There can be no question that Black skin is criminalized in America. Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammed has written a brilliant text entitled The Condemnation of Blackness (2010) that astutely chronicles the history of white supremacist public policies aimed at the re-enslavement of Black people by attaching crime and criminality to skin color. Once African sisters and brothers are incarcerated on felony charges (which are oftentimes non-violent crimes related to drug use), they are simultaneously disenfranchised and rendered by most businesses unemployable. They are then primed to become cheap, and if incarcerated in some states, free sources of labor.
One can justifiably ask “where is God in light of such bald injustice? Why isn’t God doing something? Why is God allowing such injustice to occur?” Questions about God’s presence and or silence in times of struggle and hardship have troubled theologians of every stripe since human beings became conscious of their existence and of the presence of a high power. While these comments are not designed for deep dissertations about any subject matter, I offer the idea that God is Spirit, and as such resides in each and every being and thing on the planet. Indeed, God is in the vapors, the atmosphere, the firmament, the air – God is everywhere all of the time! Since that is true (and I realize that a lot more can be said/taught on this matter) then we are God’s hands and feet and brains and – you get the point.
After his crucifixion Jesus appeared to his disciples and told them they would receive power when the Holy Ghost comes. That godly power that Jesus promised his followers is for the purpose of bearing witness. Ultimately it is God’s people who possess the capacity – spiritual and otherwise – to challenge injustice wherever it is found, and to change unjust social and political systems and structures.
Where is God in the face of such bald injustice? God is in you and me.
…Mark my Words