Jeremiah Short on December 1, 2014 - 8:05 AM
NBA, NFL, Uncategorized
Jeremiah Short, Feature Columnist


What’s doing the right thing?

That’s the question I’ve asked myself the past week after the “Ferguson” grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson.

Should I incite the riot or do I calm it down? It’s really a tough dilemma for most in the Black community.

On one hand, we’re upset that another unarmed black teen was gunned down like his life didn’t matter. On the other hand, we don’t know all the full details and don’t want to make someone out to be a martyr who doesn’t deserve the distinction.  

It’s especially close to my heart–as I’ve been racially profiled and branded a criminal when I was just trying to drive home after a long night working at a newspaper. There’s nothing more dehumanizing than police dogs surrounding your car and being carted off to jail for a frivolous charge. I was exonerated and escaped with my life. Sadly, many young brothers aren’t so lucky.

Viewing Ferguson through a sports lens, I’ve been touched by the words of LeBron James and Ben Watson. Watson’s Facebook post on Ferguson was poignant and gripping. His words captured what most in the black community were feeling regarding Ferguson.

Pain. Sadness. Anger. Curiosity.

The black community does want justice for another black life lost. But they also want to know how to prevent it from happening again. Next time this happens it could be their brother. It could be their father. It could be THEM.

How do we prevent another senseless murder? UNITY.

Unity in the black community. Unity in the white community. And unity between the black and white community.

The black community must unite so that we can mobilize and push for change in a positive way. And I don’t mean by rioting. That’s destructive to our own communities and confirms a thought process that black people are animals who don’t know how to act right.

The white community must show unity, as well. They must come together and decide that they’re tired of young, black kids getting killed, too. It’s tough for some whites to empathize. But they have to if change is to happen.

Ultimately, the black and white communities need to come together and unite as one to bridge the racial divide in America. I’ll be frank in saying that I’m tired of the back and forth every time a sensitive racial topic comes across the news feed.

It’s literally always the same conversation.

Black Person: Oh, the cop was racist and killed the kid for no reason.

White Person: Oh, he was a thug who wasn’t raised right.

Black Person: Oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just defending your own.

White Person: Oh, I’m tired of y’all pulling the race card.

And it goes on for days with no resolution. No one stops and tries to figure out the real details of the situation. They just go back and forth destroying each other. I’m tired of it. Not only am I tired of it. …I’m sick and tired of it.

Everyone needs to STOP!!!

How do we unite? We unite by first starting the dialogue.

As a Christian, I feel the first place to start is in the Church. It’s been said that the most segregated place in America is the Church on Sunday mornings.  It’s unfathomable that the Christian community is so separated–especially when they’re commanded to come together as one.

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought,” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:10.

With the church community coming together as one, that would help with the second part of my plan to unite everyone: understanding.

People fear what they don’t understand. Let’s eliminate that fear and understand each other. Once the dialogue starts in the Church community and then grows into the community at large, the racial barriers will start to get broken down. That “black” friend will become a friend. That “white” friend will become a friend. We’ll start to see each other as people, not a person from another race.

Finally, I think America can unite through sport. Sport has a way of uniting people. It’s no surprise that football, the most popular sport in America, is the one that all races love. It goes beyond the field of play. Athletes have a unique ability to make people pay attention and inspire change. Articles get written when St.Louis Rams’ players hold their hands up in solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson. Instagram posts from LeBron James get reposted and shared across social media. Facebook post from Ben Watson go viral and make people think.

Sport has the power to galvanize and unite people. Unity is what we all should want. That’s the only way the racial divide will be bridged in America.

Catch me on the “SportsKrib” on Wednesday’s 8-9 Central and Thursday’s 8-10 Central. Follow me on social media @DaRealJShort or check out my facebook page JShortJournalist or my Google Plus page J.Short- Journalist.


 


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