Truth that is greater than a gun (letter)
My response to the words in a recent letter to the editor — “I want to live in a loving (safe) country…in the wake of our most recent heartbreak at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston” (Saturday, June 20) — is more than getting rid of guns. If that was the answer, change the U.S. Constitution to prohibit all guns from the people, the cops and the military.
Truth, greater than any gun, mandates going beyond “bullets” of naiveté from voices of indulgence, entitlement, affluence, comfort and convenience. It involves the recognition that white is black and black is white by living inclusively together as human beings, flawed but free, free to lay our lives down for each other in the midst of a world hell-bent on destruction.
When l was in seminary, my closest friends/brothers were training for the AME ministry, and my best-loved professors had marched with Dr. King in Selma. Just last week, I felt compelled to drink my coffee outside on the sidewalks of Frisco — each of two days — for two hours and count the number of African Americans passing by. I watched as hundreds of people enjoyed their leisure; only one of them was black.
Page A28 of the June 20 edition of the Summit Daily stated that the families of the Charleston 9 had forgiven the shooting suspect in court. That “weapon” of forgiveness was neither premature nor superficial. It was forged out of the suffering and pain of slavery and a black culture grounded in the only truth that can truly set us free — truth going back over 2,000 years to a man crucified and dying not for himself but for us whose words still echo through the halls of time and eternity: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
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