Justifying Violence

This is probably one of those Daily Jots that you are not going to like. Please just stick with me before hitting the unsubscribe button. I want to talk to you about justifying violence. Conservatives, rightly so, strongly object to Democratic leaders encouraging protests knowing full well they will turn violent, then insincerely condemning the violence or actually justifying it by saying that this is what you get when people’s voices are not being heard. I repeatedly have heard this: “Looting, burning, destroying and even killing is justified because America, and especially President Trump, has done nothing about police brutality and racism; they haven’t listened so now they must listen because it has turned violent.”

At the same time, these same people object to conservatives justifying police brutality against black people. They say every time there is a killing or serious wounding of a black by police (such as with Jacob Blake), conservatives attempt to justify the police action by saying that the victim resisted arrest, had a weapon or was going for a weapon, or had a previous record, was a bad person or some other fact that led to the violence. In these cases, which are statistically few, there is not a law on the books justifying the death sentence for resisting arrest, or for having a prior record, or for the “thought” that the individual may have had a weapon that threatened a life.

On March 4, 1873, Ulysses Grant, faced with similar challenges as today’s America, said in his inauguration speech: “The effects of the late civil strife have been to free the slave and make him a citizen. Yet he is not possessed of the civil rights which citizenship should carry with it. This is wrong, and should be corrected. To this correction I stand committed, so far as Executive influence can avail. Social equality is not a subject to be legislated upon, nor shall I ask that anything be done to advance the social status of the colored man, except to give him a fair chance to develop what there is good in him, give him access to the schools, and when he travels let him feel assured that his conduct will regulate the treatment and fare he will receive.”

During the 100-plus years after Grant’s first term in 1869, it was the Democratic Party both locally and nationally, that systematically passed Jim Crow laws that sought to replicate slavery and punish black citizens for voting and wanting a better life. Local sheriffs and police enforced these unjust laws. The vestiges of these acts inform today’s crisis. We, as Americans, cannot go on justifying this needless cycle of violence against one another. As Christ said in Mark 3:25, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Democratic leadership has corrected their historically deplorable behavior IN WORD ONLY. For they continue their charade against the black person. Conservatives must stand in the breech with empathy, accountability on what is right and just, and by not entering the same blame game as the Marxists.

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Bill Wilson

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