I try to be very calculated and very wise about what I post on social media as it isn’t the most ideal platform to have hard discussions. However, I am very aware of the fact that, no matter what you say—or how you say it, some will take offense. Just please note: being offensive is not my intent. Being honest, forthright, and clear is.
Firstly, for me, as a Christian, and a human being for that matter, I want to make it absolutely clear that I know that “All Lives Matter.” No one can convince me otherwise. Period.
Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is: we live in a broken world—and though many profess Christ with their mouths, their hearts ❤️ and actions are far from him. Hence, the current state of our world. And if you’re familiar with Bible history, religious people crucified Jesus Christ—and they saw nothing wrong with it.
Moreover, as it relates to the topic of racism, injustice, and systemic issues, I don’t profess to be a guru; however, I did do some research. Thus, I think the attached clip is worth watching as it explains some systemic issues in the United States. It’s very informative and it’s explained with great simplicity (please see clip below).
As a people and as a country, we cannot pretend that there isn’t a systemic problem. And, I’ve heard many say, “what about this group, or that group, etc.” And, I get it...their lives absolutely matter. However, right now...we are specifically talking about “Black Lives.”
Additionally, my beloved Christian community: the point has been made that there are other extremely harmful issues that are also taking “black lives,” and I totally agree. There is certainly a place and time for that. Nevertheless, that’s NOT the topic right now.
The example that keeps coming to mind is: as the body is interconnected, and each member is affected by the other—the mission is always to care for and heal the wounded part, to avoid further damage and it potentially negatively affecting the other parts of the body. In layman’s terms, by saying “Black Lives Matter,” you are not saying that others don’t. Instead you are saying, let’s rush to aid, support, and heal the wounded part to ensure that it’s not harmed any further and/or permanently damaged (which actually affects the other parts of the body).
We live in this world. Therefore, we cannot turn our heads and not acknowledge the injustice, nor refuse to actively engage (however you choose to do that) in the overall greater good, and become a part of the solution, all for fear of opportunists and/or those with hidden agendas attempting to distort your faith.
The naked truth here: it’s going to happen. There will always be hidden agendas and opportunists. Not everyone that walked with Jesus was there for the right reasons. Nevertheless, that did not stop him from doing the work he was called to do.
When thinking about the “big picture,” there are certainly things we can do (as African Americans) to help change the negative narrative within our homes; families, etc. However, that is NOT the current issue here; Murder, injustice and a reform in systemic issues is what we are fighting for. We know that as Christians, we unapologetically believe that Jesus is the answer; but we cannot force people into the Gospel, we must simply love them. You can still firmly, unapologetically hold to your core values and love God, while also being a part of the solutions in your communities. In fact, that’s what we should be doing. And, I know many fear their religious freedoms and beliefs being infringed upon, but we will deal with that issue in a different conversation.
Thus, let’s start with “Keeping the main thing the main thing”—and in this situation, it is a broken system of racism and injustices.
If you have ever read the story about the adulterous woman, you will note that the religious community criticized Jesus for his interactions with her. However, Jesus was not there to “chop it up,” (aka, talk) or lay out all of her past issues. They wanted to throw stones and talk about her past; but Jesus was there to heal and forgive her, followed by lovingly instructing her to sin no more (John 8:1-11).
All of this to say, others may have hidden motives for why they do what they do, even seeking to use this movement for their own personal gains. Nonetheless, we cannot avoid being touchable and human, and standing for what is right, all in the name of not wanting to be exploited or duped by others who are pushing and/or partaking in this for reasons outside of “Black Lives” actually mattering to them.
As a Christian, it is my duty to stand for what is right in the eyes of God. Period. Therefore, let’s kindly stick with the topic. This situation is clearly about “Black Lives.” Particularly “Black Lives” murdered by those who were supposed to serve and protect them.
Black on Black crime; Family Dysfunction, etc., is not the issue here (that’s another discussion—not this discussion). We must focus on the issue at hand (specifically in this situation 👉🏽 Systemic Issues).
It is only a race war, or whatever else it’s being made out to be, if we refuse to deal with the issue at hand or allow mainstream media to further distort the “what,” without explaining the “why.” Granted, again, there are opportunists and those with other agendas seeking to make this about something other than “Black Lives.”
In conclusion, I pray that we come to a healthy place of love and forgiveness; but we must also understand that with this comes acknowledgement, responsibility, accountability, and reformation.
Canena Adams, LLBSW, MA, SRAS
Wife | Mother | Writer | Author | Public Speaker | Social Worker | Business Owner | Nonprofit Founder & Director | Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist | Healthy Family & Relationship Advocate | Adjunct College Prof.