Are You Angry or Irritated?

Do you know the story of John Crawford? John Crawford is yet another unarmed African American man shot and killed in our gun crazed society.

We have a major gun problem in our country and people of faith and values should be angry enough at all this needless death to change that.

God has given us the ability to create life and it is past time that we resist the temptation to end it.

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We must be angry enough to rid our world of gun violence.

The example of Mr. Crawford illustrates what happens when we continuously ignore our culture of gun death. He was a married man and a father of two who was shot by (white) police officers in an aisle of a Wal-Mart supercenter while swinging a toy BB gun as he was pacing while on the phone with his wife.

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This should make you angry but it shouldn’t surprise you.Most of us have heard the stories of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner.

To this point, there has been little reform to ensure black males or anybody else are any safer in the midst of law enforcement bullies.

In the face of this, I am shocked, saddened, and angry.

However, if I am willing to keep scrolling about my business without committing myself to ending this senseless violence, I must accept the fact that I am not yet angry, but simply irritated.

Nearly two years ago, 20 students and 6 adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We as a nation were shocked, saddened, and angry. Political promises were made, and seemingly, we have fatigued in our anger and simply stayed irritated. Meanwhile, out of the spotlight of the national media 15 major gun incidents have occurred at schools since Sandy Hook.

Are we angry? Or are we merely irritated?

Guns have done irreparable damage at the hands of children, young adults, grownups, criminals, and law enforcement alike. It is time to decide that the damage that has been done, to innocent minorities, to innocent children, to loved ones and to strangers, has made us angry.

I scroll through things that irritate me everyday – annoying status updates, an internet hoax with a three-breasted woman, and tons of political crap-talk that amounts to nothing. If I am not paying attention, the stories of Eric Garner, and John Crawford and the stories of more senseless gun violence blend right in with the other things that simply irritate me.

But it’s time to start paying attention. And it’s time to be angry.

Our children, our communities, and our safety are depending on us to connect with and act in the name of the Jesus who was not afraid to turn over the tables of the corrupted temple. Our system has become corrupted by gun violence and we need to flip this system upside down.

Let us follow that model and heed the call of Jeremiah (3:23) who warns us, “Do no wrong or violence” especially against vulnerable populations.

Make no mistake. Today, African American males are made vulnerable by racism, by militarized police forces, and by a lack of accountability in our political leaders.

Are you angry? Or merely irritated?