Silence Doesn’t Feel Like Solidarity

sumo-wrestlers
http://s.hswstatic.com

 

Those that know me well know that I love truth more than I love comfort.  This past week, the ugly truths of police brutality, implicit racial bias, and systemic oppression of black and brown people made many uncomfortable.  In fact, many are still uncomfortable; particularly in the christian community.  This past week has pushed the christian community to take a serious look in the mirror and introspectively determine if diversity is something that is only espoused in word or actually lived.  And when I say actually lived, I ask… Are we brave enough to listen, empathize, and act courageously when it is counter cultural to do so?  When we might be afraid to do so?  When it is uncomfortable to do so.

I have pondered why the #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile killings (by police officers) have caused me to grieve so deeply; more deeply than previous incidents of police abusing power.  More than #FreddieGray.  More than #SandraBland.  More than #MikeBrown.  More than #TamirRice.  More than #SamDubose.  More than…

And then it hit me – this list does not seem to end.  Data from http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/ shows us that this brutality by police officers upon black lives is a systemic problem.  And…many of my non-minority christian friends have become mute.  I liken it to an ethnically mixed group of high school kids who are friends discovering that one of the black guys has chosen to go to the teacher after class and speak up for another black student who is repeatedly being poorly treated by someone in authority.  Most in this ethnically diverse group vow to show up  to help defend this black friend because they all believe this student is worthy of defense.  You may be able to finish this hypothetical story for me.  The friend arrives at the class room and sees that primarily his black friends kept their word to stand with him.

Welcome to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The silence of a segment of the christian community has been deafening because it feels like fear has rewritten the justice narrative and it has been more comfortable to remain silent, just give money or hide behind the cloak of one’s ethnic identity.  None of these positions equate to solidarity.  And none of them will bring reconciliation.

Don’t be silent – your silence speaks loudly.  All week this “silence” has been ringing in my ears to the tune of “How can we say that we are the church when there doesn’t appear to be a willingness to bear one another’s burden?”  I’ve said it before and I will say it again; lament with us first. No solutions, just solidarity for justice.  A few days ago, a White, Christian friend of mine found courage to speak  even among fear. As I read her account, I could see how she beautifully wrestled with the fear of speaking publicly regarding Black Lives Matter and how the comfort of this fear was no longer greater than the cost of her silence.  Truthfully, her voice on this issue will speak more loudly than mine and this is why silence and/or apathy is not an option for the white christian.  Your silence may be communicating the wrong message. PLEASE READ HER PERSPECTIVE.

Don’t JUST give your money – because settlements don’t settle it.   Now is the time to leave our paternalism at home.  This god-complex which causes us to want to “fix” the problems in the lives of those they are serving through money is crippling.  When we take a look at 11 recent high profile cases of men and women who had died at the hands of police, several of them received settlements between $5 million and $6.5 million dollars.  Settlement after settlement injustice remains. Giving money is a necessary part of the solution, but it is not the solution.  It takes courage to speak.  To attach YOUR NAME to cause in which you advocate for equitable treatment.  There is such anonymity in “only giving money,” but, when there’s person associated with a cause,  there is a different cost.

Don’t forsake your eternal identity for your ethnic identity – I am a follower of Christ first and then I am a black woman.  #Realtalk – I am unapologetically black, but our eternal identity as Christians is what unites us. This means that as sisters and brothers in Christ, the higher call for all of us is to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8).  When I rise each day, I have to remember not to lead with my #blackness and that it is not the primary narrative that shapes my life.  The banner over my life is one of redemption from sin.  We have seen what sin can produce individually and on a larger scale systemically.  To my White brothers and sisters, I encourage you as well to lead with your identity as a follower of Jesus.  To seek justice for the marginalized.  To see the #imagodei (image of God) in others.  The practical steps to make this occur may be scary, but this is what I want to do.  I want to talk with you.  To share in and learn of your fears.  To seek God together for our nation.  To serve God together in our nation.

I have decided to follow Jesus.  No turning back.  No turning back.  Jesus didn’t simply advocate for the marginalized when it was easy and comfortable.  He lived in the difficult places; had difficult, yet honest conversation to reveal and then reconcile hearts.  I too will live in that place if that is the first step towards reconciliation.

