3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> Stopping the bitter root between Black America and authority

Stopping the bitter root between Black America and authority (Teaching)
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Minister Ty Alexander
(Ty Huynh)
The death of George Floyd on May 25th while he was being arrested sparked a series of protests in recent days that turned into violent vandalism, looting, and arson in Minneapolis and neighboring St. Paul. The Twin Cities neighborhoods this is happening in are areas where I have lived near and grew up in. They are typical urban neighborhoods where crime tends to be higher, but I’ve never seen protests or riots in the Twin Cities like this in the forty-some years I’ve lived in Minnesota.

Most people focus on the racial disparity this incident has inflamed, since it was a white Minneapolis officer who killed Floyd, an African American. Minneapolis’ mayor, Jacob Frey, was very quick to bring race into account in his first addresses to the news, which only inflamed the animosity. However, I see this incident as an example of unrighteous authority that is coupled with the working of sin being compounded from all sides.

Why shouldn’t we focus on the race issue when there have been many incidents of Black Americans being treated unfairly by presumably always white authority? That’s the problem – people are overblowing the black versus white dynamic when things are more complicated. In fact, statistics show that whites have been killed more by police in recent years than blacks[6.12.1, 6.12.2], and almost twice as many whites where shot to death from 2017 to 2020[6.12.1].

There were four police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest, the two most prominent in the media were the Caucasian officer who subdued and killed Floyd and an Asian American officer who stood nearby. I do not recall the races of the other officers, but the black versus white issue needs to be deemphasized and other issues need to be examined if we are to see what is important spiritually.

I have felt for some time now that the Lord has allowed the conflicts between Black Americans and authority to become exasperated so we can see the results of sin and darkness fueling itself from all sides. For police and authority, God wants its unjust judgment, favoritism, and abuse of power brought to light, while for the Black community, it is its unforgiveness and excessive arrogance, such as in keeping hate for and not submitting to lawful authority. This breaks the second greatest commandment to love everyone, even your enemies (Matthew 5:44-45; Luke 6:27-29; Romans 12:14-21) and opposes authority that God put in place for the common good (1 Peter 2:13-20; Romans 13:1-7).

I’ve seen too often people of any color, but even more so from Black Americans in these disputes with police, that retribution is desired more than anything else. However, keeping hate and unforgiveness isn’t simply unhealthy for everyone, they are sins. God said He would not forgive those who do not forgive others (Matthew 6:15) and to leave room for His vengeance. We are supposed to give every effort to be peaceable with everyone (Romans 12:18; 1 Corinthians 10:32-33; Hebrews 12:14-15; 1 Peter 3:8-12; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Mark 9:50).

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good(Romans 12:18-21).

God says have peace, forgiveness, and patience, but too many want to jump to and keep anger, hate, and revenge, which creates roots of bitterness that bring about further strife and sin (Hebrews 12:15), and keeps the cycle going. Many calls for swift criminal charges of the officers involved in Floyd’s death were made, but a county attorney for the case stated he would not rush to judgment and that there’s evidence a criminal charge is not supported against the officer who killed Floyd[6.11.1].

The attorney’s approach to carefully review all evidence and do things right is what should be expected of a good justice, as God has also said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment(John 7:24).

People in anger and hate cannot make righteous judgment with emotions, and corrupt authority cannot be just, so the Lord wants all to see what contributes to their cycle of hate, strife, and sin. You need to remove the logs in your eyes before you can see clearly, make righteous judgment, or be good examples for others (Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 6:39-42) – hate, arrogance, and unjust authority must be left behind if all parties are to heal and be blessed from righteousness.

Continuing in darkness and sin for all sides will keep those who will not change under the oppression of their fruits, so be wise in how you deal with things and remove darkness that prevents your lives of peace and blessing. Let yours and the peoples’ efforts in that be blessed through Mashiach Yeshua – Christ Jesus. Amen.
The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

(1 Peter 3:10-12)

Update 5/31/2020
On this Shavuot – Pentecost, protests and riots over George Floyd have overshadowed most news for the last week, but these things are happening and George Floyd died because cycles of sin are not being stopped.

HOW DO YOU CHANGE IT? God says, Forgive and Love everyone EVEN your enemies. Do not take revenge yourself, for He will avenge, and He hates unrighteous authority. So judge righteously, show no favoritism, and be at peace with everyone to your best ability.

Let the peoples and authority everywhere know this and be blessed in its pursuit, through Mashiach Yeshua – Christ Jesus. Amen.

Update: Comments to MPR 6/4/2020
There have been many demonstrations and riots related to George Floyd's death, and while much of it is peaceful and some positive change is happening, there are negative things happening as well. I'm not speaking only of criminals using protests and riots to destroy and steal from neighborhoods and businesses. There are important things protestors are not realizing and need to understand about how they're handling things and how they view authority and what has happened.

