As the “Black Lives Matter” protests gain less and less news coverage and the reason for the demonstrations that are still happening become obscured in the face of violence, looting, burning of buildings, and disjointed opinions, let’s revisit the subject!
Black Lives Matter
A chilling thought flashed into Isaiah McKinnon’s mind the first time he watched the Minneapolis video seen around the world of George Floyd’s death.
“George Floyd could have been me,” the former Detroit police chief wrote at the start of a Free Press guest column.
McKinnon joined the Detroit city’s force in the summer of 1965, four years after graduating from Cass Tech High School and entering the Air Force. He served as chief from 1993-98 and was deputy mayor from 2014-16.
Isaiah ‘Ike’ McKinnon asked: “What were they willing to do to Black civilians?” (Photo: Facebook/2014)
A Personal Account
In Isaiah McKinnon’s vivid commentary, the 76-year-old retiree — still a Detroiter — recalled blatant racism when he entered law enforcement five and a half decades ago:
“As a rookie officer, I encountered overt and casual bigotry and routine denigration and brutality. Many white officers refused to ride alongside Black officers. Some made cardboard dividers in patrol cars — designating the ‘white’ section from the ‘colored.’ Others used Lysol to ‘disinfect’ seats where Black officers sat. Some of my white colleagues refused to speak with me during shifts, dared not eat near or with me, and frequently used the ‘N-word’ to describe me and the African American citizens they were sworn to protect.
Two years later, I felt the sting of betrayal as an officer during the 1967 rebellion. One night, after a grueling shift, two white DPD officers pulled me over. I was still in uniform, badge affixed to my chest, and a #2 pin on my collar, indicating that I worked in the 2nd Precinct. I identified myself as a fellow officer, thinking they would see me as an equal. Instead, one pointed his gun at me and said, ‘tonight you’re going to die, N….’ before discharging his weapon. I dove back into my vehicle and miraculously managed to escape. I realized then that not even our shared uniform could save me from their racism. And I wondered if they were willing to shoot and kill a Black police officer, what were they willing to do to Black civilians?
As a supervisor a few years later, I stopped a group of officers from beating three Black teens. I was finally in a position to hold them accountable for their excessive use of force. But my precinct commander yelled at me for attempting to ‘ruin the lives of those good officers.’
I witnessed this kind of complicity repeatedly. When other officers reported abuse, as they should, they were ostracized, transferred to lesser assignments and treated so poorly that many quit.”
McKinnon, known widely as “Ike,” wrapped up his account with a call for “a change at all levels.”
“Now is the time to get to the heart of the matter: There must be a major effort to fundamentally restructure police departments so that they actually do what they promise: serve and protect all people.“
Listen to the Ones Who Know
McKinnon knows what he’s talking about! He is credible. He has lived the scenes of discrimination and experienced the violence first-hand. “Ike” has met six U.S. Presidents and Nelson Mandela, and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Oprah”, and “The History Channel.” He is a national motivational/inspirational speaker to Fortune 500 companies and schools.
Ike began his five decade career in public service as an officer with the Detroit Police Department in 1965. He held more than ten different positions in the department including patrol operations and various supervisory, administrative, command, and executive roles, before retiring as an Inspector to start his own security firm. In 1993, McKinnon returned to the Detroit Police Department to serve as Chief. Under his five years of leadership, hundreds of police officers were directed to go into city neighborhoods and introduce themselves to residents in an effort to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. In addition to shifting the focus of the department to community-driven policing, he advocated for and implemented training programs for officers responding to domestic violence.
What to Do Now
Let’s continue the leadership McKinnon demonstrated during his tenure with the Detroit Police Dept. Let’s make sure we engage across the USA in some of the practices that will help:
Send police officers into neighborhoods to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community
Shift the focus of the departments to community-driven policing
Continue funding our police departments as we train officers to respond in appropriate ways to various needs
Advocate for and implement training programs for officers responding to domestic violence
Hire officers who demonstrate compassion – and fire those who do not!
Oh, and do not forget about ME! I am part of the problem if I do not check my “White Privilege” at the door – and examine my own heart and actions. Am I guilty of prejudice unintentionally? If so, how? And what can I do about it in my own life??
No more needless deaths! No more hatred! No more discrimination!
Reach out in love Call Unity into Action. Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!! Be the change you want to see in the world!
I want to walk down A new and different path – A better way – A more compassionate road – An avenue that’s better for our planet and for us.
I want the whole world to enjoy what I do: the blue skies and the clean water, the promises of a brighter tomorrow, and a sure hope for the future of our planet.
Let’s let the sun set On this troublesome time, And let’s help our world Usher in a wiser, more loving, Beautiful, sustainable tomorrow.
There never has been a time when more possibilities, when more opportunities were so obviously apparent. We don’t want to go back to what was. We WANT a “new normal.” Let’s take advantage of this time …
What’s your plan for what to do differently once we are able to emerge from this COVID-19 challenge?
Sometimes this COVID-19 feels like we’re walking through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” especially when we see the staggering statistics from Italy and realize how quickly the virus is spreading in places like New York City.
A friend told me today he feels we’re living in a period akin to the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl era. Songs are being composed about it. There are thoughtful essays being written. Scientists are creating impressive graphs showing the statistics of known contagions to death tolls and analyzing the relationships to age and climate. Novels will be written that will be classics in the decades to come.