Here is a sermon preached a few days ago on #Justice by Pastor Léonce Crump Jr. of Renovation Church. This sermon will make many uncomfortable before it encourages.  He is speaking the truth in love, so I’m comfortable with that.

Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. – Isaiah 1:17

 

Am I Black?

20150611_123830“Am I Black?”  This question has echoed in my mind since it was so loudly projected from the mouth of a little boy (approximately 5 years old) to his parents as he sat with them and watched a portion of a video about the middle passage at The Griot Museum of Black Historyin St. Louis, MO.  The innocence and complexity of his question is what wrenches my heart.  In this beautiful world, it would be great if slavery never existed and if African American parents and those of other ethnicities never had to share with their kids the atrocity of their nation’s past.  In particular, their decision to treat certain people inhumanely.  This little boy could not understand why, in his own words, “only black people were treated this way…”  He actually asked his parents, “where are the white people?”  His mind could not process the reasoning behind the variation in treatment.  They spoke honestly and with lots of grace; not with malice or slander, but with love for their son and his tender, impressionable mind.  I am not a parent, but I commend these parents for walking gingerly with their son to help him understand his history and the importance of valuing all human life.  This indeed was one of the most precious moments I’ve experienced recently in our racially charged society that wants to dismiss the impact of years of oppression on people groups.

For the past few days I have juxtaposed this little boy’s simple question with the recent events in Orlando, from the #PulseShooting to the shooting of #ChristinaGrimmie.  I love the city of #Orlando and I’ve been grieving with those in my hometown.  My community and people that I love and know are hurting deeply. We cannot understand the senseless act of these shootings.

 The beauty I beheld as this little boy asked this question was profound. You see, he didn’t “know” he was black because his experience as a little black boy was just as it should be.  He has not yet known what it is to be treated differently because of his skin color.  I am not sure that I want to wake him up from this dream.

As a follower of Christ, I believe the church is called to make this child’s “ideal perspective” more of a reality, but we have to first deal with the sin in our own heart.  The reality that we just may be treating people differently because of their skin color.  Sunday is still a very segregated day in our nation.  The reality that we, the church, may be choosing not to get to know people because their lifestyle(s) don’t align with our beliefs.

People are more than their ethnicity.  They are more than their sexual identity.  Oh that we would learn to live and love one another as people.  Not as pretentious, external, superficial, descriptors such as race, gender, and economic status.  This week in the wake of the Orlando tragedies I believe I was granted a gift from God to spend time in Colorado with a couple who co-founded a non-profit, which is making a difference in the lives of children who are aging out of foster care.  The gift for me was that although I “knew I was Black” in Colorado, I didn’t “feel” Black when spending time with their family.  I held tightly to this feeling because it was refreshing.  Typically, “feeling Black” when I am the minority means that I am treated as inferior and presumed weak.  To be in a community where I am clearly an ethnic minority (Colorado isn’t particularly racially diverse) and to be welcomed and loved as a person first, is a gift I treasure.  There might have been second glances from others as I sat around the table with this couple, their daughters, and a friend, at a local eatery, but at that table we laughed together and enjoyed each other’s company in earnest.  And although I am not their daughter, I felt protected by this couple in an incredibly beautiful way.  This was a dose of authentic love.

If there was a gift that I could give to those who’ve experienced marginalization, it would be the gift of authentic love. To authentically love allows us to accept people as a part of God’s beautiful creation.  There is no doubt today that I am proud to be black.  But if I am honest, I have had to fight for this freedom of pride in my ethnicity, namely the darkness of my skin and kinkiness of my hair and all that I’ve been told that this represents in our western society.  What I have recognized recently is that fighting for freedom of an insecurity can be costly.  It can mean rejection from those that love you.  It can mean career assassination.   It can mean depression and sleepless nights.  I do not presume to understand the fight of those who are in the LGBTQ community.  What I do know is that I would like for #America and at times, those in the church, to stop making presumptions about their character and worth because of their sexual identity alone.  This is nonsensical.  Seriously.  We are people first.  Let’s treat each other as such.

I grieve with all of the families whose loved ones lost their life during this tragedy.  I grieve with those in the LGBTQ community who feel the palatable weight of being targeted because of their sexuality.  I grieve with the family members of the shooter who may now be treated differently because of what he did.  I grieve for the christian church who has yet to learn that we all share a mutual brokenness as people; we are all in need of a Savior (Jesus Christ). Those who are black are in need. Those who are white.  Those who are heterosexual.  Those who are homosexual.  Those who are wealthy.  Those who are poor.  Those who are human are in need.  As we have a greater understanding of this need, we will lower our personal pedestals and stand together as people.

