Stop Hating

By Dr. Robin D. Holland

I’ve been very prayerful and watching very carefully the events in Ferguson, MO as well as some of the events around our country. I am aware at the time of this writing of the clearing of the officers involved in the Eric Garner
case who died while police was arresting him in a choke hold in New York and also the tragic passing away of 12-year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland Ohio; shot by police while possessing an Airsoft toy gun. I am also aware of the senseless shooting of, 22 year old John Crawford in Beaver Creek, Ohio in a Dayton area Walmart. John was killed while carrying a new BB gun for sale in the store. I wanted to come to you and just share with you what I’ve prayerfully come to some conclusions about concerning the need for policing reform and also sensitivity training with law enforcement as well as educating the public in engaging law enforcement. I recently shared with our congregation at one of our services some of these thoughts; more specifically the dealing with the Ferguson Missouri situation with Michael Brown. I know that there are different sides of this story and I know that people have strong feelings on both sides of this story or multiple sides of this story but I’d like to keep it focused on the facts and I’d like to keep it focused on scripture; as well as policing reforms that are needed in America.

I have been in meetings with the chief of police, the District Attorney of Adams County and Arapahoe County, and with the city manager. I’ve done my research, because one of the reasons we are in this predicament is because we have been reacting rather than responding.

After doing my research, a couple of things come to mind. The first thing is that there are some things that we can learn from this particular incident. However, I am offended that people have suggested that this incident is in any way, shape or form connected to the Trayvon Martin travesty.

Trayvon Martin was on his way home after paying money for Skittles and iced tea. His only crime was wearing a hoodie in the rain, while being black. I know that there are atrocities in our nation and I know that life isn’t
fair and yes, I know there are over-zealous policemen who are biased against people of color. But if we are to further our agenda, against racial bias of law enforcement, we need to pick a legitimate case. The Michael Brown case is not a legitimate case. It is not legitimate for a lot of reasons.

First of all, what got us all upset is the report stating he was shot in the back, on his knees with his hands up, and was surrendering, when he was executed. What forensic evidence and what the eyewitnesses have said under oath are different from that report. We have no evidence that he was shot in the back and we have no evidence that his hands were up. We have no evidence that he said “Don’t shoot.” Witnesses who asserted this account recanted their testimony; when under oath.

One of the things that we can learn from this is:
Your judgment is impaired and your decision making is unstable, so you do things you don’t normally do. In Genesis 1:28 we see, God has given us dominion over all the earth
and He told us to subdue it. Why are we going to surrender our dominance over all the earth? Why are we going to surrender our control to plant life in the form of cannabis? In the state of Colorado a blood THC level of 5 nanograms/ml is considered under the influence. According to toxicology reports, Michael Brown had 12 nanograms/ml of Delta -9-THC in his bloodstream, more than double the under the influence amount. I don’t care if it is legal. Just because it is legal doesn’t mean it’s right!

Pay for what you want. If you can’t afford it, leave it alone. You see, these lessons have been lost in all the rhetoric. According to Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael Brown in the convenience store, it was not their intent to rob the store. Dorian Johnson testified that he had planned to pay for the cigarillos, but Brown reached over the counter and grabbed them.

The police already have the upper hand. They have deadly force. The street is no place to plead your case. Get out of that situation as safely as you can and then handle your business in court like somebody with some sense.

Now where are you going to shop? Now where are you going to go to the hair store? You know we NEED hair stores. Nobody will want to build there anymore because the first thing we want to do is use something like this as an excuse and do what we feel out of anger, which is not what God taught us to do. That is why the Holly Shopping Center and The Dahlia Shopping Center have never come back. Store owners refuse to build there again, because trust was lost between the grocery store & the community.

In Matthew 5:43 the word of God says, “You’ve heard that it has been said that you should love your neighbor and hate your enemy but I say unto you love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.” I have even heard preachers say “prayer is good, but…” I don’t see a “BUT” in my Scripture! We are not the first generation of African Americans to be persecuted. Are you kidding me? We’ve been through this before. Dr. King has taught us how to go through this.

The Scripture continues, “that you may be the children of your father who is in heaven, for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love them who love you what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brother only what do you more than others? Do not even tax collectors also? Be ye therefore perfect even as your father in heaven is perfect…”

Continue reading from digital, print editions in bold in the following paragraph

If we are Christians, if God has given us His heart and His spirit, there is no justification for torching police patrol vehicles. Not only that, but you just burned up some of your tax dollars. Next time around your levy is going to go up and you are going to spend more on property tax because that’s your tax dollars you just burned up. Instead, we need to learn how to love and perhaps we need to take a lesson from the children. Children at a Ferguson, Missouri rally were holding signs that read “You matter,” “Free hugs,” and “Smile, you are beautiful.” Somebody raised these children right. Somebody has told them that God needs to fight your battle.
Somebody has taught them not to go and burn up somebody’s store whose life savings is in that store, but we are to honor others.
We’ve got to act on what we hold true.

Do not act out of hate because that is not of God. Acting out of love is God. Our hearts are saddened over the retaliation killing of two police officers in New York and one in Florida within hours of each other. Enough already!

I’ve been asked if I oppose rallying. Don’t rally to justify what someone did on his own. Right is right and wrong is wrong. If this guy was white there wouldn’t be anybody of color in the streets protesting. I believe that. In fact, if he was white we wouldn’t have even heard it on the news. God has taught us that the color of our soul is no color and he is coming back for our souls.

Some of you may say, “Well, Pastor, you are selling out.” Shut up. Nobody is selling out. You don’t know what I’ve been through. You have got no idea what life was like growing up in Youngstown, Ohio. You have no idea. But you know what?

It is unfortunate that Michael Brown died that day. Anytime there is a loss of life there is regret. But learn the right things from it. Yes, I know you’re frustrated. There are times when I get frustrated.

The news media released a picture of a crying young boy hugging a motorcycle police officer. His mother shared that the officer asked him why he was crying. The young man said, “Because I’m afraid of you.” The motorcycle cop said “I see a sign that says you are giving away free hugs. Can I have one?” And the officer hugged him. Saints, that is where it starts.

Join the Discussion