How do we live through this “Valley of the Shadow of Death” without fear?
There are the usual responses: pray, sequester and meditate, have faith, bury your head…
But, while I do believe in the power of our Maker, and I pray daily for the Source of all comfort to bring us healing and peace, there are a few other ways I keep myself FROM feeling the gloom that seems to be enveloping so many. You probably have a list of ways, too. I’d love to have you share yours with me.
Here are my four favorite remedies for avoiding the paralysis of fear:
Music – sing, play, or listen to uplifting songs on YouTube or XM Radio. I love seeing those folks on their balconies in Italy making joyful music together, don’t you? I just listened to Bono and Will.i.am singing a song they wrote for/to the Italians. Google it! Music soothes the soul and uplifts the spirit.
Write – as a blogger, you know how therapeutic it is to put words on paper, in a journal, on a card to a friend, or here on WordPress. Write about what keeps you positive and passionate.
Connect – on the internet or by phone, through a window or across a fence. I just installed a new app on my phone and iPad. It’s called ZOOM. Do you know it? The basic version is free. It’s like FaceTime, but it works on other platforms besides Apple products. My friends in California and Bob & I had a great conversation. It was like sitting across the table from our friends who are 1200 miles away from us. We miss them and it lifted our spirits to see and reconnect with them.
Walk – when the weather permits, go for a walk with your dog or a friend or both. I did that yesterday in our Lion’s Club Park. Yes, we practiced social distancing, but we could chat and laugh and encourage one another. It’s good for body and soul. And TazE loved it, too.
Do tell your dog he’s gotta walk, too!
Tell me, what ways do you avoid walking in the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” these days?
I hope the link above will take you to this very inspiring post. In the face of a world-wide pandemic, our lives seem at peril. Our world is changing. So many events are being cancelled. We’re told not to shake hands and to keep our distance from others. We’re worried about whether we might be carrying and spreading the Coronavirus. The National Basketball Association just cancelled future games until further notice. Tom Hanks & his wife are filming in Australia and they just found out they have the virus.
We can live in faith or fear. The choice is ours. Be prudent. But, be positive, too. Choose happiness – and make that contagious! Go up and click on that link. It’s just what I needed to see/hear tonight.
Each morning I wonder what Bible verse will speak to me today. I wonder what phrase I will “take away” with me. I wonder how I can keep my faith alive, growing, and contagious.
I read today’s page in Daily Guideposts 2020 and I go to my Bible to read the chosen scripture in its larger context. And then I write the “take away” on the page provided at the end of the month.
These WONDERful phrases keep the Wonder alive in my life.
I pray that perhaps these phrases can help keep the wonder alive in your life, too.
Know God is Always With You
Use Your Talents for Common Good
Be a Ready Helper
Find Strength in Faith
Always Be Honest
Trust in God’s Leading
Keep Faith Alive
Be a Blessing
Love Without Condition
Trust God’s Faithfulness
God’s Love is Perfect ❤
Set Your Affairs in Order
Praise God for His Creativity
Always Show Your Love
Pray for Our Leaders
Help Others in Need
Play a Song of Perseverance
Make Me a Loving Servant
Thanks for Friends, Love, and Laughter
Praise God for His Protection
Concentrate on the Positive
Thank God for Grit!
Wear Your Faith Visibly and Honestly
Commit to 40 Days of Sacrifice
Put Faith Into Action
Lean on Him for Wisdom and Strength
You may consider getting your copy of Daily Guideposts 2020 for your morning devotionals. There are still ten months left to enjoy and be inspired by its daily messages. I find it to be a WONDERful way to start my day.
My child, you are worrying too much. remember who I am there is nothing too hard for me. You may not see it, but I have everything planned out for you.
Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Each morning I begin my day sitting in this old rocking chair that Bob’s great-grandpa built. It’s up in the corner of my favorite room in the house – my sanctuary.
You can see Mornings with Jesus, my #1 devotional, on the chair in front of my “All Things Grow with Love” pillow. The picture above the photo of room is today’s page. My bookmark reminds me daily of my 2020 resolution: “Walk the Talk.”
Prov. 3:5-6 is the verse on that card. It’s one of my favorite scriptures. With it tucked firmly under my belt and in my heart each morning, I read the daily devo and write in large, fat letters the 2 to 6 words that are my “take away” for the day. You can see “SIMPLY TRUST HIM” is today’s message.
At the top of my devo page I write my plan for the day … the part of it that God directs to my angelic perch from His heavenly Holy Spirit’s leading. It helps me to “Walk the Talk” when I put my trust in what He has “up His sleeve.”
What are your plans for this beautiful Sunday? I hope you take time to pray. The Faith Step that’s partly covered by my bookmark in the devo picture says, “Recall the times when Jesus answered your prayers in ways you didn’t expect. If you’re praying for something right now, don’t keep Him in a box. Expect Him to answer beyond your expectations.”
Go ahead. Listen for His leading. Step out confidently today with plans God sets before you.
Jesus responded, “ Didn’t I tell you that you would seeGod’s glory if you believe?”
Pray with me, “Thank You, Jesus, for praying with us and for us. Thank You for Your presence in our lives. Now, as we walk the talk, guide our feet where You want us to go today. Help us meet who You want us to meet. Whisper what You want us to say. Help us be who we were made to be. Show us what You want us to do as we walk in Your will. Amen”