“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15

When the Healer Doesn’t Heal

Heart_with_Bandage-512Sometimes I use music to silence the ache of my heart, but there is no song loud enough to remedy the ache I feel when death comes incredibly close.  Death always feels sudden and unexpected; sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.  In youth and old age, the heart ache is just the same.  What is not expected is the piercing pain that is with you when you rise and prevents you from sleeping.  Causing you to toss and turn with questions you’ve never fully considered until tragedy has made it’s home in your inner circle of friends or family.  No longer a tweetable article you sympathize with, YOU KNOW the victim(s).

I write about this as my heart has wrestled with what is true and what I feel.  I feel pain, anger, and hurt because I know God can (and does) heal, but He has not in this instance.  How do I reconcile my aching heart with what my mind knows to be true?  A friend is no longer here; a family member will never again give me a warm embrace and tell me that I “need to eat more chicken to put some meat on my bones.”

As I increase in age, I have intentionally sought to simplify my life (some might call me a minimalist), but somehow it has become more complex.  Somehow in my thirties, trite answers such as, “everything happens for a reason” are no longer sufficient.  This response leaves me with little ability to be receptive to a statement which lacks empathy and seeks to assuage my ache if only temporarily.   This response now seems artificial; like ingredients that shouldn’t be touched.   Artificial when family and friends are dying of cancer.   Artificial when sudden car accidents end the life of the first,  consistent,  positive male role model I ever had.  Artificial when drug and alcohol addiction destroys the life of a young man biologically deemed father,  yet emotionally and physically distant.

Tragedy has made its home in my heart and it is bitterly painful.  Parts of me want to apologize because of the toll this grief has taken – that’s not going to happen.  This need for apology causes me to desire to tuck away my vulnerability so that my friends and family can behold an apparently “happier” version of myself.  That is not healthy and is no longer my method of coping.  In earnest, I am not sure how long grief will be present, but I have made space for it. I am allowing myself to feel the pain of loss and to cry about it over and over again because this brings some healing to my soul.  When the Healer (Jesus) doesn’t heal physically, I know of no greater remedies than:

  • Those who remain close enough to  listen,  pray,  and cry with me.
  • Constant reminders of the beauty of community and that I do not have to be alone.   I can choose the presence of those that love me especially in my weakest,  most vulnerable state.
  • Those who speak the truth in love.
  • Beautiful memories imbued with laughter.
  • Honestly sharing my disappointment with Jesus who can shoulder it.  No longer waiting for all of the answers to life’s complex situations,  but somehow gaining better perspective of the resurrection and the beautiful gift of eternal life that death gave me.  Learning the spiritual principle of God producing life out of death.

At the crucifixion, death came when some of the people present wanted healing.   From Jesus’ selfless act a newness of life has been made possible for all.   All can be made new.  Brand new.   Maybe death is more complex than I thought.   More complex than my longing for extended life so that I might personally gain or benefit.   More complex for sure.  I’ve learned how to praise God when prayers are answered as I expected; I am now embracing the difficulty of learning how to do so when they are not.  In order to do the latter, I must remember who the God I serve is…He is just; He is love; and He is a good father.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. – Isaiah 55:8 [NLT]

Dichotomy of Thirst

I am humored that the term “thirsty” has taken on a negative narrative.  I’m sure you know it…to be thirsty is to be desperate [for a man], so the new narrative goes.  So, as a woman in my mid-thirties, I often want to avoid the topic of marriage and my future husband because in no way do I want to appear thirsty.  But, as I began to think about it, I can see how all Christians face a dichotomy of thirst; a sort of decision we will have to make when two types of thirsts appeal to us.

Truth is, I am thirsty – I said it.  I want to re-define thirst as it appears in Webster for the sake of this conversation.  Thirsty: feeling a strong desire or need for something.  There is a real desire to be married, but this desire also competes with my desire for God.  There is a real competition for my time, thoughts, and affection to be given in greater capacity to one more than the other.  There’s the dichotomy.  There’s always something demanding more of us and competing with God’s position of first place in our heart.  It may be a relationship, idea of success, or the pursuit of money.

