We are not more depraved

Dear Lord,

They think we’re more depraved.

Isn’t that it? Isn’t that what’s nagging and gnawing at me? Isn’t that why they cite statistics about our crime rates and achievement gaps? They are saying we are more depraved.

And yet,

they built a house and put us in the cellar. They built it on purpose with precision and deliberation. Now they blame us for being at the bottom, Lord. They think we’re more depraved.

They criticize us for being single moms. Then they criticize us for having abortions. You designed us for your glory, but they have made us hate ourselves. Our skin. Our hair. Our very wombs. They shout their disdain for us on billboards.

They want us to hate our men as they do. All the while whipping them, hunting them, shooting them, and denying them equal justice under the law. They have thrown our men in jail, then they criticize our “broken homes.” All the while they are breaking your law with their own injustice and discrimination.

They say we are lazy and welfare queens. Yet we built the house they live in and they paid us nothing. Somehow WE are lazy? We nursed their babies and they sold ours. We gave birth to their babies and left us as single mothers. It was their tradition, not ours. We are not more depraved.

They love to talk about “black on black crime,” but they hate to talk about white on black crime. They critique our slums, but not their segregated suburbs. They criticize our run down schools; schools they fled because they hated us.

They believed the Devil’s lie, the lie of Black inferiority. The Founding Fathers’ lie, the ones who claimed all men are created equal. They did not live according to their own words.

This lie, it’s the mark-of-Cain lie taught in houses of Christian worship. They say you marked us for the bottom, and they still say it. Subtly. Cunningly. By citing statistics that fit their narrative that we somehow like it here, poor, and on the margins, and relishing handouts.

And yet they behave as Cain and they have killed their brother. They have killed our spirit and they continue to kill our hope.

And now they ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The same excuse that gave birth to All Lives Matter. Had they lived in your time, they would have refused to say Samaritan Lives Matter. Yet that’s what you said, Lord.

They enjoy gazing at our deficits, but hate gazing at their own. Yet you said “remove the plank from your own eye first.”

You said all have sinned and fall short of your glory.

We are not more depraved.

WE ARE NOT MORE DEPRAVED.

“Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How dare you say to your brother, ‘Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,’ when you have a log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7.1-5 (MSG)

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