This week’s tragic mass shooting at Uvalde has, of course, engendered a broad range of responses.
As expected, the two major political parties come to widely divergent views on the best way forward. I know taking a strong position placing restrictions on the right to bear arms would be a non-starter for many. I respect the time-honored rights of Americans to bear arms.
I personally have never possessed a firearm and do not expect I ever will. My brothers and I did not grow up with a gun in the home. We did so while living in the deep inner city of a crime-ridden Chicago. In fact, while very young, someone broke into our home, and yet my father, to the best of my knowledge, never contemplated purchasing a firearm for protection.
My view, my father’s view, was not, and for me, is not a question of right or wrong. Gun ownership comes down to personal convictions. I fully respect and affirm those who choose to possess firearms legally.
So, I will defer from commenting on the best course of action to negate further acts of mayhem other than that stating I believe violations of whatever gun laws are in effect should be capital offenses with a streamlined appeal process, so it does not take twenty years or longer to execute someone convicted of a capital offense.
Today, I write about the very lamentable Tweet from former POTUS Barack Obama. Lamentable is probably not the best descriptive that one can employ for former President Obama’s decision to interject the murder of George Floyd into the public discourse in the immediate aftermath of the nineteen students and two adult teachers murdered in Uvalde but I will stay with lamentable for now.
While Dr. Albert Mohler (President of my seminary [Southern Baptist Theological Seminary], as just one respectful example, graciously chose to refrain from commenting with respect to the grieving families in Uvalde, President Obama took to Twitter to Race–Hustle.
Immediately I know I need to define the perojative term Race-Hustle. I like this definition I found at https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Race+Hustler&=true
A term coined to describe those individuals of a particular race who project themselves into the media spotlight as spokespersons whenever there is an alleged racial incident that involves their race. The use of the word “Hustlers” included as a part of the term, also implies that these individuals exploit a racial situation to serve their own interests.
While Dr. Mohler expressed wise and loving sensitivity to the grieving parents, President Obama chose to invoke the name of George Floyd of all people into the conversation.
President Obama Tweeted,
As we grieve the children of Uvalde today, we should take time to recognize that two years have passed since the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer. His killing stays with us all to this day, especially those who loved him.
Sadly, many of the social influencers in the AA community are one-trick ponies. There is never an event that is not indicative of some sort of oppression by others. It makes no difference that George Floyd was legally high on fentanyl, had just attempted to pass counterfeit bills and brazenly disobeyed lawful police orders.
It makes no difference that Michael Brown recklessly charged a police officer after first striking the officer in Ferguson.
It makes no difference that Jacob Blake was a career criminal who physically assaulted a female as well as disobeyed a lawful police order to stop in Kenosha.
Why are we choosing to make Civil Rights heroes out of despicable men no sane thinking woman would want as her next-door neighbor?
For me, that is the great irony of our [heroization] (I am making up a word here) of these individuals that our Race-Hustlers are all too happy to exploit for their own economic gain.
I was surprised to read an astonishing quote from Booker T Washington where he laments the Race-Hustlers of his day:
There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs—partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. I highly recommend Robert Woodson’s book Red, White and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race-Hustlers. The Washington citation comes from this book.
Take Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They have made themselves a lucrative career exploiting the disenfranchisement of People of Color. You see, there really is nothing new under the Sun. Just like King Solomon wrote in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Jackson, Sharpton and a growing numbers of Race-Hustlers get rich yet tell me what positive change has resulted from their public posturing.
The high school dropout continues to soar
Teen pregnancy grows higher every year
Our major cities are practical war zones each weekend.
Name any human capital marker, and you see nothing but regress. The only thing moving in the positive direction is the bank account of the Race-Hustlers.
These past few days were not a time to gain political currency, be it from the Right or the Left. These past few days were a time to grieve and thank God your child is safe.
I thought of my grandson, Malachi, who is not yet school age, but he will be in a short few years. I reminded my daughter to be ever so thankful that God has watched over Mr. Malachi and to say a prayer for the parents who will never see their little ones go to bed another evening.
Like Dr. Mohler, I would have hoped that President Obama would have used his enormous and far-reaching platform to express sorrow for the loss of life, not to interject the life of a person who was a cancer and a menace to society.
I am afraid many of us fail to take the words of Jesus Christ seriously when He admonished Peter that those who lived by the sword would perish by that same sword.
In other words, George Floyd reaped what he sowed. Make no mistake, what that police officer died when he stood on Floyd’s neck was deplorable, and he will stand before God and give a full accounting, but George Floyd brought that action upon himself in this regard: if he obeyed the initial police instructions, he is brought to the precinct, booked for passing a counterfeit bill and then has his day in the court. Still in trouble but alive.
If Michael Brown complies with a lawful order, he is not shot. Still in trouble but alive.
If Jacob Blake complies with a lawful order, he is not shot. Still in trouble but alive.
Why does President Obama never speak about this truth? I know he raised his two daughters first, to never to place themselves in such wanton positions.
But surely, if confronted by the police, I know Barack and Michelle have taught their two girls to obey the authorities.
No politician could ever publicly state otherwise, so why we do we suspend common sense and lionize the George Floyds of the world.
I’ll tell you why. Two words: Race-Hustling.
It pays and does so handsomely.
As always, let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.
With fear and trembling,
Ricky Verndale Kyles Sr. DEd.Min