Over on the Economics that Really Matters blog, I’ve written a recap post on a subset of papers from the 2019 Midwest International Economic Development Conference (MidDev). The post is titled: “The Economics of Violence, Conflict, and Crime in Developing Countries.”
Ben Watson has always been one of my favorite all-time (non-superstar) professional sports players. Primarily due to this play…
(P.S. I STILL don’t understand how that play did not result in a touchback. Like, I don’t understand the physics. But ANYWAY.)
Ben sealed the deal for eternity with the following statement he posted on his facebook page after the events this week.
At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:
I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.
I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.
I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.
I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.
I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.
I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.
I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.
I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.
I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.
Book Review: The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence by Gary Haugen
Every Saturday, after exchanging polite Swahili greetings with the security guard, I walk the dusty and unpaved road into town. I walk past shops made from scraps of wood and torn plastic tarp. Heaps of corn kernels dry in the hot sun. Children practicing their English shout, “Mzugu, how are you! How are you?” and some run beside me begging for money. I cross the dilapidated colonial-era railroad tracks and finally make my way toward the bustling center of town to do my shopping for the week.
It has been just over a month since I’ve returned back to my life here in the States. After spending four months in Ghana through a semester with Calvin College, I am back to life, as I knew it. After living, listening, laughing, and learning in a new country, a new culture, a seemingly new world; I am back to familiarity, friends, and family. The question begs however, am I really back?