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I don’t understand all the stuff going on in Baltimore.  I don’t understand police officers who treat people the way they treated Freddie Gray.  I don’t understand people who move into the streets vandalizing, stealing and setting people’s property on fire.

I don’t understand what happened in Ferguson.  I don’t know why the cop shot the kid and I don’t know what the kid did that would make the cop decide to pull the trigger.

I don’t understand what it is like to be a black person in America.  I don’t understand what it is to be a person of any color who lives in poverty.  I can’t imagine what it is like to be an immigrant, especially one who will wade a river or hold on to a piece of wood hoping to reach American soil.

I do understand this.  Race relations, immigration problems and struggles between peoples will not cease until there is more of an effort to understand each other and less intent to make comments about the other without the aid of understanding.

Jen Hatmaker wrote a great post about the Baltimore riots.  Find it and read it.

I am amazed how many of my white, southern friends who have so much advice for the people in Baltimore.  I am amazed by the number of people who are so quick to judge the police officers, the men and women on the streets who deal with addicts, murderers and who knows what all on a daily basis and expect them to treat everyone like they were dealing with perfect people.

I do know this.  Advice from people who have no #$%^&*@ clue of what other people are dealing with have little, if any, right to speak up.  That includes me.  I am a fabulous armchair quarterback.  I have all the answers from my little world.  Yet, I have no understanding of what it is like to be a cop dealing with the worst of the worst or a person who has lived in oppression of any kind.

Now that the police officers in Baltimore may be indicted for murder, I don’t know what to expect but doubt it will bring peace.  My guess is it will make for more speculation, more antagonism, more mouthing.  I hope, at some point, there will be a call for more heart, more kindness, more grace.

I can hope, can’t I?

Grace and peace.

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