I’m done praying for peace in Ferguson. I can’t bring myself to do it.
Not when the word “peace,” uttered by those of us who still cling to our unearned privilege, means peace for us and our kind.
— Bossy Cracka (@Junebug1952) November 24, 2014
As Marxist rulers Obama and Holder stir the pot in Ferguson,we the people pray for peace and protection over our brothers and sisters there. — Kris Held,MD (@kksheld) November 24, 2014
Not when peace means black citizens are told they must respond to yet another mockery of justice in ways the powerful and privileged deem “socially acceptable,” yet it’s somehow OK for law enforcement to come at them with tear gas and tanks and military-grade assault weapons.
Not when peace means a return to the status quo, a resumption of normalcy—that is, privilege for us and discrimination for them.
Not if what peace really means is that I don’t have to face the implications of my privilege or the pervasive reality of systemic racism. Peace, as many have noted, requires so much more than the absence of conflict.
If by “peace” in #Ferguson you mean, “That no other black bodies will be destroyed by police officers,” then by all means, pray for peace. — Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer)
“Peace” without an end to violence isn’t peace, but the silencing of dissent. Listen to voices different than yours. #evangelicals4justice
— Evangelicals4Justice (@Evangelicals4J) November 25, 2014
You want “peace” in Ferguson—by which you mean you don’t want to see any more cop cars burning on TV—but you don’t want to do anything about a system in which people have no other way to make themselves heard?
Then what you want isn’t peace. What you want is for your privilege to remain untouched.
When the privileged pray for peace—if it’s not accompanied by a commitment to justice, a willingness to lay down our privilege—then what we’re really saying is we’re OK living in a world where white mass murderers are apprehended alive, yet unarmed black teens pose such a threat that they must be shot dead on the spot.
What we’re saying is we’re OK living in a world where black male teens are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than white teenagers.
We’re saying it’s OK that blacks in Ferguson are disproportionately targeted by police—in 92% of searches and 86% of car stops—even though whites are found carrying illegal contraband far more often than blacks.
This is not peace.
As one pastor observed, it’s like trying to have the benefits of resurrection without crucifixion. Peace without justice. Reconciliation without owning up to the sin of oppression. Harmony without relinquishing any of our privilege.
It cannot be done.
Peace does not come cheap. As you watch the scene unfold in Ferguson, as you mourn (I hope) with those who mourn, do not pray for peace. Not until you’re ready to come to grips with what is necessary for peace.