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Between the lines of the Baltimore riots

There is more than meets the eye about the unrest in America. |


The violence, arson and looting of the Baltimore incident have been widely publicized. Nevertheless, between the lines, the events in Baltimore speak about history, pain and a lack of love.

Addressing the Issues

Baltimore is not really about Freddie Gray. It is about the legacy of maltreatment of African Americans from slavery to today. It is about the marginalization of and disregard for the poor in the United States. It is about a legal and social system that is controlled by a minority and only benefits a minority. Unfortunately, these issues continue to only be either partially addressed or entirely denied, contributing to much of the chaos the U.S. is experiencing.

A Common Response

In the rioting we see an externalization of pain. The majority of the rioters and protesters in Baltimore are African American, and this group has developed a rightful sensitivity to incidences reminiscent of injustice and inequality. A common response to such incidences is rage. Dr. Kenneth Hardy describes rage as a complex emotional response to degradation, devaluation and suppression that accumulates over time. Rage is so much more than anger — it is not always explosive. Both the rioters and the protesters are enraged. However, they are coping with this rage differently — some through social activism and others through destruction. Yet, at the root of it all, what we are seeing is unprocessed and dismissed pain in a group of people.

The Disconnect

What is even greater is the spiritual significance of recent events. Baltimore is merely an example of how American society lacks love. It is easy to identify the lack of love displayed by the citizens and police in Baltimore, but how do you respond to events like the Baltimore riots? Did you say hate filled words, condone the violence, refuse to acknowledge the wrongs of all involved or were you indifferent? All of these actions are unloving, the latter being what Christians are most commonly guilty of. Indifference occurs as a result of being unable or unwilling to see the similarities between your plights and the plights of others. The less we are able to see how we are similar, the more disconnected we become and the more we work against God’s plan of reconciliation. It can be easy to fall into a pattern of indifference, especially when you feel disconnected from the problems of others by distance and/or group identification. Nevertheless, we as Christians are called to uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed, but not just the poor and oppressed abroad. If we cannot show love in our own nation, are we really able to show love to people in other nations? I encourage you to search your heart for indifference or other unloving behaviors.

The Real Battle

There is so much more in between the lines of every current event. As scholars, let us search for truth and fight for justice. Above all, remember the real battle is not against flesh and blood.

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Dan Jones

    Dear Aundria, you rail against the " legal and social system" but did you know that Baltimore is in the hands of an African-American mayor, police chief, district attorney, and a mostly black city council. It has been under the control of Democrats for decades.

    Whe you talk about " The degradation,devaluation, and suppression " of blacks in Baltimore , do you know that those terms describe the way blacks treat other blacks. The black on black crime is degrading, devaluative, and suppressive. And the chronic drug dealing that destroys a community.
    The black gangs destroy black communities not just in Baltimore but in Chicago and other cities.

    Black communities often devalue life not just in the killings of black on black homicide but also in the abortion of the unborn. Black abortion rates are terribly high but little is said about that. This is another example of the devaluation that is talked about.

    Did you know that about 1/3 of young black men are on probation, parole, or in jail. The black dropout rate among African-Americans in high school is almost 50percent.

    Did you know that the illegitimacy rate in the black community is about 75 percent? What kind of an affect does that have on the community when there is an absence of dads in the community? I will tell you. It is devastating!!!!!

    It is so easy and so comfortable these days to attack the white man for all the problems in the black community these days but is is terribly wreckless and irresponsible to do that. Why take responsibility when you can find a scapegoat. I believe your article could have been written by JesseJackson or Al Sharptons. They never take individual responsibility.

    It is imperative for the black community to stop blaming everyone but themselves. The rap culture that has been embraced by so much of this community has been devastating. Cap a cop , beat a bitch, and slap a ho as well as the crude sexual lyrics have undermined a whole community.

    Facts are difficult things sometimes. We are a culture that won't state the facts because it might offend someone or cause hurt. The political correctness that abounds at secular colleges has infected the pages of Christian Colleges like Biola. This infection doesn't allow for a search for the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts and it is so difficult to embrace because feelings will be hurt. We used to call this tough love.

    I'm sorry if this is a little blunt but I'm so tired of Christian College newspapers allowing groups to perpetually play the victim card. We do a disservice to the black community by allowing these assertions

    Whether it is Baltimore or Detroit or Chicago . The black community needs fathers. 75 percent illegitimacy rate will kill a community and kill a nation.WE NEED FATHERS !!! May 17, 2015

  2. jerry lewis

    Dan, u lack understanding. June 1, 2015

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