Son of Baldwin. You pretty much nailed it. What you’ve written here is a chilling and heartbreaking indictment, and has the potential to steal the remaining joys black people have in life … because it’s true. All I have to do is turn on my television or smart phone to see the abject hatred poured out upon People of Color. And if I want a closer examination, I need only step outside to witness, if not experience firsthand, the hatred you mention here.

But as a believer in Christ’s teachings, I believe (as Irene Brooks, one of the respondents in this thread wrote earlier) that “we are told to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Be good because good begets good.” And I, too, believe “that’s the way to go trodding down the path of life.”

Two points in Christ’s teaching that came to mind after I finished reading your article: do not cast your pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6) That extraction is a part of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. And the pearls he is speaking of is the Gospel, the Good News — which in a nutshell comes down to 1) loving God, and 2) loving one another. It doesn’t get any more pearly than that. In short, pearls don’t mean a thing to pigs. If you value them, why waste them on pigs? They could care less. If bigots don’t want to eat from that table, I’m not force feeding anyone.

The second point that came to mind is this instruction Christ gave to his disciples is this: if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. (Matthew 10:14) That seems pretty cut and dried to me. If I’m talking love, equality, equity, et al, and people don’t want to hear it and would just as soon take me out — I’m. Out. Of. There. I’m not called to endure their abuse at risk of life and limb. I’ve got my marching orders and I take them to mean that I’m to move on from those who embrace hate.

The twist that Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner’s actions saved Scalise’s life is not wasted on me either. Some might call it irony. I call it Providence. Think about it. Scalise’s life being saved by a gay, black woman? Shakespeare couldn’t have written anything better. But in the heat of the moment, I doubt she had any idea who he was or what his voting record consisted of. Officer Griner didn’t act out of a sense of duty to “save a bigot’s life.” She did what she did because it was the right thing to do. She did what did because she was the right person in the right place at the right time. Scalise simply happen to be one of several to benefit. As a result, it just so happens he will have the rest of his life to mull over this “irony.” And I’m sure those closest to Scalise are aware of this far better than you and I.

My point is this: in a crisis, I doubt any of us will have time or will choose to give thought to whether or not someone is a bigot. Life doesn’t usually work that way. Most times. Risk my life to save the life of someone who would kill me? Idunno. I’d like to think self-preservation rules the day. Everyday. 24/7.

If people choose to live a life without the benefits of love, fine. They can do it without me. And I don’t have to choose to “let” them die, drown, burn, plummet, crash, overdose, or choke … they’ve made the decision because by rejecting the most powerful force in the universe (love), they’re already fucking dead.

I don’t know, man. I don’t have it in me to wake up everyday anticipating the death of yet another bigot to die. Can a dead man die twice?

Written by

Artist, actor, author, editorial director of Our Human Family (http://medium.com/our-human-family). Connect via social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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