Lord, I Prayed A Crazy Prayer This Morning…

What kind of crazy world is this where I can without any pre-thought or planning, during the course of my morning prayers, pray that a former student and her husband don’t get pulled over by the police. He is a Marine veteran, and she is a college administrator; and to my knowledge they don’t engage in anything that even comes close to criminality. And yet I fear that they could be stopped on their holiday trip by police and I am afraid for them… Although always very polite and respectful, this is a young lady who did not hesitate to tell her principal what she thought (whether he wanted to hear it or not! :-) And so, would she feel she had that same amount of rights, respect and freedom with a police officer? I wondered and worried… “Please, don’t go near the speed limit”, I texted her…What I did not text: “And if you are pulled over by the police keep that brilliant mouth of yours closed!” Oh, my life (thinking of Ralph Ellison), as an “Invisible Man”, and our lives as Invisible people!
I thought that they could be stopped, not because of the content of their very good characters, but rather because of the color of their skin. In the end it is our skin color (linguistically speaking, an odd source of invisibility); that which we cannot change or hide, which first announces our presence, before we get a chance to speak, or reveal who we are under that skin. It is our skin color that will mark us for possible ill-treatment and/or death, and confine us to very little hope and expectation for receiving justice, even if the agents of the law act improperly in killing us.
Why am I, an American, praying such a prayer for other Americans?
Martin Luther King once said that: “Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in this nation”. Well, perhaps Sunday morning waking up prayer time, is the hour when God must hear the most segregated prayers of the day. For He must hear people like me who have included: “Black friends, family members or former students, not stopped by the police”, as part of their “traveling mercies” plea.
Yesterday’s legal lynching in Ohio surely confirms the necessity for such a prayer. Two unarmed Black men were bullet-lynched by police officers who have sworn to serve and protect the white citizenry from the enemy Black community. The judge (a solid member of said White citizenry); did his own version of serving and protecting his own; he enthusiastically proclaimed that you can print all of the T-shirts you want with the words: “Black Lives Matter!”, but I get the chance to rule in my court, that Black lives don’t really matter. It seems that the only chance a police-murdered Black man has to receive a chance at justice is to be killed in Baltimore, and therefore have a state’s attorney (Marilyn Mosby) who is actually going to challenge police criminality (and even she is under serious attack from both the liberal-center-conservative “objective” news media.) But it is impossible for every Black person in America to arrange to be mistreated and/or murdered by the Baltimore police; and so where does that leave us? With a list of terrible choices:
Death comes if you run,
Or if you don’t run;
hands up shot, hands down shot,
in the back, or in the front,
inside a car, or outside of a car,
you will be harmed, armed or unarmed.
And so, (you can pick more than three, but you must pick at least three!)
Pick your preferred mode(s) of death and injustice. (Pick 1 is mandatory)
Pick 1: “Choke hold”, 137 bullets or a seat-beltless “rough ride”.
Pick 2: The investigations that don’t have any serious intention of really investigating.
Pick 3: the not so grand juries who “ham it up”, (deliberate for appearance purposes only.)
Pick 4: the grand jury ham/sham show conducted and led by an indifferent and/or less than enthusiastic prosecutor who does not see you as the public he is charged to defend.
Pick 5: An “objective” news media; task with turning the victim into a familyless-friendless villain, a nonperson, hinting that they are worthy of their death, and not worth the effort of a real investigation. And of course they must turn the murderous event into an act of valor; humanizing the police officers.
Pick 6: A jury of the murdering police officer’s peers and prayers, upholding their sworn oath to prejudice and subjectivity.
Pick 7: A hanging judge in a hoodless white robe dyed black, (for appearance purposes only.)
Pick 8: The obligatory DOJ investigation; but in the end there is no hope of Union Troops being sent to protect the Black citizenry.
This is when a choice is no choice,
a chance is no chance,
it is when the hope of justice is without hope.
When all we have are expanded traveling mercy prayers and protest,
but not a hint of the protection of the law.
Who will protect you from the law makers acting as law breakers?
Perhaps the NAACP should start hanging those banners again:
“A Man Was Lynched Yesterday”;
only add: “Alleged to be an American”