Are you ready to show through your actions that you are ready to love your enemies (Luke 6:27).

Sadly, for many of those that love to brag America is a Christian country, founded on the principles of Christianity it seems want their religion to be is easy and simple. A religion that affords them a comfortable living with no room for outsiders unless they immediately become like them.

The time has come to choose. Are you a person who simply gives lip service to the teachings of Jesus?

A man who gave his life willingly as he said:

 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”  John 10:17-18 NLT

A man who died willing for our sins, to save us and purchase us from death.

Or are you a person who chooses to follow a President that many have turned into a false god.

A President who preaches hate and division.

If you truly are a follower of the Lord it shouldn’t be a hard question at all to answer.

Because as a follower of Christ the world should be saying:

They really do care about us.

Fellow Christians

Ponder this fellow Christians can we really say we are followers of Christ when:

We embrace the immorality of our so called leaders.

Promote racial intolerance.

Turn our backs to the atrocities happening to others simply because they were born in another part of the world.

Let the poor starve.

Let the sick suffer.

Teach our children hate and division instead of love and unity.

All in the name of our own so called “comfort” 

The answer should be crystal clear.

The answer is no we cannot.

To follow Christ is not simply to recite the scriptures but to open your heart and actively follow the teachings of the Lord, even if it causes us a little discomfort now and then.

Alien Takeover

Is it?

Do you really believe that it is yours to do as you want with it?

Do you really believe that we cannot claim it?

Why?

Because you are already here?

Does not your own history show otherwise?

I would ask you what would you call colonialism?

Is it not a foreign government or people seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories?

Have not your colonizers imposed their religion, economics, and medicinal practices on the indigenous people?

Have they not done so in most cases for their own selfish interest?

Have you not expanded into areas where different animal species have thrived for years and hunted them into extinction in some cases for no other reason than sport?

Do you not feel you are justified in doing so because you have determined that you possess the superior intellect?

I would argue that when compared to your own history it is easy to appreciate that the takeover of your world by the Association of Developed Planets is in your best interest.

You have chosen to ignore the warnings from your own planet that you are doing irreversible damage to it with little or no regard.

You have chosen to overhunt what you deem lesser species instead of looking of looking to create equilibrium with them. As result you have destroyed ecosystems with little or no regard.

Our takeover will bring a halt to these and many of the other destructive practices that you humans practice. In essence we are saving you.  We do this because despite your flaws because why you are not currently worthy there are those among us who believe that you are an intriguing species who given the proper guidance can mature into one of us.

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A Day of Celebration

Today we celebrate the 90th birthday of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. Both of these men exemplified class and dignity. They inspired us to treat each other as brothers and sisters and motivated us to be a better person today than we were yesterday. They represented the promise of what America is supposed to be and it is in acting in their spirit that will Make America Great. 

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Another Message From Above

Message from above

Genesis 1:27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

So I created humanity? Not Americans, Mexicans, Chinese, etc but humanity as a whole and children no matter what nationality label you put on them are the most vulnerable and precious part of my creation. Hmmm yet you still divide the beautiful resources of this unique planet I gave you instead of sharing it with one another.  You still believe it is morally correct to stand up and proclaim America or insert whatever country you want first while others suffer. 

Well I see as a species despite the gift of thought that I blessed you with you still have much to learn. Let me give you a little head start, try proclaiming this -Humanity first

We’ve come a long way…We’ve got a long way to go.

It is not an intrinsic part of human nature to be intolerant to another human because they differ in some way from you. Intolerance is taught as has been pointed out many times before if you watch two children of different ethnic groups play with each other you will see no sign of racism. These children do not see color and have no preconceived notion of who or what the other one represents other than a playmate. However as the children grow and their minds begin to expand they begin to both consciously and subconsciously pick up on the seemingly human culture of sticking with their own race because it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, Neighborhoods become ‘unintentionally” segregated, as children age their circle of friends becomes more and more homogenous. Job offers are made by identifying a person’s skin color, ethnic group, gender, religion, etc. rather than a person skill set. Intolerance leads to many things, the overwhelming majority bad, from workplace and housing discrimination, pay inequality, segregation, to an irrational fear of the unknown qualities of someone who shares the same basic human DNA structure but simply looks different, has a different belief system or was born on the opposite side of a man made line in the earth defining one country from another.

As we prepare to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this upcoming Monday one can only contemplate that he would no doubt be pleased with the many strides this country has made since his passing. The election of President Barack Obama a fulfillment of his dream that his four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But as far as we have come as a nation we are still a long way from achieving the America that Dr. King gave his life for.

  • Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 40 times more income than the bottom 90 percent.
  •  According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In 2017, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure, equating to 40 million Americans including more than 12 million children.
  • African-American unemployment remains about twice as high as white unemployment. In 2018, black unemployment averaged 7.4 percent, compared to an average of 3.7 percent for whites.
  • In every age group, current trends and policies are widening the ownership gap between African Americans and other groups. This gap reflects two fundamental factors: First, African American homeownership was particularly battered in the housing crisis, sharply reducing household wealth among African American families and dramatically lowering the long-term prospects for recovery for black homeownership at all ages. Second, African Americans continue to lag other races and ethnicities in employment, wages and income.
  •  According to FiveThirtyEight police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, but the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90%.
  • According to the Guardian people who are African-American/Black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while being unarmed compared to a Caucasian/White individual.
  • According to Mapping Police Violence 69% of the victims of police brutality in the United States who are African-American/Black were suspected of a non-violent crime and were unarmed.

Sadly in 2019 a member Steven King a representative of Congress told the New York Times “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” and King is unfortunately not alone in his ideas. When asked to comment on King’s comments President Trump did not denounce them instead saying he hasn’t been following the story. As Dr. King so eloquently put it: “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” But this should come as no surprise as the President has consistently defended white nationalists; sought to exploit the census to dilute the political power of minority voters; described immigration as an infestation, warning that it was “changing the culture of Europe”; derided black and Latino immigrants as coming from “shithole countries,” while expressing a preference for immigrants from places like “Norway”; and generally portrayed nonwhite immigrants as little more than rapists, drug dealers, and murderers at every opportunity. All this to pander to a base in America that believes to “Make America Great” we need to harken back to a time before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was even a thought in his parent’s minds.

However I remain hopeful. As I’ve said before I believe this country is headed in the right direction, ever so slowly. It is up to us as a people to raise our voices as one and drown out those who would have Dr. King’s dream become just that a dream and never a reality. We’ve come a long way but still have a long way to go. Let us not lose sight of the finish line and march to it together in brotherhood.