Author’s note: This was written before I had any knowledge of the murder of Philando Castile, which is why he is not mentioned.
Another day in America, another unlawful, unnecessary, unwarranted state execution of a black man. This time his name was Alton Sterling and he was murdered by the Baton Rouge police, who were responding to a call about a man who (supposedly) had a gun and was selling CDs outside of a convenience store.
Here are the facts about the victim: according to the police, Sterling did have a gun at the time (Louisiana, by the way, is a concealed carry state). If we take the police at their word (which I most certainly do not), that gun would have been illegal as Sterling was a felon. Sterling’s criminal history dates back to the 1990’s and includes charges for battery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and “carnal knowledge of a juvenile.”
Alton Sterling was also a father (if you want to cry, you can watch Sterling’s 15-year-old son break down in tears while his mother discusses the killing here). He was a friend of the owner of the store where he was killed. He was a provider for five children who will now grow up without a father (but no, totally, it’s a lack of Christian values that’s destroying the American family).
It wasn’t long before sites such as Blue Lives Matter (shudder) began posting their propaganda, as well as plastering Sterling’s criminal past all over the internet. According to the official story they parrot, Sterling reached for a gun in his pocket while pinned down by two officers, which is why they had to shoot him six times at point-blank range.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
By the way, this video is extremely disturbing, but you should watch it. I want you to see what it looks like when a man is killed.
So it’s clear to me that the idea of Sterling reaching for his gun here is actively ludicrous. They would have you believe that as he lay there, two full-grown police officers on top of him, a pistol pointed directly at his chest, he thought to himself, “You know what? I got this,” and reached for his gun, like an action movie star.
Nobody – I repeat, nobody, is that stupid or insane. There is no evidence based on any of the videos we have that this is the case, and the owner of the convenience store where this happened said that Sterling’s hand was nowhere near his pocket.
Now, whenever something like this happens (and it happens all too frequently, as the black community knows very well), the white, conservative “Christians” that make up the FOX News audience come out of the woodwork to declare that the victim was a criminal and probably deserved it, and that if you don’t want to be shot, you shouldn’t commit crimes (like shoplifting cigars, or owning a gun (but I thought they loved the second amendment?)) and, of course, that BLUE LIVES MATTER (or All Lives Matter, but I think that phrase has fallen into disuse because it still implies that black lives do matter).
Well, she’s right. It is a radical political agenda.
Do you know what else is a radical political agenda? The Kingdom of God.
Jesus of Nazareth founded a movement grounded in social justice and radical egalitarianism. When he ate with sinners and tax collectors, or encouraged women to sit with the men at dinner, it wasn’t because he was just a nice guy. It was a conscious, premeditated, prophetic demonstration against the “traditional family values” of the ancient Mediterranean world in the microcosm of a family meal where the paterfamilias and his sons ate first, the women later, and the slaves or servants last of all.
When Jesus was confronted with a Gentile woman who asked for the same miracles that Jesus had come to bring “To the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” he called her a “dog” which essentially amounts to a racial slur. Upon hearing her marvelous reply (“But even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their master’s table”) Jesus has a change of heart and heals the woman’s daughter, thereby breaking down all racial barriers within the Kingdom.
When Jesus looked around at his world and saw violence, injustice, and oppression by the hands of the State, he created a nonviolent socio-religious movement with the aim of confronting those in power, challenging the violence they used to oppress his people, and subverting the “traditional values” of the time. For his trouble, he was executed by the State.
Just like Alton Sterling, and thousands of others before him.
Continued on next page…