By Kerwin Holmes, Jr.
Recently I heard about the tragic passing of Marshawn McCarrel at 23 years old by an apparent suicide.
And today my heart was sunken yet again by the news that McCarrel wasn’t as distant to my own life as I once believed.
There are many things going through my mind right now. They are all caused by McCarrel’s personal Twitter posts moments before his suicide. You see, we need to consider well why people take the social and political actions that they do. We don’t do this only for the purpose of determining their intentions, but it is also for making sure that their efforts are based upon healthy ones.
It’s not a secret. The main drive behind the Black Lives Matter movement is the belief that black Americans are oppressively targeted by just about every American institution in existence. Why? Because…white people.
But the truth of the matter is, some of the ire these protesters have against “white” people is just really their deeply seeded disappointment at being “black.” We all caught a glimpse of it in the rant of one Black Lives Matter protester who interrupted Senator Bernie Sander’s campaign in Seattle, Washington. When you click on that link, or watch it here, scroll to the 2:19 time and listen to her words.
This woman was clearly psychologically unstable, demanding that the entire crowd of people hear her rant about how racist they all are for “being white.” Honestly, those people only showed up to hear Socialist alarmist Sanders promise them that he’d make them all richer through Robin Hood economics…well, if they are middle class.
You see, at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement is the demand by its protesters to hear people everywhere declare, celebrate, and enshrine special value to every “black” or African-descended person. The fact is, their dream will never come. For one, that declaration hasn’t happened within the impoverished black urban neighborhoods where the most homicides against black persons occur. For another, as long as people have the right of choice, nobody is going to be forced to say anything. But why do people who have such vitriol and spite against persons with the “white” skin color…want all of those same people to tell them how valuable they are for being black?
Do black Americans need to be told by white Americans that their lives matter in order to get the message through to themselves? Hatred manifests itself in many forms…and self-hatred is one of its most effective and subtlest manifestations.
And tragically, horrifically, and terribly, that self-hatred has claimed another life.
No, not a black life. A life.
Marshawn McCarrel didn’t need to challenge the government or sacrifice his time and energy protesting against class warfare or Eurocentrism in order to validate his life. The young woman from the Bernie Sanders rally didn’t need to hear the white people in the audience declare to herself that her life matters.
Why ask for something from people who aren’t even designed to provide you what you are asking?
God validates our lives. He did that when He made us, and when He died for us. God demonstrated our value when He spent time coloring our skin with hues of amber, ebony, and vanilla. God hardwired into us our value as He knit us together in the wombs of our mothers at our most vulnerable state of life. Our lives matter. God says so…so much that He created each of us in His image.
With God’s affirmation as our personal foundation, we can literally be betrayed by our entire people, have our innocent life exchanged for a prisoner’s, be murdered in an unjust court case that never should have happened…and still check out of this life triumphantly and with our character and personhood intact. (That was Jesus’ life story, by the way.)
Unfortunately, there are those in the Black Lives Matter Movement who will stop at nothing to make Dr. King’s message about the value and character an ethnically-exclusivist ordeal. And they do this to the detriment of true justice and also, sadly, to the detriment of those they seek to inspire. Preaching hatred is a dangerous thing…it is never guaranteed who it will end up affecting the most, or how it will affect them. My heart is broken to see what this message cost our brother Marshawn McCarrel…a young man who sought to fight genuine injustices, but was sadly given the wrong tools to do so.
Admittedly, this is about as racist as racism gets. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once delivered an entire speech prophesying about a day when his four children will not be judged by the color of their skin but instead by the content of their character. Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech literally included all people. But today, many people would rather revise that statement of Dr. King to say: “I have a dream that one day my children will not be judged by the color of their skin (like white Americans should be judged), but by the content of their character (which we all know white Americans do not have).” And they’d do this bigotry in Dr. King’s name and memory.
It’s really one of the most racist things anyone can ever do because it takes one of the most anti-racist American personas and turns him into the very object he spent his life away to destroy.
Unfortunately, some people will continue demanding people do for them what only God can do for them. They don’t realize the power of the hatred that they proclaim. And as we analyze this root to their philosophy, as they demand from white Americans what only God Almighty gives, we must pause and ask them and ourselves:
What does that really mean?