I was spiritually compelled to write a response to MPR newsletter comments today that addressed what I've been seeing in protests and news related to George Floyd:
MPR: Demonstrators gathered outside WCCO's office in Minneapolis to protest media bias against victims of police violence. Unicorn Riot was on the scene. If you have thoughts on this protest and issues of media coverage of police violence, I'd love to hear them. The email is cnelson@mpr.org

Ty: I have not seen much of WCCO’s media coverage, but from what I’ve seen of it, it appears to be the same as other news stations. I have also not seen any evidence WCCO or Bob Kroll’s wife, Liz Collins, who works at the WCCO location being protested have done anything with bias.

The page Unicorn Riot MPR links to does not give any evidence to support what they are protesting and from the first minute in Unicorn Riot’s video of speaking at the protest on their page, I see the speaker has bias of her own.

It is a bias I see in the black community to overemphasize what they view as bias against them, and it is no different than many other groups of ethnicity and creed who claim bias and injustice. People tend to see things with much greater negativity if it pertains to their perceived injustice when often the truth is, the bias is very much a perceptual skewing of reality.

I’m not saying there is no bias or discrimination against the black community or other ethnic groups. I am an Asian American and have had my share of discrimination and I’ve lived in urban neighborhoods, so I know what the protesters are talking about. I am saying the protesters are biased themselves and blowing up things that are not just because of prejudice against them.

For example, the woman speaking says she never saw any mug shots of white people on the news and claims that mug shots of black criminals are “immediately” shown. I’ve seen a ton of news and media in my nearly 50 years of life and I know for certain the media puts up mug shots of any suspects, no matter their race. Unicorn Riot also targets Liz Collins for being a close associate of Bob Kroll, but I’ve seen nothing that says she has bias against the black community. If they are only exaggerating things and accusing people simply out of association, then protesters are falling to the same errors of judgment they are protesting against.

The black community often emphasizes statistics of their population being “oppressed” by poverty and much lower median incomes than whites or other ethnic races, but the problem isn’t simply because of race or skin color. You cannot possibly claim that society is overwhelmingly bent against blacks and oppressing them just because of their skin color.

There have been many efforts by government and society to raise up and equalize Black America and other races over the decades that have given more opportunity, and naming a few places where there are “covenants” against blacks renting or owning property does not show that society as a whole is oppressing them. It shows there are still problems in places but not that all of America or society is against them.

Many of these protests have also tried to paint all law enforcement and government as discriminatory and oppressive, especially against the black community, but law enforcement and government as a whole is also not in the business of oppressing minorities. People, including in the black community, are stereotyping the whole with negative instances of the acts of a minority, which is something people of color often claim as discrimination against them.

As a minister of Christ, I was taught to see things in deeper ways and through spiritual eyes, and what I see is all parties are guilty – some law enforcement, like those involved with George Floyd’s killing, are guilty of excessive force, unempathetic responses, and complacency in allowing their peers to get away with abuse of power and inappropriate behavior; the black community are guilty of unforgiveness, arrogance (like not submitting peacefully to lawful authority), and adequate pursuit of peace and reconciliation (we are supposed to forgive and love our neighbors and even our enemies); while all parties are guilty of allowing darkness to lead their lives, which is a more involved topic.

This allowing and pursuit of bad things is actually what keeps many communities in their states of “oppression” or more accurately, place of little or no blessing from God. People and communities need to see what kind of values, attitudes, and pursuits they are teaching, reinforcing, and being complacent about in their families and neighborhoods, recognize what is bad, and change from it.

An example is that I saw a news report where a black leader said autopsy results showing George Floyd had meth or some other drug in his system was a “red herring” or distraction from the real issues and an attempt to smear Floyd’s reputation. However, I realize they are trying to keep people focused on what they want to achieve and are likely unwittingly showing their own prejudice and bias against the truth by dismissing there were drugs in Floyd’s system.

Not dismissing the truth is actually an important part of judging things without partiality and in seeing that Floyd’s own behaviors and values contributed to his death. I know Floyd was a man of faith and trying to build a better life, but all of us end up being held accountable for our wrongs and behaviors, whether we are saved in Christ or not. If this were not so, then Christians would be free to do all sorts of bad things and claim Christ’s salvation as a get out of jail free card for anything. The spiritual implications of sin and salvation are more complicated.

If there is to be lasting peace, healing, and prosperity for all, people need to see what they contribute to problems, change, and not just lay the blame on the other party and seek revenge. There are many places for improvement from everyone involved here.

Ty Alexander Huynh
Minister and Teacher of Christ Jesus

Update 7/15/2020
Updated 4/15/2021

On ABC World News tonight, I saw how President Trump answered a reporter that asked him why Black Americans continue to be killed by law enforcement. He replied, "So are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people. More white people, by the way. More white people."

Then to refute what the president said, the news report switched to another reporter stating that Black Americans are killed at about twice the rate as Whites. I took note of this because I quoted statistics in this article that aligned with what the president said, so I knew he wasn’t mistaken or making things up, but it made me double-check what the news was stating and I looked at more statistics from different sources.

