In the past few weeks’ protests ignited on college campuses across the country.
The impetus for the University of Missouri protest was the Black Lives Movement that started from the death of Michael Brown last year at the hand of a policeman.
Students at the university under the banner of Concerned Student 1950 (referring to the year the first black students were admitted into the school) wanted the removal of the university president. After incidents of racism and antisemitism were not taken seriously by the president, protests culminated in his resignation. Subsequently protests at Yale and Ithaca College started because of similar incidents on their campuses.
It seems the country has been re-ignited with the fires of revolution that swept through the country in the 1950s and 1960s. This thing we call “skin color melanin” really has caused division and will continue to divide.
What are we to do in these times? It is important to know that there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1: 9-10 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
The only thing constant is God. We have to understand and believe that, If we protested every slight issue whether based on racism, on class divisions, on xenophobia – where does it end? As long as there is evil in this world, those issues will exist. I am not saying we need to remain silent when provoked but we should not put all our hope, all our faith in an unjust earthly system. Change came in the 1960s and again in 2008 with the inauguration of the first black President.
The revolution indeed caused change.
Perspective is needed. If you look at the revolutions against slavery which led to the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1863 and the civil rights movement lead by Martin Luther King, there was a common thread – Christianity. Let us even go back to the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt. God heard their cries just as he will hear the cries of the protesters in 2015 but the key is to cry to God above and not man below. While boots are crisscrossing campuses, let knees also stain the ground as prayers simultaneously go up to the one who can bring freedom to all.
Isaiah 49: 24-25 ‘Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, And plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, And your children I will save.
We need to see ourselves as God sees us, we need to love as God loves and we need to put our faith in God.
God sees all.
Written by Wadza Mhute for #Moving forward with Yinka.