Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Cross and the Molotov Cocktail

 

by christena on August 17, 2014

[Content note: discussion and photos of lynching and other forms of brutality]

Young protestors lighting and preparing to launch a Molotov cocktail at Ferguson police
Young protestors lighting and preparing to launch a Molotov cocktail at Ferguson police

Can you see the Imago Dei in these young men? Can you see the suffering Christ in their rage?
This morning at church, the black female preacher said aloud what many of us have been thinking: that Ferguson could have happened in our community. It could still happen in our community. Our north Minneapolis neighborhood is so much like Ferguson, it’s scary. Both communities are lower income and predominantly black. Both have overwhelmingly white police forces. Both have a history of police misconduct toward people in the community, especially lower income black men.  And if you hang around long enough, you’ll feel the rage that many blacks carry in response to long-standing injustice.

Yesterday, my neighbor broke down while we talked about the realities of police brutality toward young black men. Her hands trembled and tears showered her face. Experiencing the unique mixture of rage and sorrow that black moms know well, she described the numerous ways in which the local police have already treated her 8 year old son like an animal.

Based on data from communities all over the U.S., a recent study found that local police officers kill black men nearly two times a week. Beyond this, black men suffer from the crushing indignity of being regularly stopped and frisked, harassed by the police for simply “driving while black”, and generally assumed guilty before proven innocent.

Describing the way black men were treated during the lynching era (1880s -1960s), historian Joel Williamson wrote, “Their blackness alone was license enough to line them up against walls, to menace them with guns, to search them roughly, beat them, and rob them of every vestige of dignity.”[i]

Williamson might as well have been writing about the way black men are treated in 2014. The present-day experience of black men is not much different that the experience of black men who
lived and died during the lynching era.

read more at http://www.christenacleveland.com/2014/08/the-cross-and-the-molotov-cocktail/?utm_content=bufferb850b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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