Below is a poem I wrote as I wrestled with the reality that my future husband’s love for me will also be something I must place on the alter before God.  There’s no space for idols.   Can I love both God and my [future] husband as they deserve?  Will my love for my husband cause me to become negligent in some way in my love for Christ?

Dichotomy of Thirst

How can I thirst for you and for Him  simultaneously?

Simultaneously longing for the love of a man and the eternal love of the God man, Jesus.

Can there be two possessor’s of my heart or will one of the suitors be left in the dark?

Seemingly unrealistic to think my heart can contain all of the love from both of you.

A pursuit so relentless that I must relinquish all of me.

To be discovered, covered,  and chosen by one who is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.

To be known so deeply that even the hairs on my head are numbered.  Seperator of my sins as far as the east from the west.  Engulfed by the one who loves me best.

I have no justification for the latter love I speak of;  a most treasured gift o’ grace.

This grace allows me to keep my love for my first love, FIRST.

You see there is no dichotomy when I abide in thee.  When I make my resting place your bosom, I find my heart no longer at war, but rather at peace.

For I realize that there is no love greater than yours, but that you also made space for a courageous heart to walk WITH me in this race.

And while I long to meet him, I am reminded that I can love him most fully when I love you most fully.

Thank you for allowing my heart to make room for another love.  To fill a desire given by You from above.

As the two of you share space, I promise to give you first dibs.  I love you my forever Bride King Jesus and my future husband to be.

—–

All throughout this journey with Jesus, we must honestly ask ourselves whether or not our desire for _________________  is greater than our desire for Jesus.  Thirst is normal (naturally and metaphorically), but how it is filled makes all the difference.  May Christ be the first to meet our deep need and longing for love and every other desire pale in comparison.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1

No Sweeter Words

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the Precious Predilections blog.  The “start” of this blog has been liberating.  Writing has allowed me to courageously share things that would otherwise become a passing thought.  In so many ways writing has become for me the unveiling of the broken and beautiful things that occurred last year.  So as we start this new year, I want to begin by sharing some of the sweetest words I’ve known.  These words remind me of the miracle of life that God has bestowed upon me.  They remind me that God knew what He was doing when He inspired my mom to name me Precious.  These words are the sweetest.  In honor of the start of a new year, I want the first blog post of the year to honor someone that I love and hold dear.

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

No sweeter words than those spoken over me by mother 18 years ago.  She has written many poems and I have them in my possession, but this one holds a special place in my heart.  No formal, stylistic lessons on writing poems here. No soliloquies.   Just a mother inspired to encourage her daughter.  A mother inspired to share a story.  A mother moved to make indelible impressions on my heart with the stroke of her pen.

My Child

One minute after you were born your breath was snatched away, but by God’s grace you were saved that day. Two pounds and five ounces that’s all you weighed, on what i thought would be a faithless day.  They shaved your hair, put needles from head
to feet.  I hung my head and cried in defeat.  God sent his angel in the form of
my mom to comfort me and hold me and say well done.  He said shake off the blues, everything will be alright.  Don’t you know, she was born to fight?  

You have never been mine, just a loan you see.  For from day one God had control of thee.  You were born with so many problems, but He took them away.  No open heart surgery for you He said that day.  That hole in your heart I’ll fill it with love.  You’ll float through life on the wings of a dove.

Mom2
My Momma – Christmas 2015

 

I’ve watched you grow a joy to behold, God’s love has
 surrounded you as your life unfolds.  At the age of twelve He claimed you again.  Now isn’t this how my story began? Into your life came Freddie Filmore, Jr. (Chip), he worked at P.A.L.  Who knew he’d be more?  He took you into his heart, helped teach you about God, but that was just the beginning of his part.  Then came the pastor, his wife and family, and a group of people at Freedom Ministries.  

I’ve watched you grow for eighteen years.  Your desires and needs our God has fulfilled.  Now you’re leaving home; you’ll be on your own.  I want you to know that you’ll never be alone.  You have brought me peace, so much joy to my life, but I can hear you say “that’s just the Jesus in me.” I miss you already.  I don’t want to let you go, but I know that you know that I love you so.  So hold your head high, stand tall and be strong.  And remember who you are, the daughter of Casa Lee Young. 

