You Know What’s Wild? On Being Black and Christian in Amerikkka

You know what’s wild? How do I reconcile being a Christian and Black in today’s world, specifically the USA? I want to have godly love for all but people don’t have love for me because of the color of my skin. I know you are reading this thinking, “Jasmine who doesn’t love you because you’re Black? Shame on them. We love you!” Here’s the thing, as a Christian, I’m my brother and my sister’s keeper. That means when you don’t speak up for my Black kinfolk when they’re killed in the streets, then you don’t really love me. It means if you can’t feel the weight of “I can’t breathe” from the voice of a Black man pinned between the ground and a White cops knee, you can’t love me. When a black woman is killed in her own home because the police showed up to the wrong house and you have nothing to say, you don’t love me.

There are too many injustices and opportunities for you to love my Black Jesus loving skin and yet you fail. So, I’m having a hard time loving you back. It’s not petty, I’m human. I feel enraged. I am angry. I want to flip tables proverbially and literally. I want to throw caution to the wind and protest. I want to walk outside my home and feel safe. But I don’t. I want to walk around the block for exercise but I feel paralyzed by fear. But God has not given us the spirit of fear. So, I drop that fear and begin to think other things. I begin to think about all of the times I wished I had your life and your privilege. What would I have done with it? Would I have squandered it away for me and mine? Would I have killed you to assert my authority? Would I justify my actions by quoting scripture? Would I call you thugs, and savages? Would I say that you were animals?

I want to honor the God in me by being a person of peace and love. But you don’t love my Black body. You don’t love my daughter. You don’t love my brothers. You don’t love my cousins. You just keep killing us. Lynching us in whatever way you see fit: in prisons on death row for crimes we didn’t commit, in streets with our hands up, in our cars as we reach for our wallets, and under your knees.

You just keep killing us and I don’t know how to love you and watch my people die. At some point, Jesus flipped tables and protested the ills of his day and time. And as you can see, we have already begun doing the same. If you love me, you’ll support us. You’ll speak up for us. You will use your power for good and not more evil. If you love God the way you say you do, you will help us carry this cross until systems are overturned and the kingdom of God reigns on earth as it reigns in heaven.

You know what’s wild? I’m Black and Christian in Amerikkka and I’m finally figuring out how to free myself from your noose.

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