Who is right? It turns out both are correct. When I put together numbers for the years of 2015 to 2020 from different sources[6.12.1,], the straight totals show White Americans are killed by police almost twice as much as Black Americans. Those are actual deaths.

But if you look at the per capita numbers or the “rate” that most people use to say Black Americans are being killed more often, then Black Americans are killed almost 2.5 times more often than Whites. This rate is not a body count, which the straight total is, but means Black Americans are killed more often if the count is adjusted by population for each group. When we look at this number, it also shows Native Americans had a rate very close to Black Americans in 2015 and 2016, even though their population is about ten times less than Black Americans, so you could argue Native Americans are suffering from police ten times worse than Black Americans.

This “rate” definitely shows Black Americans and even more Native Americans are being killed per capita than Whites and other ethnic groups. However, it is also misleading to only use some numbers while omitting others. It appears people have latched on to this “rate” to bolster claims of systemic racism in law enforcement and reinforce their viewpoints without examining all the facts. I’ve seen many more news reports of people only using the per capita death rate than going further and giving better details.

Statistics only give a part of a picture, as well, so we need to look deeper to try and see why the numbers are as they are. The use of per capita rates is an attempt to view the numbers differently and find the source of issues, but from what I’ve seen of the use of statistics in protests and news reports is that people often only use numbers that bolster their point of view or what they want to support.

Whether they willingly ignore further details or simply missed them is unclear, but if the world is to better to understand and correct its problems, it needs to examine things more closely and keep from stereotyping and painting only with broad strokes. People need to see things with better spiritual discernment as well, and that goes for believers as much as it does for the secular world.

Too often have I seen Christians allow anger, violence, and revenge to be their responses to injustice. I noted in the initial writing that it fuels an increasing cycle of sin and violence. Violence and angry responses that get worse on all sides, make the cycle continue until it explodes in consequences, like George Floyd's death. Violent and imprudent responses will not bring the healing and blessing our communities need. Black Panther style protests, which emphasize a show of unyielding strength and anger, have now come back from the 1960’s, but the focus on might is counterproductive in this case.

Sometimes punching the bully will end the bullying and reform them, but too many people have chosen to believe that every police or law enforcement officer is a bully out to mistreat them. This is obviously not true and is why it is a knee-jerk reaction to simply defund or abolish law enforcement and authority. And even many Christians have forgotten the New Testament commands to honor authority (1 Peter 2:13-20; Romans 13:1-7; Colossians 3:18-25). God put government and authority in place for the common good and so society would have Godly, lawful order, so when people fight lawful authority without sufficient reason, who are they truly fighting?

Instead of going overboard by claiming all authority is bad and holding disdain for it, we need to focus on the issues that are keeping cycles of sin and its consequences persisting. Curses, like death, serious illness and accidents, poverty, and loss of blessing, are very often the result of bad choices we make, so instead of continuing to keep hate, breaking the Second Greatest Commandment to love one another, and fighting problems by creating more problems, we need to look deeper, make peace, and see the sin that continues and strive to stop it.

In the case of Native American and Black Communities, they need to search for the reasons why God does not protect and bless, and why their members are having much more bad interactions with law enforcement than other communities. Their problems with law enforcement aren’t simply perceived systemic racism; the choices we make affect the choices others make. But that doesn’t mean law enforcement reform isn’t needed. There are problems that need addressing.

The police reforms for the Minneapolis PD that emphasize de-escalation of violence or use of force, I saw on the local news recently, are steps in the right direction. However, I’ve known someone in law enforcement since their first days in it decades ago, and I remember de-escalation being required in studies and training some twenty years ago.

I also noted the chief of police for Minneapolis said lack of training was not why George Floyd died; Officer Chauvin committed murder[]. It is actually a minority of law enforcement who behave as Chauvin did, with a history of excessive force, but the bullies in authority do slip by, so the Minneapolis PD’s reforms of tracking the use of force and notifying superiors of it are a necessary improvement.

I've also noted that too often authority and other groups tend to favor their own, such as law enforcement giving more leniency to wrongs committed by their officers or even ignoring wrongs completely. This has happened in the church, government, and other institutions as well, and so it perpetuates sin that should be put out, especially in places of authority. The Lord holds those in authority more accountable and judgments against them will be more severe, so whatever group or institution you belong to, remember to make righteous judgment and do not give unjust favoritism.

All sides need improvement as I noted in this article, so when you see peers behaving in ways that keep cycles of darkness going, try to address their shortcomings. None of the Beatitudes give blessing for hate, arrogance, belligerence, revenge, or violence…
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of [Christ].
(Matthew 5:3-10)
May your communities be blessed in the pursuit of peace and righteousness, through Mashiach Yeshua – Christ Jesus. Amen.

References 7/15/2020

References can be found in the Master Reference List.

3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> Stopping the bitter root between Black America and authority


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