Nothing inflames anger like perceived or real injustice. Throw in the tinder of a deteriorating economy in which millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs, and the situation can become extremely ignitable.
This was the firebox that the city of Oakland found itself in on July 8. Around 2:30 p.m., word leaked that the verdict in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial would be read at 4 p.m. The news set off a mass exodus of residents—just short of a panic.
Community organizers and other activists had been out in full force, agitating and instigating. “We are outraged,” said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Residents knew what was coming. They flooded the downtown streets trying to get out of the city center. Trains were jammed; the interstates filled up. At the Federal Building, loudspeakers warned workers to head home. Companies sent out internal e-mails advising the same.
Some businesses had already taken the precaution of boarding up windows. The sign on one store read: “Do not destroy. Black owned. Black owned.” Fortunately for the owners, it was spared.
After the jury verdict was read—convicting white police officer Johannes Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter and not second-degree murder—sporadic rioting broke out, just as predicted, and despite pleas from the black victim’s family for people to maintain calm. By the evening hours, police had lost control of the angry protesters. Barricades were breached, and a mob of around 200 sought justice by looting jewelry and clothing stores, damaging property, setting fires and spray painting messages on buildings. Early reports said that up to 100 people were arrested.
It was clear that many non-white people feel the justice system is racially biased against them—that black people cannot get justice—that the law does not protect them.
Racially Motivated Appointments?
This is a view that President Obama became intimately familiar with from his time as a community organizer in Chicago, and from his close association with racially charged preacher Jeremiah Wright. And it seems he is trying to fix it.
He began by nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor controversially believes that when determining what a crime is, and the penalty for it, a judge should take into consideration the race and cultural background of the offender. She became famous for her remark: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Unfortunately, President Obama’s fix will only make matters worse.
Following the Mehserle verdict, the U.S. Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, said it will review the case to see if it can find a way to prosecute Johannes Mehserle under federal jurisdiction for civil rights violations. Holder is America’s first black attorney general, and was also appointed by President Obama. Holder’s decision to investigate the case normally might not have drawn much scrutiny, except for the fact that he, like President Obama, has been very vocal about America’s racial problems.
In a speech commemorating Black History Month, he said America was a nation of “cowards” when it came to race problems—and that essentially the majority of Americans were mild racists. “I think we have an obligation. We have to continue the fight of all the people who I mentioned in my speech [non-whites] to really kind of ultimately get this nation to the place where I think it can and should be.”
Holder’s Justice Department is currently under scrutiny for another high-profile race-based case—and for its purported belief/policy that racism is almost exclusively a white people’s problem.
In early July, Justice Department whistle-blower J. Christian Adams leveled accusations that Obama officials, including Holder, believe “civil rights law should not be enforced in a race-neutral manner and should never be enforced against blacks or other national minorities.”
As one example, Adams cited a Justice Department decision to drop a case against the black supremacist hate group, the New Black Panther Party. This is the group whose leader believes if “you want freedom, you gonna have to kill some crackers. You gonna have to kill some of their babies.” For our readers unfamiliar with this racial slur, “crackers” is a pejorative for white people.
In the case in question, New Black Panther Party members were videotaped intimidating voters during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. One member dressed in military garb waved a metal rod around while shouting profanities and racial slurs at voters, causing some to leave.
When career Justice Department prosecutors brought the case to civil court, the New Black Panther Party didn’t even show up to contest the charges, and the judge found in favor of the prosecution. Then for an undisclosed reason, the Holder Justice Department decided not to pursue an injunction that would bar the New Black Panther Party from voting stations, but to instead just bar the specific New Black Panther member from any polling stations in Philadelphia until 2012.
Just prior to the election, the Philadelphia chapter New Black Panther leader told the Philadelphia Daily News, “I’m about the total destruction of white people. I’m about the total liberation of black people. I hate white people. I hate my enemy .… The only thing the cracker understands is violence. … The only thing the cracker understands is gunpowder. You got to take violence to violence.”
If what whistle-blower Adams charges is true, “lawlessness” runs rampant throughout the Justice Department—and the hierarchy refuses to use the law to protect all races against racism, even when racism is blatant. The unofficial—and possibly now the official—policy is to only pursue cases in which the victims are minorities. Government attorneys have been instructed to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims, Adams told a Senate panel. It is reverse racism at its worst.
Most recently, Eric Holder began floating the possibility of leveling a racial profiling suit against Arizona.
Even some black leaders have spoken out against the Justice Department’s actions. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of bond Action, noted that any racism is wrong. “It wasn’t good when it happened to black people in the past way back when, and it’s not good to happen to white Americans today,” he says. “I just hope white Americans really wake up and realize that they are under attack because of their color.” Peterson says the actions of Eric Holder and Barack Obama are only empowering the New Black Panther Party and others like it.
“It seems that there’s a double standard; there’s reverse racism going on,” says Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church.
Now, some Republican politicians are using the issue for political purposes—not to help fix a problem, but purely to discredit President Obama. The Justice Department is making matters worse by stonewalling subpoenas issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, raising questions about a cover-up. Political polarization is quickly sparking racial tension.
America’s leaders are groping around like blind men in the dark.
The reality, however, is that the sun is out and getting hotter, America’s leaders are playing games with magnifying glasses, and society is sitting on a pile of dried leaves and twigs. Under these conditions, combustion is inevitable.
You cannot heal differences between people or races by treating people differently under the law. The law must be the same for all, otherwise it promotes hard feelings, a sense of injustice—and ultimately conflict. If America is not careful, it may soon have white-empowerment groups becoming mainstream too. What do you think that would do to race relations?
The answer to America’s race problems is law—God’s law.
The Bible talks about a time when justice would leave the land. In Isaiah 59, God warns that because people have forgotten Him and His commands, “judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”
Judgment is backward. Truth is trampled. And there is no equity. Sound like America today?
“The way of peace they know not,” says God. “And there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”
God is not a respecter of persons. Anciently, He commanded Israel that all Israelites were to be equal under the law. The law was not to respect certain individuals or groups more than others. “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour” (Leviticus 19:15).
In Zechariah 7:9-10, God commands, “Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger [or foreigner], nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.”
As long as America refuses to recognize and uphold God’s laws as outlined in the Bible, there will be no peace between the races. In fact, the book of Ezekiel prophesies that America’s actions are leading the nation toward a full-blown race war. (This prophecy is explained in Chapter 4 of our booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet. Request your free copy.)
Injustice inevitably leads to conflict. When it is racially motivated, it leads to race war. Yet a merciful God gives America the answer to its racial problems: Just uphold His law. ▪