Guest Pastor Leon Benjamin. This podcast is designed to invite conversations around the Christian faith. Pastor Ellis rightly divides the word to reach and teach…
I understand the message of non-violence…but I must say, this is the type of thing that begs for violent response to endless terrorist aggression. All of these white killers, cop killers, family killers who don’t kill themselves, mall shooters, movie shooters, church shooters, and on and on- they all make it alive to face trial.
But our babies can’t play in the park. Our young fathers can’t walk down the steps at their own apartment, or shop for toys for their babies at WalMart. Our youth can’t walk home from school, or sleep safely through the night. Our elderly can’t sit at home and watch tv, minding their own business- even in their 90’s!
Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Dakota Bright, Pearlie Golden, Ayanna Jones, John Crawford and thousands of others in the last 5 years alone.
In my opinion and from study I find that the only way non-violence works is if:
#1, your oppressor gives a damn or has any humanity at all. Ours does not. Not for his own babies, which he poisons and outright murders 24/7..so he will never feel the lives of our babies means anything.
#2, non-violence only works if we have autonomy, and do not have to go to work for and within the system of oppression everyday just to eat and live indoors. Since it should be obvious at this point that black folks are not very serious about boycotting ANYTHING, scaling back spending in ANY significant manner, drawing away, or at all coming out from the midst of even the most atrocious, unsustainable and straight up SICK minded aspects of American culture/society.. I think at this point we can accept the truth is that we will not achieve autonomy in this or any generation in the near future, unless we have a complete about face as a community, and begin to value ourselves, our culture, our dollars and our gifts/talents. Once we begin to use these things for our own upliftment and stop carrying the dominant culture/white supremacy on our backs, we will be a step closer to knowing and believing in a reason to protect ourselves and our interests, by any means necessary.
#3 non-violence only works if we can establish deep and unbreakable bonds of support from international allies, who do not just pity our situation- but truly value us as a people and appreciate our culture…and to some degree or another, can benefit from our resources. Nations practice the exchange of resources as far back as any history is written.The black nation however, has no resources other than our sexuality, our music/entertainment and our hard labor. We do not control any natural resource, nor do we have any say so in how any natural resources are traded or valued on any markets of commerce on the planet earth. Even in Africa, the resources that African figurehead Billionaires are attached to- they trade directly through and at the discretion of contracts given to them by white men. As we saw with OPEC dropping prices recently- Nigeria fell completely off the US oil import radar. Even as multi-billionaires, blacks are totally and completely expendable. Who will we establish mutually beneficial relationships with? In trade and commerce, or to help provide security for our ally nations- how can we promise to do this with any other nation, when we will not do it for ourselves?
#4 non-violence only works when you actually have a real and actionable threat of violence to back it up. Its like Malcolm showing up in the same city as MLK..not even having to be in his presence, but just hanging back in the shadows, so that the negotiations go better than they would if the folks who are ready, willing and able to bust caps weren’t there in the background, ready to show how dedicated they are to the cause of liberation. True Freedom or Death warriors.
#5 when you hit a bully in his mouth, at least now he has a legit reason to be fighting you. Now he has to fear for his life to, and history has proven to us that at least some of the time, righteousness wins over great numbers and bigger guns. People love the story of the Spartans, The 300- and Bible scholars know about Gideon and King David slaying his thousands and tens of thousands… but the black man of today must be somehow irretrievably discomfitted and left without any recourse, because he has no hero among his ranks- none who would take a stone in sling and lay the giant out. There must be none who has a right relationship with his Creator among us, because great men of past generations, facing much greater odds, simply looked to the hills from whence came their help and they put the God to the test, saying simply, “if you will be for me, then who can be against me?” and they struck a blow for liberation which could not be taken back. No half measures, which is only disbelief.
I’m sure there is all sorts of rhetoric and reasoning that can technically disprove my musings here.. but life is more than a technicality. My being alive or dead is not a theory, nor is the life of my son, or yours. Our daughters and our women deserve security, even if it makes some of our so called friends turn away from us. If they are not willing to protect us, or somehow they have convinced themselves they are unable, then what place have we for more cowards and the multipliers of impotence among our already feeble ranks?