Some may not know that for years I have shot and hunted with various weapons including bows and arrows. In studying the sport/hobby right into earliest construction of archery tackle, shooting skills/variations and history I came to know about Ishi.
As I’ve mentioned from time to time, reading “Black Like Me” in my early high school years only confirmed what I had already learned about the often (yes, not always) horrible treatment of whites against people with skin of a darker hue, issues of racism, slavery and exploitation. The same goes for treatment of Japanese Americans (and re. Italian Americans) during World War II.
As a primary school kid I read history and gaped at art depicting Spanish and Portuguese as well as other white European treatment of indigenous people in what is now the southwestern U.S., Mexico, central and South America including Brazil (See “The Mission” movie for further consideration).
And so to Ishi: a Native American man and his family and tribal story- I read both books on his life which you can find at the link below… and wanted to jump on a table and scream at the injustice and misery that came his way.
This is in part why I wrote songs such as “Afrikaans”, “Zuid Afrikaan” and “I See Red” (which I referenced in my last blog post yesterday).
I am on record stating racism is in my own thinking just about equal to rape. How our minds, emotions, demand for control and lack of compassion for someone unlike us (“the other”) plays out is something I’ve thought about my entire life.
While there are people who will gladly cast judgment on myself and others when convenient (as per their personal causes and desire for control, recognition or mere rancor sans actual fact) there is zero excuse for silence in the current local, national and world situation ESPECIALLY AMONG CHRISTIANS who talk about God’s love but harbor fear, rage, bitterness and self-righteousness in their minds, hearts and via social media, etc..
FOR THE RECORD: what I think and state now I’ve been thinking, saying and singing for most of my lifetime. Recent events, so-called “fake news” or any other deflection is “shooting blanks”. If you feel so compelled to unload in my direction, have at it. I am unlikely to engage in petty debates. My position on these matters which I say again, was formed in my youth can be seen in a lifetime of my lyrics, blog posts and public as well as private conversations.
I will only add that justice isn’t getting what you want. My own best, foundational understanding of the term comes from this:
He has told you,O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6.8
God says it. He tells humankind, all of us. “Good” is not arbitrary, it’s how HE defines it. “LORD” denotes ruler, king, the One Who “calls the shots”, all others servants to Him and others. “Require” has zero to do with options, it is in fact, a command. To “do” justice means active service (as in serving) others. To “love kindness”… wow… is that what we hear in social media and etc., these days??! God shows His very heart in those two words. God help you and I demonstrate this very compassion toward others!!! And… “and?”… I sincerely doubt either justice or showing love and mercy toward others (especially when we operate out of rage, fear and false judgment) can happen unless we walk in humility. Note- walking (not mere mental nodding to God, but a WALK, in actual daily relationship with Him) walking “humbly WITH” God.
A personal relationship to Jesus brings us to these things. We will not (historically have not and shall not on this earth) fully agree with one another on all points re. relationships, race, gender and etc., but God help us take loving our neighbor seriously and may we grow in living it out.
The options? A misery none of us will find nor make peace with.
As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn