Friday, November 19, 2021

Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt

After the news of today of a trial in Wisconsin, I'm going to be thinking a lot about who gets the benefit of the doubt in our society. 

As a white kid growing up in the outer suburbs, a neighbor friend of ours had a lot of toy guns, rifles and pistols. A half-inch bright orange cap over the barrel was the only thing that stopped people thinking they were real. We played "cops and robbers" and had fake target practice off of the wooden tree house in his back yard. We had the benefit of the doubt that we were just two kids playing around 

Tamir Rice never got that benefit of the doubt. Even as an adult, Philando Castile didn't get that benefit of the doubt. Millions of other Black boys and men don't get the benefit of the doubt and get bestowed with the label "patriot" when they have guns. 

I don't even want to mention that young man's name in Wisconsin. He's gotten far too much attention already. 

Instead, I want to raise up Father Greg Boyle. A true peacemaker who went into basically warzones armed only with the love of Jesus and endless amount of compassion, where he's created real peace and calmness. I hope you are able to fill your heart and head today with his words and love, and not the empty words of men and women behind television cameras and computer keyboards who only want to sew discord and hate. 

I hope we can all find the courage to choose love, and not guns. 

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