Jim Wallis Calls Franklin Graham’s Ferguson Comments ‘Embarrassing’ and ‘Divisive’

Jim Wallis
Jim Wallis

Last Thursday, Franklin Graham posted the following on Facebook about obeying the police (I respond below):

Listen up–Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and everybody else. Most police shootings can be avoided. It comes down to respect for authority and obedience. If a police officer tells you to stop, you stop. If a police officer tells you to put your hands in the air, you put your hands in the air. If a police officer tells you to lay down face first with your hands behind your back, you lay down face first with your hands behind your back. It’s as simple as that. Even if you think the police officer is wrong—YOU OBEY. Parents, teach your children to respect and obey those in authority. Mr. President, this is a message our nation needs to hear, and they need to hear it from you. Some of the unnecessary shootings we have seen recently might have been avoided. The Bible says to submit to your leaders and those in authority “because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.”

This is my response:

Dear Franklin,

The real issue here goes much deeper than obedience to the police or lack thereof. We all need and should obey good police officers whose important mission is to serve and protect—but that must be done equally and without racial bias. Most African American men, in particular, could tell you their own personal stories of mistreatment by white police officers; which had nothing to do with them not obeying them. Many black women and other people of color could tell you stories too. You should be listening to them.

The reality is that there are two policing and legal systems in America; one for black and brown people and one for white people—and that is now well documented showing it is most stark for black men, and especially young black men.

Please read the Department of Justice report clearly proving strong racial bias in the Ferguson police department. Then read the Presidential Policing Commission Report (with six police commissioners on the task force) which shows this is a national problem.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Christian Post
Jim Wallis

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