Defund the police – and substitute what? Vigilante justice? Sectional police and security for this part of the city, and this ethnic group, and another for another section of the city, and a different ethnic group? And wars between them? And restricted passage through the city? Who wants this, other than revolutionaries who want an end the nation as it is, and an opportunity to forge a new government.
Black citizens sometimes feel that they are wrongly targeted by the police. San Jose resident, Tim Harper, a black man, on June 5, wasn’t protesting. And sometimes they are. But during protests in San Jose, he was outside city hall, and he attempted to offer aid to a young man who fell near him who had been shot in the head by a police officer and lay injured. When he did, protesting to the officers, “You just shot a young kid in the head,” he too was shot by a police officer. Fortunately, for Harper, he was shot with a rubber bullet.
Ironically, a few minutes before being shot, Tim, that same young black man, had run to assist and carry out of the milieu, a downed police officer. Widely circulated video shows him assisting two other officers in getting the policeman to safety. Then, moments later, when he attempted to help a protester, he took a bullet from the same group of officers. The officer who shot Harper was also caught on film taunting demonstrators. There are bad police officers – no doubt, and bad citizens, and when the two meet, there is often bad and explosive chemistry.
In Buffalo, New York, a 75-year-old man, Martin Gugino, was inexcusably pushed, his body falling backward on concrete, as a unit of policemen paraded past him, some stepping over him, as blood spilled from the back of his head. The man stood alone, posing no threat to the dozens of officers that watched a peer forcefully push the man without regard to his safety. The officers, two of whom were suspended, were white – and in the case of Martin, he was white. But there was no outrage – no protest on behalf of Martin. Objecting to the suspension of the two officers and caught between Union demands and conscience, all 57 members of the unit asked to be reassigned. Two officers have now been released from the force and charged with felony assault. What a mess!
Other abuses of police force have been noted across the nation. There is no monolithic good on either side when a nation draws lines and squares off in its streets in a warlike fashion. Evil, in such an environment, too easily surfaces in attitudes and actions on both sides of the line.
According to a report in the New York Times, “The police chief in Louisville, Ky., was fired after a restaurant owner was killed when police officers and National Guard troops shot toward protesters. And in Austin, Texas, the police chief said that a black protester who had been shot in the head by officers was in critical condition.” In St. Louis and Las Vegas, the opposite was true – officers were shot and wounded in the milieu of the protests. In New York City and Buffalo, two officers were struck by cars.
Babel and Jerusalem
Such violence is indicative of Babel – the place of confusion, where people speak a different language, and not Jerusalem, the city or fortress of peace. We have only two choices – one spawned by humanism, a man-centered attempt to build a city, and the other, Christ-centered and godly, a culture built around transcendent values.
Once, our cities resembled Jerusalem. Now they look increasingly like Babel.
Even after the nation was embroiled in violent protest, a white officer in Fairfax, Virginia, certainly after seeing the George Floyd video, nevertheless assaulted a black man. Bodycam video captured the officer with his knee on the back of the black man, who was saying, “I can’t breathe.” When will we learn? The response of police, as in Seattle, was in response to the throwing of explosives, rocks, and bottles. Violence breeds violence. The natural tendency is to meet force with force.
This is why Christianity is so radical – it meets force with love. It rules with a bruised reed. It operates from the posture of humility, not power; of voluntary compliance, not compulsion; of self-regulation, discipline, not subjugation. It is not about power – but truth, true truth.
Moments of kindness have also been noted. In the first week or so, following the George Floyd death, groups knelt and prayed together. Attempts at defacing and destroying buildings and properties were foiled by citizens, and many, if not most demonstrations, were peaceful. Protestors, in some cases, attempted to restrain looters – Santa Monica and Brooklyn were examples. National Guard troops in Atlanta danced in the streets with peaceful protestors. They greeted one another and shared photo-opts.
Then city demonstrations were infused with outside agitation. The Black Lives Matter ideology took over and was then aide by outside agitators themselves. In some cities, crowds are resistant to any conciliation. Minneapolis mayor, Jacob Frey, was forced to leave a protest. He was confronted with a demand to disband the police. Such an act is not within the scope of a mayor’s power. Still, the bully protesters who confronted him, are not about true authority, but rebel authoritarianism. With no disposition to truly dialogue on the part of the protesters, with only untenable demands, the mayor was booed. He was not commended for his attempt, for his concern, nor was his office respected – he could do nothing but withdrew. No reconciliation can be borne in such an environment. The goal of such demonstrators is not truth, but power. It is not true equity, but partisan interests.
In the weeks following the death of George Floyd, we crossed a line – one Martin Luther King, Jr. would have never endorsed. We confused peaceful demonstrations with mob-crazed criminal activity. Looting, shooting, defacing monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial and other historic sites? Washington, Jefferson, and more, and hosts of confederate monuments, generals and leaders, were toppled. Buildings burned. Businesses destroyed. Lives lost, on top of George Floyd, and this makes his wrongful death, right? This corrects the matter? This heals the racial divide? This elevates the level of trust and creates the environment for sincere understanding and deeper bonds to form?
No one rational believes that. No one. Only those with a power agenda, driven by identity politics, those whose designs for the nation involve a revolution – and that is what we have seen in the streets. Revolutionary action. Not Americans in the streets praying, and calling for reasoned and principled change. Rather, we have seen defiance and anti-American rage. Defund the police – and then what? Each race hires its own police? Each section of town draws jurisdictional lines and the different protection units war against one another? Do we follow the suggestion of Louis Farrakhan, to divide the nation up – a white America here, and a black America there? And will that lead to two peaceful nations?
There is a better idea! It is a great awakening. The elites don’t want that. Politicians, for the most part, don’t want it. Progressives hate the idea. Universities are resistant to such an idea. The pluralists don’t want to see Christianity so honored and a nation again preoccupied with Jesus.
Our only hope is that God Himself desires to again, against all odds, use the nation and its stage, as a platform for His glory.
 Report by Kate Larsen, ABC7 News, Bay Area, San Jose, CA, May 29, 2020.
 Derrick Bryson Taylor, “George Floyd Protests: A Timeline,” New York Times, June 6, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/article/george-floyd-protests-timeline.html.