Killings of Black Boys and Men

A Prayer for Ferguson, Michael Brown’s Family, Unity and Justice

Michael Brown's Murder

(Photo Credit: Slate)

Father God in the name of Jesus,

Right now, I ask that you would comfort and strengthen the family and friends of Michael Brown. You are the only one who can heal them in the places where they’re broken. They’ve been living with the reality Michael Brown died an unnecessary death. Darren Wilson allowed anger and disregard for Black life to result in the murder of Brown. Lord, only you can change the heart of Darren Wilson and all those like him who don’t value Black life. I ask you to change the hearts of people who don’t value Black life. Transform all hearts to love Black life. Have Wilson to turn himself in and confess his wrongdoings to the authorities. While many people will not believe that this will happen, everything we place in your powerful hands can be done.

Justice has not been served in the Michael Brown case. Lord, I ask you to bring swift justice in the Brown case. Let the people across the nation know that this “open season” on Black males is over. For those who are protesting in response to this injustice, give them hope that a brighter day is coming. Use the efforts of the protesters to engender and implement serious reforms regarding policing, beginning with a mandatory requirement that all police officers wear body cameras.

Jesus, you are the true answer to injustice. All of the best ideas in the world are inadequate without you. America needs an outpouring of love. Let what’s going on in Ferguson become the catalyst for life-changing love. People must understand that at the root of racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice is sin. Those without Salvation need to come to you Jesus and repent. Without you Lord, they are living in darkness and don’t have a true understanding of goodness.

We need unity in this country, but the senseless killings of Black boys and men across the nation will not promote unity. On this Thanksgiving, I ask that you unite the American people. We’re stronger as a nation when we’re united.

The voices of those who are protesting in Ferguson deserve to be heard and respected. Let their voices be heard and respected. Give the Brown family peace on this day. Let the family know that you’re still in control. Peace will come when justice prevails.

Again, Lord, bring your swift and righteous justice.

I ask all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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3 Benefits of a National Conversation about Black Males and Police Power

Police Abuse of Power

(Photo Credit: Ripp Dem Up)

Too many Black male lives are being lost at the hands of White police officers abusing their power.  The lives of Black boys and men matter.  Their lives matter enough to have a serious national discourse about how their lives are increasingly threatened by abused police power.  Democrats, Republicans and Independents must genuinely participate in this national conversation.  Police officers are charged with the noble responsibility of protecting and serving the American people—not doing unlawful harm to them.  Black boys and men are Americans and deserve the same equal and quality protection and service that every American has a right to enjoy.  Many White police officers, however, haven’t gotten the memo about their responsibility to apply justice equally and fairly among all Americans, including Black boys and men.  Clear thinking Americans must call for a national discourse to take place about abused police power and its impact on Black boys and men.  What follows is a list of three of many benefits of having a national discourse about the problems with many police officers abusing their power when interacting with Black boys and men.

1. Increase Confidence in Police Officers in Minority Communities

If more confidence in police officers is to emerge from minority communities across the nation, then an authentic national discourse about police abuse of power must take place.  Many racial and ethnic minorities want the nation to hear their voices about how they lack faith in numerous White police officers’ willingness to serve and protect them.  Many minorities posit that police officers are out for their destruction.  This hostility that exists between many in minority communities and the police can only be positively addressed by having a genuine national discourse about it, and then implementing policies at the local, state, and federal levels to respond to credible problems.

2. Dramatically Reduce the Number of Senseless Police Killings of Black Males

Again, the lives of Black boys and men matter.  Too many Black boys and men are being murdered by police officers because they’re being unfairly targeted by many White police officers.  If America doesn’t get serious about police officers’ unjustified killings of Black males, then this country is headed down a terrible and bloody road to race wars between Whites and Blacks, leading to unnecessary losses of precious lives.  A national discourse about these senseless murders of Black boys and men can lead to important solutions about how better to prevent and fight against these injustices.

3. Help to Improve Racial Divides between Blacks and Whites Caused by Police

Unfortunately, unnecessary walls are erected between numerous Blacks and Whites because of intentionally nefarious actions of White police officers against Black boys and men.  We shouldn’t allow the racism of many police officers to divide those of us who aren’t racists.  A national conversation about police abuse of power engenders an opportunity to separate the racists from the non-racists.

Conclusion

In America, we continue to avoid having the important discourses we need to have as a nation.  It seems that vital conversations needing to take place at the local, state, and federal levels aren’t happening because countless individuals lack the courage to engage in these difficult conversations.  The American people will grow more divided by avoiding essential race matters.  We don’t magically become more united by abandoning discussions about race—we continue to grow farther apart by neglecting frank discourses about race.

Let’s have an honest national conversation about police abuse of power when interacting with Black boys and men.  Our country will be better for having this conversation.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison