To Kill a Mockingbird: Enough is Enough Revisited

The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” – Attitcus Finch, Chapter 11To Kill a Mockingbird There was a young multi-ethnic man in his early 30s of Afro/Asiatic heritage who was slain by a mob of European reactionaries. He was unarmed, had a spotless reputation and cared for others. He was purportedly beaten to the point that he was unrecognizable. When it came time for legal authorities to act on his behalf, they were nowhere to be found. It was as though they washed their hands of the matter. The divided religious establishment also did nothing.  A bloody scene that ultimately ended in an execution style murder followed. This event was another tragedy involving a person of color falling victim to others’ emotional actions. Meanwhile, that same day, a different man with an established record of criminal behavior was protected by those same legal authorities, proving that one person’s life was valued over another’s. If this story sounds familiar, it is, but not for the obvious reasons. This event occurred not in 2012, but around 33 AD; the victim’s name was Jesus. He was slain by the Romans in execution style upon a cross. His death was initiated by the Great Sanhedrin, the supreme court of ancient Israel. At that same time, the criminal, Barabas, was released when the Romans acted on behalf of mob rule. Pontius Pilate washed his hands of the matter and Christ was slain. The system failed those outside the clandestine safety net of privilege. “The servant (Jesus) grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.” -Isaiah 53:2-6 The Message (MSG) Out of frustration we may think that we don’t want to hear anymore and say “enough is enough”. In 2013 we cannot shake the issue of race, whether in criminal justice, politics, or church. Jesus took on every sin including; hatred, unforgivness, racial bias, pride and indifference to privilege. He put an end to it all on the Cross. Jesus showed us that only by a change of heart and soul will we be able to establish trust, and reciprocate that trust between one another, one relationship at a time. Then we will beBuilding the Bridge Together over the ethnic/cultural divide. Kevin Robinson, Executive Director of Accord1

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