A Call to Repentance #BlackLivesMatter #TerenceCrutcher

A Call to Repentance #BlackLivesMatter #TerenceCrutcher September 21, 2016

The above video is by a former Tulsa police chief. Please watch it for an insider’s perspective on the background and context to the most recent shooting of an unarmed black man with his hands in the air. If white people who try to justify the shooting of an unarmed man will not listen to a white former Tulsa police chief, then who will they listen to?

Posting about some other topic seems inappropriate at the moment. And so please, let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about how we bring about the kind of change needed not merely in infrastructure but in the minds and hearts of people.

Why are there people who will try to justify what the police did to Terence Crutcher? Because self-justification is our instinct rather than repentance. But this is sin, this is evil, at the heart of not merely our nation, but of individuals, and of the local communities that together make up the nation.

If you want to call yourself a Christian, and want to claim that Christianity is important to your community or nation as well, then this is an opportunity to prove it. Self-justification, self-righteousness, nationalism, boasting, arrogance, hatred, racism and any kind of despising others simply because they are different, all these things are as incompatible with Christian teaching and values as you can get. Jesus is reported to have said to his detractors, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of people, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among people is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).

The only thing a Christian can do, and still have that label mean something, when they see things like this happening around them, is to be filled with sorrow and repentance. And then to examine ourselves. And then to repent some more.

And then to set about the difficult task of building bridges, knocking down walls, and seeking to change not just what people do but how they see the world.


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  • Let’s talk about how we bring about the kind of change needed not merely
    in infrastructure but in the minds and hearts of people.

    I wish there were an easy solution. There isn’t. Racism is deeply ingrained in American culture.

    The eventual solution is for the older generation to die off. There is still racism among younger generations, but it is not as bad.

    50 years ago, this kind of event was probably routine, and we never heard about it. Now groups such as BLM are at least focusing our attention on the issue.

    In our presidential election, the racists seem to be coalescing around Trump as candidate. It is scary, the amount of support that he is getting. But that level of support does tell us how deeply ingrained these attitudes are. And no, I’m not saying that all Trump supports are racist. But, clearly, they are unwilling to take a stand against racism.

    • Al Cruise

      “The eventual solution is for the older generation to die off. ” Yes, along with the fundamentalist/religious/racist whites becoming an isolated minority in sheer population numbers and then they become a voting block that no longer needs to be catered too. Plus with good education of young people, significant change can happen within a generation.

      • jh

        Christianity needs a reformation again. And like the early sects, the Christians need to start destroying those heretical cults rather than standing with them when it comes to stuff like “religious liberty”.

        If enough Christians, and others had stood their ground and said “Religious liberty applies only to myself and not forcing my beliefs on other people. Businesses aren’t people so they don’t have religious liberty. Hospitals aren’t churches so they can’t use religious rules to mandate medical care in the name of religious rights.”, Trump and his ilk wouldn’t be part of the mainstream. They would be part of the fringe just like the UFO people.

    • jh

      I used to think that too. But the problem is that this kind of thinking is easily transmittable. Just think of Dylann Roof. He wasn’t old. But he probably came from a family that espoused the same kind of ideas that I was exposed to. It’s the little stuff that transmits how we rank black people and the children are watching and listening.

      One of the big problems is that the people who blindly defend police are too invested in their vision of “police = good, blacks = bad” world. When you say that “hey, police are behaving in ways that are very very troubling”, they feel as if they are personally attacked. Too many of them would rather believe that the black person was the problem rather than the obvious (thank god for modern technologies such as cellphones) “you claimed that you were in fear of your life so you shot somebody while they were running away

      The US needs the white majority to stop pretending that it’s a “lone isolated incident” and start treating the systemic infection that is racism in our culture. Without whites, blacks will continue to be hunted down and treated as less than human.

      • Nevertheless, there is considerably less racism among those in the 20-40 age group than among those of older generations. It’s hard to fix families that transmit racism. But there is also a lot of influence from the culture at large, which weakens that family transmission. But it takes time.

  • Michael Wilson

    I believe that “driving while black” is a real thing, but it has nothing to do with what happened to Terrence in Tulsa. Further nothing suggest that Racism plays an important part in police shootings, I don’t know how eliminating racism would reduce the number of people, black or other shot by police.

    The former Tulsa sherif has a good idea about police/community intergration and maybe that woman would not have shot that man if she were more familier with black people, but then again maybe she would. Lots of unarmed blacks being shot involve black officers.

  • Michael Wilson

    And calling this the most recent case of a black man with his hands in the air I think gives credence to the myth that Michael Brown was shot with his hands up. It is a myth, that has been proven, even Eric Holders justice department agrees. We cannot keep repeating the same lies and think lies will save lives. They don’t the truth does.

  • Mario Rousan

    Black people only care about other black people when killed by a cop or white person. Get the fuck out of here.

    • I ask that you (1) edit your comment to remove the profanity, and (2) provide some evidence for your racist assertion, which merely conveys the impression that you yourself lack care for your fellow human beings.

      • Mario Rousan

        How about the Louisiana flooding. No one gave a shit about those people except, wait for it, cops, paramedics, and firefighters. Not to mention the fact that they never protest when a black is killed by another black. At that point, it’s just another day in the ghetto.

        • I can’t imagine what you think your point is in that last comment. If police were involved in rescues after the flooding in New Orleans, it is OK if police are elsewhere shooting unarmed black men? If white people don’t protest when white people shoot white people in crime, then there would be no reason to protest if the police were shooting unarmed white people in numbers disproportionate to their population size?

          Are you just pretending to be a racist who hasn’t actually given thought to these matters, just for trolling purposes?