May 10, 2008

Rev. Sharpton Needs Lesson in Race

The demand for justice is a God given attribute present in the soul of every person born.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes that God has set eternity in our heart and part and parcel of that is the innate desire for true justice. The problem with it all is that sin has tainted every fiber of our being such that true justice is sometimes hard for us to comprehend.

Enter, Sean Bell, a young black man who was gunned down by New York police as he and his buds were leaving a strip bar on the morning of wedding day. 50 shots were fired in all and his buddies were wounded while Bell was killed. As it turned out, the men were all unarmed and therein lies the outrage.

The pain is understandable and the outcome tragic but let clear thinking prevail and there is no reason to believe that anything but justice--as best as imperfect, fallen men can exercise it, was accomplished.

Three officers charged in the shootings were all found innocent of the charges of manslaughter. Protests commenced under the direction of the Rev. Al Sharpton with his obligatory cries of racism which is what fueled the outrage. There are just a few problems with Sharpton's ire.

First, the police officers' stories were corroborated and the stories of the witnesses were not. Just representation was exercised on behalf of Sean Bell and the judge found that the police officer's version of events was credible and the other's were not. The acquittal was legally proper. But what is more outrageous to me than the actual event is that Rev. Sharpton as always, first assumes guilt of the police and worse, always plays the race card. The problem in this situation is that two of the three police charged--were black.

Truth be told this country has an extraordinary record of justice for all. Justice for Sharpton though apparently means that if you're black--you must be innocent. What some cannot accept is that humans are not omniscient and knowledge of any given situation is always more astute after the fact. Our system is exemplary but not infallible.

Sean Bell and his buds may have in fact been "innocent" but their drunkenness, actions, location and time of night compelled those responsible for protecting others, as well as themselves, to take decisive, lethal action. In this case, the decision was apparently wrong, but it certainly was not the result of bad cops--worse still--racist cops flaunting their authority. It is an imperfect world and we should not expect perfect justice until the day of His return.


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