Is the crisis of policing more acute today than before Ferguson two years ago? Yes, but that’s not completely a bad thing, particularly if a large part of this awareness is driven by finally coming to terms with and addressing the experience of minority communities.
Many people in the U.S. seem to think there is some magical date when the nation achieved victory over racism. Maybe they trace this social V-day back to 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. Maybe the date is 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Acts. No matter the date, we have not crossed any historical line into a society where race is no longer a salient category.
Between the World and Me is in some ways dire. But in a world rife with sin and misery, why is that surprising? We should be asking questions about how we can imagine better, how we can empathize better. What can we do as Christians to support each other across racial lines? What can we do to identify deeply with human beings—like Michael Brown—who have been made in the image of God?
When I attended seminary, a classmate once told me that I was not like the rest of "them"; instead, I was rational and logical. He was white, I am Mexican-American, and in the context of our discussion, "them" meant the other seminary students of color. I was dumbfounded and speechless.
I am a white mother of a beautifully multiracial family, with four kids from four different countries and a fifth on the way. And though I have spent the last decade of my life believing that my sweet children (black and white) were equal and beloved in the eyes of my community, my country, and beyond, the past few years have eroded that belief—and broken my heart.
Food and wine for Calvin were not solely to sustain our bodies; for this reformer, they were no mere essentials for our existence. Instead, Calvin believed that, as gifts of God, they offer richer treasure.