Edwin F. Estevez In response to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s admission of wrong: What if?
I wonder if all organizations who were wrong on how they responded to this matter should issue an apology:
Board members and senior level leadership who were passively silent or intentionally oppositional need to speak up and
send letters of reconciliation and restoration and publicly admit they’re wrong (even if it’s to protect their business interest).
Church leaders who covertly designed opportunities to set up controversies to the point of forcing committed employees
from their commitments and interrupted the fellowship of the beloved community.
Those who assisted in committing professional homicide to employees who were only devoted to processes of justice,
mercy, and community building. Human Resources professionals who couldn’t see the trees from the forest and therefore
contributed to injustices and were distracted chasing false narratives.
You see, it was never about the flag. Never about the deepest pride for this amazing nation. It was, and continues being,
about community, justice, and mercy. It was never about disrespecting the service of those who have contributed to our
freedoms and liberties. The contrary was true. But you framed it as either/or and created false choices. You were blinded
by the pressures and threats of those who claimed to boycott or discontinue their financial support at the expense of those
who were directly impacted by the pain and challenges they were experiencing. You wanted your agenda. Your method.
Your approach. You thought you were listening, but you weren’t. You were interested in a false peace and superficial conflict
While I know that these organizations and businesses, for the most part, couldn’t fully grasp how to best serve multiple
constituencies, their entrapment with false choices blinded you. In turn, send letters of apologies. Send letters of “we were
wrong.” Seek justice through appropriate narrative construction.
How can our churches and church leaders design opportunities for real truth seeking and narrative change? How can we
passionately commit to racial healing as an application of discipleship? In what ways can we ensure that transformation takes
Dear Lord, in your mercy, please hear my prayer.
Christopher Ryan Cole As I have been having conversations, and even attempting to get dialogue going, one of the things I
am noticing is there is some push back to the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” almost always having to do with the most radical
elements of the movement.
I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had the abolitionists of the 19th century, our own B.T. Roberts among
them, shied away from the movement if all people could see were the John Browns who tried armed insurrection against the
system? Or even if all the pro-life movement was defined by the actions of Eric Rudolph, who tried to kill abortion doctors
and bombed their clinics.
Are there bad faith players within every movement? Sure there are. Not everyone is motivated by the exact same thing. But
if we don’t let the Eric Rudolphs stop us from being pro-life, and people like B.T. Roberts didn’t let the John Browns of the
world stop them from being abolitionists, why do we let radical elements keep us from saying “Black Lives Matter”? Seems
a double standard to me.
David Phelps We need to learn to listen and listening takes time (days, weeks, years?). We are good at gathering a little info
and making hasty decisions, but we have often made our decisions based on race, skin tone, language, accents, etc., and
even though those characteristics are helpful, they don’t form a basis for a proper opinion/decision. Each race can consist
of many different cultures. Every city has a culture and each neighborhood within that city has a unique culture. People can
learn a certain vocabulary (for work or social significance), but that vocabulary may not truly represent who they are. I miss
the unity that I experienced in serving 35 years in the Army. We were stripped of preferences and priorities and taught
to accept and fight with/for the soldiers on our right and left. I still possessed everything that made me David, but while
serving as a soldier, mission came first. During our personal time we were able to share our personalities and grow stronger
in accepting that this person who is just like me is unique, just as I am. I have always striven to be/do the same in the church.
We are all washed in His blood and made new (soldiers of Christ). Our mission of loving God and making disciples comes
first, and as we grow as a team, we begin to learn of (and accept and appreciate) all the differences and nuances of our race,
culture, etc. I am glad to be a part of God’s Army!
July 2020 — pg. 23