Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
Black lives matter. Let me state that again, lest anyone think I wrote it accidentally; black lives matter. How in the world could they not? The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:26-27 that mankind was “made in the image of God.” It further informs us in Acts 17:26 that God made all nations, meaning all ethnicities, of one blood. All of us regardless of skin color are descended from Adam, our common ancestor, the one who was literally handmade by God. Since that is the case, you will never find any “color” of life that does not matter, and therefore black lives do matter.
That said, though, I have a problem both with the brazenly Marxist organization/organism known as Black Lives Matter, and even with the phrase itself. The problem I see is in a word that is glaringly missing.
All black lives matter.
As kindly as I can say it, and please believe me when I tell you that I say it from a heart of compassion, I get the distinct impression that the message that is really being sent these days is that “some black lives matter,” namely black men who have been shot by the police.
It is not my intention in this column to litigate those police shootings or any other, though I will point out that there are approximately 42 million Blacks in America, and yet according to a piece in the U.S.A Today, the Washington Post’s database of fatal police shootings shows that in the year 2019 police shot and killed just 14 unarmed black individuals and, by the way, 25 unarmed white individuals. And this is out of approximately three hundred and ninety-five million interactions per year between police and the general public. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/07/03/police-black-killings-homicide-rates-race-injustice-column/3235072001/)
In other words, if the police were “systemically racist” and trying to kill off black people, we would have to conclude that they are doing a truly woeful job. Even if not one additional black person were ever added to the United States population through birth or immigration, at 14 fatal police shootings of unarmed blacks a year it would take the police three million years to kill all of the black people they supposedly hate so badly.
But to my main point, I have no problem with anyone peacefully pointing out any time they believe a black person has been unjustly killed by the police. What I do have a problem with, among other things, is the tunnel-vision, exclusive focus on that to the seeming absolute exclusion of the vast number of other black lives so unjustly taken each year. It is as if BLM and those who support them is looking through a microscope to examine a single hair on an elephant while ignoring the tons and tons of “elephant” that the hair itself is on.
FBI statistics for 2019 tell us that seven black officers were murdered in the line of duty. (https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2019-statistics-on-law-enforcement-officers-killed-in-the-line-of-duty) Among others this year, Officer David Dorn was killed in the rioting in St. Louis following the killing of George Floyd.
From 1976 to 2005, 94% of murdered blacks were killed by other blacks. (https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/12/22/the-need-to-discuss-black-on-black-crime/) An August 31, 2020, Chicago Tribune story says that 315 blacks have been murdered in Chicago thus far this year. (https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-chicago-homicides-data-tracker-htmlstory.html)
The Grand Rapids Right To Life points out that more than 28% of all black pregnancies end in abortion, and that abortion is the number one killer of black lives in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, abortion kills more black people than HIV, homicide, diabetes, accident, cancer, and heart disease combined. (https://www.grrtl.org/genocide/)
I hear very often these days that “no lives matter until black lives matter.” I would argue that the focus ought to be that no black lives will really be seen in the infinite worth God built into them until all black lives matter, not just a select few. It is high time for every black officer, every black murder victim, and every black aborted baby to receive as much or more attention than the comparatively minuscule number of black men killed by the police each year. Black officers should be regarded as heroes, and mourned by everyone of every race when they fall. Black murder victims should have people marching in the streets demanding that their killers be turned over to the police rather than shielded from justice. Black babies should have ministers and politicians of every race calling out the abortion industry for the genocide it is perpetuating on the black race, and Planned Parenthood should be the target of daily peaceful protests until they leave, never to return. Yet the near deafening silence on all of these things continues day after day. No protests, no marches, no chanting for those “other” black lives.
God made all of us, of every race, so yes, it is accurate to say that black lives matter. But it is high time that all black lives start truly, equally mattering.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner. Check out our books by clicking the “Store” link above.