Literally as I write this piece today police are on a manhunt in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a white man who is accused of killing five black men. And apparently Neo Nazis are now patrolling in a city in Florida.
This could be chalked up, I suppose, as reaction from some Americans in the face of the New Black Panther Party’s bounty on George Zimmerman and the rhetoric that has followed. The sad fact is that when bounties are declared, addresses are tweeted, Neo Nazis go on patrol and men go on shooting rampages, the only ones who triumph are the people placing bounties, being Nazis and Tweeting inflammatory information.
Those who crave power and those who wish to keep power know that race can be a very effective tool in rallying people to their flag. Angry people become followers of would-be despots of every stripe.
The longer I am in the media, the less I trust the media because I know that as these latest pieces of news make their way across Sound Bite Nation, they will be used in such a way that we will trust one another a little less. Witness NBC’s doctoring of the George Zimmerman’s 9-11 call as just such an example.
Those who wish to control us do not want us to talk to one another. They do not want us to see beyond color, beyond national origin, beyond income, beyond anything that is divisive.
The people inflaming the OWS crowd will never let anyone impart the idea to them that conservatives don’t want people to be poor any more than anyone else does; we just see another means of achieving solvency and security. It is a view that allows the individual to achieve greatness on his or her own.
The conservatives I know could care less if someone is gay-they’re too worried about holding on to their jobs and finding enough money to keep food on the table and gas in the car. The conservatives I know don’t hate blacks, and they don’t hate Mexicans.
They worry about the drain on social services and they worry about tax credits to people who pay no taxes, but they are just as worried about white people who do the same thing.
The conservatives I know feel that people should be able to worship whoever they want, however they want, but don’t like the idea of Christianity being attacked on a monthly basis.
In other words, the conservatives I know aren’t at all as they are portrayed in the media. And what is even more interesting is that I and some of the left-wingers who listen to my show have been able to find common ground on me on issues. On some we remain light years apart. But the conversations are cordial and we have found common ground now and then. But their initial perception of me is colored by what they have been told, and they are often surprised by the time our conversations are finished.
But those who crave power - and they know who they are- will continue to trade on stereotypes. The idea of a black man and a white man eyeing one another suspiciously is exactly what these people need in order to draft more and more people to their respective causes.
Since I moved to the west I don’t have many black friends, mainly because rural Utah does not have a booming African-American population. It’s just how the demographics shake down. But I do have one good friend here who is black. I and my wife see he and his lady friend socially, they have visited our church and have dined in our home.
And when I see the new Black Panther Party calling for a bounty on George Zimmerman, instead of giving into my fear, I think of my friend. And I hope when he reads the story of the tragedy in Tulsa he does not give in to fear, but instead thinks of me.
What principalities and powers and for that matter news mongers will not do for us, we must do for ourselves.
It is we who should control the message.It is the season of Easter. In the Spirit of the Risen Lord who reconciled us to God, let us reconcile ourselves to one another. And in the Spirit of the Risen Lord whose death cleaved the Temple curtain in two so that we would no longer be divided from God, let us no longer be divided from one another.