State of Emergency in the Queen City : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

During the last three days Cincinatti has looked more like war-torn Belgrade or Beirut as opposed to the affectionate Queen City. It seems like only a fading memory that this city hosted the 2000 AME General Conference only nine months ago. Three days of rioting and random violence have ensued since the announcement about a young black male gunned down by a white police officer. In an effort to restore control the mayor of Cincinatti, OH has issued a curfew from 8PM-6AM. The possibility of the National Guard being dispatched is still an option. Having lived in a city [Washington, DC] which was adversely impacted by a widescale riot I know first hand the counter-productive effects of such euphemistically described "protest actions". The young man's death is a great loss and painful experience for his immediate family and friends. The irresponsible reaction of destoying property and partaking in looting in poor communities is simply inexcusable and reprehensible. Church and community leaders are exhorting calm but at the same time providing incendary comments about the complicity of the Mayor & Police Dept. You can't at the same time denounce hooliganism and curry favor with the anarchists. Let me make this perfectly clear. Demonizing the police and blaming law enforcement officials for black suffering is dereliction of duty and demagogic dialouge. My prayer is for cooler, calmer and wiser heads to prevail. QED

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001


Bill, as usual, you are on target. It is time that so-called "black" leaders realized that there is a time for everything under the sun. Blessings, Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Hotep (Peace)

What is the best to handle the situation? (white police killing Afrikan youth)? I believe the riot is also about the racial profiling that exists in this country. Fact is the riot (reaction to pain) was overdue. I don't agree the destruction of property; however, I feel the pain of the community. People react in different ways to anger. Many black leaders (for the lack of a better word) do not have the social, character nor spiritual skills necessary to "calm" the masses. They use their limited understanding which is counter productive. Also many of the leaders are preachers - -now isn't that interesting! Unconditional love means letting somone know that they are doing wrong! That includes the police. My prayer is we become more empathic of each other.

My people's problem is spiritual! We must learn to look within for answers rather than acting out. When America riots (kills women and children, destorys property, misnamed war or military aide) it is looked upon as taking care our interests or looking out for our "friends". Bill, how can we say one thing, then punish "black" people who act like barbarians (Covert operations of the US government)? Is the state any different than "black" folks? Sounds to me like we have a BAD case of double standards!

In Love and Light, Brenda

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Hi Bill,

I agree with your position that christian people must take the loftier position in regards to violence. I was shocked yesterday when I saw a preacher on television preaching that even though the violence has subsided that there is still anger. I also agree with Brenda that America has a double standard in regards to what is happening in Cincinnati. It is generally well accepted that the police kill unarmed members of the black community without consequence. Why is it that those convicts who killed a guard in escaping from a Texas prison were all returned unharmed except for the inmate who committed suicide yet an unarmed black kid is killed too often in America. As I understand it, 5 black kids have been killed since Nov 2000 and 15 in the last 15 years. I am disturbed by what my fellow christians have done in response to this violence. However, I am more incensed by America's continuing attacks upon my people. " I too sing America, I am the darker brother". Even that great disciple of peace Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that " We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we will die apart as fools".


-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

Brenda is absolutely right. It is a spiritual problem. What the leaders are doing is trying to get at the core. All they can see with the natural eye is the corruption in the police and policital arena. And that cannot be ignored, but again is not the core.

Unfortunately people act out frustration in violent ways. This is not a "black" thing. People of all races act out their frustration in some form of violent. The Columbine kids, acted out their frustration in anger. The other recent high school killings, the same. These are also spiritual issues.

Who will be the brave Christian Leader who will call a fast and ask the community to unite in prayer, seeking God's for guidance. It's amazing the power gang leaders have when calling a day of non violence. I would like to think that our Religious leaders have the same authority over our communities.

This problem in Cincinnati is not isolated, it is also our problem. I know God is aware of the injustice and descrimination and He knows just what to do. He's just waiting for us to seek his face.

For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel. In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not. Is. 30:15

God desires to save us and help us, but we must seek his face and do things his way.

All of this is not to raise a complaint against what these leaders are doing, for they do so out of a carnal/natural self. My prayer and hopefully all of our prayers is that God will raise up leaders who will boldly declare that it will be God who will deliver us and not we ourselves.

In Christ, Carmen

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

One of the bad things that come out of these situations is it opens the door to radicalism. Suddenly the radicals do not seem so radical anymore and things like violence look ok. Crazy people can be found anywhere. As long as we recognize them for who they are and hold them at arms lenth we will be fine. The danger comes when main stream people start associating with them. BEWARE groups like the Panthers and Nation of Islam. They are not of God. Christians have no business dealing with them except to try and convert them.

In Christ, Nathan Paujo

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

The urban "peacemakers" in Cincinnatti must come to grips with individual as well as collective responsibility. Actually the problem is seen in a basic disrespect for people, property and Providence. Even if someone is irreligious hooliganism still disrespects property and people. While this is not exactly fashionable among the black intelligentsia, let me kindly reiterate that the police is not the central problem for our inner city woes. Crime prevention and crime solving in our communities require law enforcement personnel. Ask yourselves the following question: Why have so many churces discontinued evening and nighttime worship services?? Quite simply the predominant reason is due to the perception about urban criminality,it is too dangerous to go out after 6PM [even after daylight savings time kicks in!!].

Who among you would be willing to enter this noble profession [police] knowing the indifference, scorn and thankless attitudes which will greet you right after graduation from the Police Academy??? While it is chic to condemn "profiling" tactics, remember that in order to apprehend suspects and bring perpetrators to justice certain data characteristics are essential. Whether we live in Cincinnatti or anywhere else certain rules are expected to be honored. One of these is to stop immediately when ordered by law enforcemnet professionals. Failure to peform this simple task can be extremely costly. Much has been made about the recent slain youth [Timothy Thomas] only having outstanding warrants for "minor" violations. While such statements are designed to leave the impression that such violations were innocuous it misses the more important question. Why weren't the officer's orders heeded?? Why give allegedly "white racist cops" a green light to use "excessive force"?? If a person is innocent does he/she have a reson to defy such orders and continue to pursue? I contend that it is better to be ARRESSTED and ALIVE than DEFIANT and DEAD. QED

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

Bill, you are right but you won't be popular. "Acting out" is for two- year-olds. Mature adults do not destroy or allow anyone else to destroy their community for any reason. It accomplishes nothing. More to say later. Blessings Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

It is very easy for us on this discussion board to sit and write about the state of affairs in Cincinnatti. But there is real pain happening in that city. I hope we will respond with prayer and compassion to our sisters and brothers in their time of need. I was raised in Cleveland Ohio and went through two riots. It is a horrible and frightening event, usually coming from years of injustice and outrage. When I was a child I too wondered why we destroyed our neighborhoods, we had to go to the opposite side of town to shop. My grandmother said "sometimes you get so tired of being beat down that you don't care anymore and you just burn everything that is near you." It will take years to rebuild in Cincinatti, both physically and spiritually. I think we need to ask our congregations to pray and pray some more! I am sure the Black churches are doing the best that they can and are weary. Let us on this board respond wi and prayer. I do not condone violence. I can only imagine the fear and disappointment that is felt by the citizens of the city. For as a child I felt it. No one wants to live under a curfew and have one's freedom restricted and wonder if you are going to be shot if you need to run to the store to buy milk. God cares about the riots in Cincinatti, and he will intervene if we go to him in prayer.

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

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