Mom, It is eighteen years later and I am still growing.  Thank you for being my first teacher.  Thank you for being my present teacher.  And thank you for being my first writing inspiration.  Here’s to the moments and memories of 2016 that will move my fingers to type.  Here’s to another year of blogging.  Thank you all for your support.

Collective Heroism

Super Ron
My nephew during the day and superhero at night.

Just as there are angels among us, I am certain that there are heroes among us.  Unlike those we see in comic books or movies, they aren’t donning a cape and symbol on their chest. A recent visit to Orlando taught me much about heroism and the unparalleled beauty witnessed when the community rises to the occasion and collective heroism is on display.

 

“You’re the real hero…” is what the manager of a local Starbucks said to me after she had returned from jetting out of her store to run after the vehicle which contained a young man who’d just exited her store and snatched the purse from one of her customers.   At the time I happened to be working outside from that location and looked up as the young man grabbed the purse, jumped over the railing, and hopped into an SUV.  I kept an eye on the vehicle and shouted so the manager could write down the correct tag number.  The cops came and traced the tag and found that the vehicle was stolen.  I do not know if her purse was recovered.  I do know she attributed my “following the vehicle” as a major heroic act.  I tend to disagree with her perspective; I am no hero.

That day I witnessed so many people who did not know one another come to the aid of a woman who had just been violated.  No questions asked; no judgement.  Everyone wanted justice for her.  Collective heroism.  We need it.

Heroic is the lady who ran after the purse snatcher.  She was an unlikely hero.

Spending time with my nieces and nephews this past week gave me a sneak peak into what life can be like when your father is your first hero.  Time and time again, whether it was to share a new skill learned, a silly joke, or simply receive comfort after a fall, the arms of daddy provided the greatest comfort.  Daddy was ALWAYS the hero.  Living with a belief that there is nothing your father won’t do to protect you and there is nothing that he couldn’t do is absolutely incredible.  It is a sacred gift to a child or the vulnerable.  I’ve not personally experienced the heroism of my father, but I have experienced the collective heroism of family.  The extraordinary lengths my family goes through to care for one another is nothing short of amazing.  In this family, my heroes are rich in love.  Much sacrifice; many needs met.  Collective heroism.  We need it.

Heroic is the single father who rises early to provide for his family while actively fighting off (as any hero would) the traps of poverty which attempt to lure him into a  lifestyle which promises quick money coupled with high risk.

The last leg of my time in Orlando, I learned that the police officers involved in the death of #TamirRice were not indicted.  I’m so exhausted by this story line.  It’s ending seems to be stuck in a ridiculous loop in which our “justice” system justifies a way to remove culpability and place the victim on trial.  I would have lost hope, but in the spirit of collective heroism, I know that I am not in this fight alone.  Besides, heroes don’t give up!  I stand shoulder to shoulder with those I count as heroes who refuse to sit idly and allow those advancing oppressive systems to continue to do so.   I shudder to think about the arguments used to support the idea that police officers did not have to answer for shooting a 12 year old boy in less than 1 second (which was caught on video). However, I find strength when I think of those who earnestly count the cost and find it worth it to stand for justice…and keep standing for justice.

So, I’d like to end this last blog of the year by reminding us that collective heroism is about community.  My time in Orlando reminded me that we are stronger together.  If there was ever a time our community needs to come together, it is now.  Displays of solidarity such as those seen during the #notonedime2015 economic boycott launched by Rahiel Tesfamariam during the Black Friday weekend and the decision of some University of Missouri Football players to proclaim the racial injustice they witnessed rather than play the game breathe life into the souls of the heroic at heart.

Heroic is the community who refuses to be silent in the face of injustice.  We need you.

To those in my community, I ask that you stand with me and be image bearers of collective heroism.  Not because we have an “S” on our chest, but because we possess an unrelenting desire for justice.  Gone are the days of our silence.  Our collective voices are stronger.  Our collective lament creates a depth of resolve which is mountainous in structure.  And one day our collective victory will be glorious.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. – Christopher Reeves

Most heroes are unlikely heroes.  I hope 2016 produces many more unlikely heroes.  We need them.

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15:1-2 [ESV]

Legal Cannabis – Capitalization or Decriminalization?

