June 14, 2020
(1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58)
Today I am not doing a traditional sermon again. It has been a difficult week for me, but such is my life. However, let’s focus on something important.
I owe a big apology to my black brothers and sisters. Though I have never said anything publicly, I admit I often found the slogan “Black Live Matter” a bit offensive. However, I no longer do! It took something I saw online for me to straighten out my flawed thinking on the topic.
First, no, I never considered myself a racist, so that isn’t what I mean. Some very good friends over the years have been black. I was raised in a family where it was made clear that people are people regardless of their color, national or ethnic origin, social class, religion … anyway, you get the idea.
I was raised in my early years in a majority black neighborhood. As a child I was mugged once. The individual happened to be black. It was brand new watch my parents gave me. It was a Mickey Mouse watch. Needless to say I was devastated, but also scared to death to walk home from school for many months.
However, even with this incident, my view of black people did not change. My view of bad people who did bad things maybe, hahaha, but not of black people. I remember my mother telling some of the neighborhood kids (mostly Black teens) about what happened, and they tended to be very protective of me after that, because they respected my family. I was their white brother.
Anyway, to my point. Let’s put this into a similar perspective to what I saw online. I hope that anyone out there, who like me, used to say, but “All Lives Matter,” they may think twice about saying that again.
Let’s think for a second that there is a major fire and a number of homes are burned down. Obviously, that neighborhood (We will call it neighborhood “A”) is going to need some extra attention, support, monetary funds than they might normally get. Mind you, in this analogy, let’s assume that all neighborhoods get the same amount of attention, support, or monetary funds, or at the very least, appropriately distributed based on need. Yet, in this case, maybe smoke alarms and other preventive measures somehow got missed in being distributed to this neighborhood.
So, now that this neighborhood went through such a terrible loss, it now is going to need some major attention indeed! Extra resources are going to need to be distributed here, with less to the other neighborhoods for a while, so as they can rebuild. We also have to look to see how the smoke alarms and other measures somehow got missed and get that corrected. Train the ones who missed them, or whatever is needed.
So, obviously neighborhood “A” needs help right now, because something failed and we need to come together and fix it. We do this as a group, as a team, as a community – whatever way we can. Neighborhood “B” might have been suffering last year, and maybe neighborhood “Z” two years before that.
The point I am making here is this. Black Lives DO Matter. Of course, All Lives matter, but All Lives are not going through this right now – Black Lives are. They are the ones hurting and being treated as second class citizens right now. LGBTQ are sometimes the punching bags. Sometimes it is Hispanics or Islamic or Asian. You name it. But the Blacks are the one who need and deserve our attention right now.
However, we are a melting pot country. And frankly, most of us do not belong here, because we are on Native American soil. (They’re another punching bag!) It doesn’t matter who we are, the point is we are part of a country built on a wide range of people and we should really be past racism, but obviously we are not. And right now, Blacks seem to be in need of our attention and support. They are the neighborhood “A” that needs the extra attention.
It has nothing to do with the other neighborhoods not being important also right now. It merely means that they are not the ones being victimized currently. Blacks are.
Sadly, while there are various aspects of certain groups of people in America that have similar issues or have their neighborhood on fire, Blacks have had a constant struggle from the point they were forced to get on a boat and come here. There have been periods where maybe racism against Blacks may have not been as a prevalent topic as it has the past few years, but they shouldn’t have to fear their treatment or life. We shouldn’t have to keep coming back and fixing something that should be fixed by now. We fought and won their freedom, now let’s give it to them already.
So, right now, Black Lives DO Matter and they should matter to us all! They need our love and support right now. There will come a time when we need theirs. It is how life goes. So, like the parable of the Good Samaritan, let us not pass on the other side. Let us stop and make sure Black Lives Do Matter without exception.
God Love You +++
++ The Most Rev. Robert Winzens
Pastor – St. Francis Universal Catholic Church
San Diego, CA
We are beggars in great time of need. Please help!