A Challenging Week in July

So, I’ve been off social media for a week and it looks like I’ve already missed a lot. From Lecrae to Hillary to ‪#‎AltonSterling‬. I have a few quick thoughts…

-I am grateful that this world is not my home

-I am grateful to be a part of a church that is pursuing ethnic reconciliation and diversity and is growing in their pursuit

-Social Media can be a tool to advance Truth & encourage love or a mechanism for spreading deceit and insensitivity

-If people are hurting and you don’t understand why, it is wise to remain silent and seek understanding before you speak and cause greater hurt

Lecrae – Lecrae’s comments were not divisive. They simply exposed a chasm that already existed. The simply truth is, Independence Day for an entire people group was not July 4, 1776 but rather Jan 1, 1863 (The Emancipation Proclamation). This does not mean that Americans of European decent shouldn’t celebrate the day, it just means there should be sensitivity during that celebration that it doesn’t and shouldn’t mean the same thing for everybody. I haven’t celebrated July 4th (personally) for many years now. I rejoice with those who rejoice and so I am happy to rejoice with my Anglo-American brethren who were liberated on the day. I think the problem is, the majority cultural narrative in America suggests that it is a day that should be equally celebrated by all. Lecrae challenged that majority cultural narrative and many people struggle when their worldviews challenged or exposed. This challenge manifests itself in many ways. Some have initial repulsion, some experience confusion, others denial, and others, tragically, respond with hate. Lecrae, like other minorities who have done so, is now a marked man. Minds have already been made up and everything he says will now be filtered through a certain lens.was the cost worth it? He counted it and decided it was. Me, personally, sometimes I just don’t know anymore (if I’m honest).

Alton Sterling is a tragic situation. Once again we find ourselves in a situation where the majority cultural narrative is being challenged. For many, The idea of a police officer is a public servant who is have and kind. He must be firm and strong I. Order to control situations but ultimately he is a man of the people who loves his community. When situations like this happen, and minorities begin to speak out regarding their own perceptions of police officers, that worldview narrative is challenged and many do not like it.

“How dare we challenge the majority culture’s narrative!?!?”

We challenge it because there is a minority cultural narrative that is just as much a reality for us as the majority culture’s narrative is for them. In my narrative, I feel more comfortable around a bootlegger than I do a police officer. I would rather be surrounded by nickel and dime weed dealers than walk by a squat car. There is a greater degree of anxiety when I drive by a police car than when I am driving through a thunderstorm or iced-over streets.

  • What does ethnic reconciliation require when there is such a world of difference between our perceptions? Do I require you to abandon your view of the police and embrace mine? No, nor should you require the same of me. Reconciliation is not achieved by someone who has a specific cultural narrative embracing another (though that may happen). One does not have to walk in the shoes of a minority in order to pursue reconciliation. I do not need you to walk in my shoes as much as be willing to honestly sit down with me and ask me where my shoes have been. Just hear my story. Seek to understand it. Don’t jump to conclusions and judgments about the the experiences, burdens, or motivations of ethnic peoples. In all honestly, when you do so, it hurts. 

About Kyle James Howard

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children. I have a 7 year-old daughter (Hadassah), a 2 year-old son (Jonah), and 1 year old (Kesed). I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have an Associates degree in Biblical & Theological Studies, A B.S. in Biblical Counseling, and I am finishing up an Advanced M. Div in Historical Theology. Click on the "About Me" link at the top of my home page to read my full testimony.

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