“I was gonna clean my room until I got high
I gonna get up and find the broom but then I got high
My room is still messed up and I know why
‘Cause I got high…” – Afroman

In just a few days, as a citizen of Ohio, I will have to option to vote on the legalization of marijuana; a drug that has directly ravaged the lives of many minorities in my community.  I am sickened by repeated commercials airing on television with such a remarkably positive spin on the use of marijuana and why this is “good for Ohio.”  There are two prevailing thoughts on this issue – this will decriminalize marijuana users and largely reduce the cost spent on “policing the sell / possession of marijuana.”  This sounds quite noble, but I boldly reject these claims.  The law, issue 3, allows only 10 commercial marijuana grow facilities.  While those growing marijuana can not sell it, those who would like to sell it are limited in the amount they can sell and will need to purchase a state license to sell.

The very same drug that painted Trayvon Martin as a “thug” and fueled the media to all but mar his character is now on the ballot for legalization because a few wealthy people have spent millions of dollars attempting to change the narrative for their direct benefit.  This is not about the people of Ohio; it’s about money.  This feels like the reverse golden rule – he who has the gold makes the rules.     Surprisingly, there is little clarity for those incarcerated for possession of marijuana and how those selling illegal marijuana will be affected.  Interesting details to be left out.  It is highly unlikely that people in poverty will procure a state license to sell.  Let us not be fooled – there will still be policing of those illegally selling marijuana.  Decriminalization isn’t only about changing a law, but it is more profoundly about changing a predominant view.

 If we ignore the social costs and look at the potential for profit, well, this law is definitely good for venture capitalist and oligopoly participant, Nick Lachey, former 98 Degrees singer.  According to The Times Reporter, “The same investors who’ve pumped millions into the legalization campaign would operate the 10 grow facilities, reaping financial rewards that are estimated to gross $1.14 billion for growers alone. We believe that’s anything but responsible.  The effort ignores basic free market principles and is aimed solely at lining the pockets of a select few. They’ve even set the tax rate themselves.”

One bone of contention I have rests in the reality that in Ohio there are a disproportionate amount of arrests for minorities in possession of marijuana, although, there is basically parity in the number of users when comparing minorities and whites.   This speaks to a broken justice system.  A report in 2009 by Jon Gettman, Ph.D. on “Marijuana in Ohio,” indicates that, “Marijuana arrests have a disproportionate impact on two demographic groups – young people and minorities.  In many cases an arrest for marijuana possession makes a criminal out of an otherwise law‐ abiding individual.  …However differences in the arrest rates between whites and blacks cannot be explained by differences in marijuana use.  In 2007, for example, 10.5% of whites used marijuana in the last year while 12.2% of blacks reported such use.  These figures indicate that marijuana use by blacks is about 20% more prevalent than use by whites.   While this is a statistically significant difference, it does not explain why arrest rates for marijuana possession for blacks are three times higher nationally than for whites.”

It may seem like a win for social justice if marijuana is legalized in our state, however, this thought implicitly relies on the assumption that a profitable change for a few will be a profitable change for the commonwealth.  This law does not change the implicit bias of our current criminal justice system and it does not protect the interest of the most vulnerable in our society; children.    I think this will open doors that we are already having a difficult time closing.  The heroin epidemic is growing like a bad weed (pun intended) in Ohio; it is also no secret that marijuana is a popular drug with young people and often and introductory drug to other illicit drugs.  You tell me, is this a case of capitalism cloaked in social justice? 

Most disturbing about this initiative is the legalization of marijuana edibles.  What kid does not like candy, brownies or cookies, unless allergic? Comparisons to alcohol prohibition are not as strong, in my opinion, because the introduction of edibles changes the game for our children.  There is a natural appeal for children.  Everyone is singing Colorado’s praises, but social costs are once again being ignored.

After visiting Colorado in early October 2015, where marijuana was legalized in 2012, Attorney General Mike DeWine said Colorado officials advised against passing the measure. He said that nearly half of the marijuana sold in Colorado is in an edible form, and he expressed his concern that children will accidentally eat marijuana. He stated:[53]

Ohio will be fundamentally changed … There’s going to be plenty of marijuana to go around.[6]

Andy Mineo has said, “Truth disturbs the comfortable and comforts the disturbed.”  I hope you are uncomfortably disturbed by a law that seeks to fatten the pockets of the wealthy and prey on the plight of the poor.  I am disturbed.

Issue 3 is detailed here.  To find out more about the Social Costs of marijuana in Ohio, click here.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” -Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

%d bloggers like this: