This is Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on June 1, 2020
I have been watching the news recently, as all of you have, to get more and more news about the state of the shutdown to see when we could return to some form of normal life. But, in the middle of the doom and gloom of endless shutdown, I found three related yet unrelated stories in the media that broke my heart. So, for this week’s article you get a break from COVID-19 talk.
The three stories I want to look at are the two men in Georgia who shot another man for trespassing and possible burglary, a cop who held a man down with his knee even though the man was otherwise restrained and the man and women who were walking through a park and got into an argument over the woman not having her dog on a leash.
You may read my descriptions of these events and wonder what they have in common. What they have in common is the one detail I left out. Race was at the center of all of these incidents. I don’t want to get into details because the details have been well spelled out in many articles. My point today is how sad it is that race is at the center of each of these controversies.
I don’t care what race of the people involved in these incidents were, it doesn’t change the fact that what happened in all of these situations was some level of wrong. It is illegal and immoral for citizens to hunt down and kill a suspect. It is a violation of protocol for a cop to put his knee on the neck of a restrained suspect. And it is evidence of being a jerk for two people to have to call the police on each other over a confrontation over a dog being on a leash.
I very much dislike the fact that race is involved in these situations because what happened was wrong regardless of the race of the people involved. Now we have to have an investigation into whether or not race was a factor when no one is questioning what happened was wrong. Even people as low functioning as white supremacists have to admit that laws were broken here. Why is it worse if the people in violation of the law had racial intent? Would we be ok with police officers choking restrained suspects if they are of the same race? How do we judge intent? How do we determine what hatred or motives were in the heart of another person and why does motive matter? What they did was wrong. Are we going to condemn entire races of people because of the actions of a few immoral people?
What I keep reading is that these incidents are indications of poor race relations in our world. I think that the fact that the media is reporting on these things only because of race is a greater indicator of the problem than anyone involved in these, I have to say this again, ILLEGAL actions.
Is there any reason to think that anyone dumb enough to hate someone simply because of the color of their skin is going care about any new hate legislation? Does racism exist? Of course, it does, and it is despicable in every form. But can we really expect people who aren’t any smarter than that to abide by laws? Last I checked, murder is wrong in all circumstances. Making it more illegal won’t have any effect.
In the case of the guys who hunted the burglary suspect down and killed him and the police office who put his knee on the neck of the restrained suspect, I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In the case of the two people in the fight over the dog not being on a leash, the woman was wrong for what she said to the man and the man was also wrong to post it on social media causing the women to lose her job, have her dog taken away, and receive multiple death threats.
In Matthew 7:12, Jesus quotes the Golden Rule: “Do to others what you would like for them to do to you.” All of the legislation in the world won’t make people follow this simple rule. Why do we have to bring everyone down further by having our media report the exceptions to the rule that the vast majority of our world follows?