Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman on February 26. It is likely that they are the only two people in the world who knew/know exactly what happened that night, yet that hasn’t stopped practically everyone in America from forming an opinion.
- Myself included.
Here are some things I’ve been reminded of in the last couple of days:
- The US is still deeply scarred by the wounds of racism.
- There is no national dialogue–there are only separate camps of entrenched viewpoints. Hearing a view similar to our own reinforces our preconceptions while encountering opposing perspectives results only in further entrenchment. This applies to politics, religion, and cultural issues.
- Anger is the default emotion for all camps when issues create an increase in emotional voltage. This applies to politics, religion, cultural issues.
- Most of us prefer to talk about other peoples’ problems or events that are entirely outside of our sphere of influence instead of talking about our own problems or issues.
In light of this, here are some things I’ve resolved to do:
- Take the opportunity to conduct a prayerful gut-check on my own biases, prejudices, racism. There is more of that in me than I am often aware.
- Care more about learning from and listening to others than being ‘right.’
- Examine my own reaction of anger to what people say, post, and write. Work on remaining just as passionate about the person standing in front of me as I am about justice, human life, reconciliation, and due process.
- Pursue unity, reconciliation, and commonality in my own spheres of influence.