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Ferguson violence derails the message of Justice, Cincinnati models a way out

Cincinnati models future
Cincinnati models future
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ferguson, Missouri prepares for the funeral of Michael Brown today. His father is calling for peace, and a break in the picketing. Will the request be honored? Many are praying that peace prevails!

It is clear that 2 sides have emerged on this incident, and dialogue even to remote cities continues to dwel l on division rather than unity. A number of faith communities are beginning to weigh in. Will there be calm? Unified action? Even a slight bit of understanding….

No matter what opinion, don’t we all want justice? America still has a model justice system with no international competition . No personal interaction with the system? Views maybe formed through legal shows (from Judge Judy to People’s Court to The Good Wife … ), demographic surveys (who goes to prison), and others. The reality is American Justice, filled with best intentions, is tainted by resources and stereotypes.

Put aside this specific situation, no doubt picketing has and is being designed by the majority to bring attention to the matter of justice inequality. It’s no longer a racial divide… go to our outlying counties... it is an economic divide! The best attorneys require large fees=best results.

Since the time of MLK, peaceful demonstrations clearly get results… it activates the general populous generating sympathy and conscience awareness. The civil right movement has always been fueled by God’s people! Believers will rise to defend any “underdog”, clearly stating “No Bullying” allowed.

The few that are out of control, insisting on violence, looting, property destruction… are hijacking the justice message. There is NO sympathy for thugs, or thieves!!

Cincinnati has experienced its own riots in 2001, or have we so quickly forgotten? Many of us were caught in the middle of it. Details immediately whir in my mind… recalling bringing a few be bandits to their senses … courageous? More instinctual, and appalled to allow an out of control of gang of teens spiral in a specific corner.

Mob mentality is uglier than most evils. Calmer circumstances with clearer heads prevailing have turned unrest into action steps. Reconciliation is beginning to take hold, some great strides offered in the City of Cincinnati create hope for a brighter community :

1)One New Humanity Conference on September 9th, 2014 @ The Underground Freedom Center. Years in the making, great headliners, …. 8am until 8pm. Get more information at https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-New-Humanity-Conference/578621422254313

2)The Church of Cincinnati – Churches uniting to form a beacon of light throughout our community (every denomination & group represented) www.churchofcincinnati.org . From pools to poverty, this group is impacting the big issues… justice is definitely on the table!

3)CitiLink Center – helping “working poor” through every facet of life www.citylink.org 4)City Gospel Mission – from homelessness to youth programs www.citygospelmission.org

5)KidsGames – A week long Summer camp in 16 locations that combines the efforts of a suburban and an urban church specifically focusing on a sport, and the message of reconciliation. www.kidgames.org

There are others, many others…. Groups that represent every corner of the Tristate region. This sampling demonstrates that change can start with a community’s faith groups impacting the general population with persistence and unity! Simply put, the uninformed to awareness to the intentional!