Time to unite, not divide

Published 9:08 pm Thursday, April 30, 2015

By Domenick Epps

“A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city, and [their] contentions separate them like the bars of a castle.” (Proverbs 18:19 AMP)

The above scripture, written by King Solomon, speaks of what I believe we are witnessing today in Baltimore. We’re witnessing those who represent many across our nation who are outraged and affronted by the many accounts of black men dying in the custody of law enforcement.

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The common denominator in all these incidents is the fact that those who died were men and men of color. So there is offense taken. Though the behavior is not condoned, the emotion behind it must be understood.

I personally am not a supporter of looting and riots to the same degree that I do not support the brutal use of force.

The Trayvon Martin case was a big deal. Since that case in 2012, there has been an increase in the number of cases in which unarmed black men have died as a result of the unlawful use of force.

Race and stereotyping in regards to blacks is still an issue. But what we are witnessing is only the fruit and not the root. The tree has its branches and bears its fruit, and though the branches and leaves spread abroad, it’s the roots, unseen below the surface, that ultimately determine the life span of the tree.

So this is deeper than our judicial system, and it’s deeper than the prejudiced behavior of blacks and whites.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” In 2 Corinthians 10:4, he wrote: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”

Looting, riotous behavior and vicious assaults are not the answer. Please note that there are many in Baltimore who are protesting peacefully and calling on the name of the Lord for peace.

Understand that as a people, black and white, we must unite right now! Division based on race is not the solution.

The solution to this problem requires fasting and praying. We must pray for our youth, for our leaders, for law enforcement, for our communities and for Baltimore.

Let’s not put all who wear a badge in the same boat, nor all whose skin is a different color or who dress differently. I bless God for Suffolk’s police force and all those who are in authority. We must unite.

Domenick Epps is a Suffolk resident, real estate agent and youth pastor. Email him at DomenickEpps.Realtor@gmail.com.