Can a White Man Speak to Black Americans?

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Dr. Michael Brown
Dr. Michael Brown has worked hard to understand the plight of Black Americans. (Charisma News archives)

To repeat: Yes, I get it! In fact, my most recent, relevant article was entitled, "Who Is Killing Off the Black Americans," where I talked about the numerous attacks on the African American community, including the high rates of abortion.

What concerns me, though, is that when I try to share another part of the story with my African American brothers and sisters, my perspective is often rejected, as if only white Americans have blind spots. The fact is that all of us do, and all of us need to hear each other out, even when it hurts.

In my public appeal to Lebron, I made clear that I understood the message he and other athletes had been sending but urged him to consider sending another message as well.

Some have said to me, "Dr. Brown, the cops are not being demonized by these gestures. These athletes are just showing solidarity with hurting black Americans."

Actually, cops are being demonized, to the point that: 1) The St. Louis police department objected in the strongest of terms after 5 St. Louis Rams players began their game with the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," gesture; 2) after a police officer in Denver was critically injured when he was hit by a car, high-school demonstrators shouted, "Hit him again!"; and 3) more and more policemen are fearing for their lives as they go about enforcing the law and doing their jobs, as protesters have even thrown rocks and explosives at them.

Don't tell me there's no demonizing of the police. There certainly is, especially among young people of all colors, and it would be wonderful if, along with their message of solidarity for hurting black Americans, athletes sent out a message of honor for the men and women of law enforcement.

I've spent years listening to and learning from my black friends and colleagues. I only ask my black friends and colleagues to do the same with me.

If we both work on removing the beam from our own eyes, then we can help remove the speck from each other's eyes.


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