Updated: Jun 15, 2022
Without question, laws, regulations, and better education and training for police are needed to combat systemic racism. The same is true in terms of schools in educating disadvantaged kids and addressing chronic poverty. What about the escalating vitriol in politics and the ever-widening gulf between progressives and conservatives, at the expense of the majority of Americans who simply want problems dealt with in a fair and equitable way? Even if new laws could bridge the divide, they might never be passed. Then add to this the pessimistic view that even if laws, education, and a new government are installed, you can’t regulate human nature, especially the evil, hateful side of people.
Enter White Eagle, the Hopi elder. He wrote recently that we need to see from an eagle’s perspective, to see the whole, and to not lose the spiritual dimension. He says that if we are consumed 24 hours a day with the news, we tend to fall into the hole of pessimism.
“If we take the opportunity to rethink life and death, take care of ourselves and others and connect with our spiritual houses,” he writes, we won’t fall into the hole. He continues, “there is a social demand in this crisis, but there is also a spiritual demand—the two go hand in hand. Without the spiritual dimension, we fall into pessimism and lack of meaning."
I just finished reading a book titled Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and author of 19 books, a few of which were New York Times bestsellers. Dyson is black and an ordained minister. His book was intentionally a scathing attack and exposé of systemic and cultural racism in the U.S. I could sense his tears flowing in all 223 pages.
I confess that I found his bold, no-holds-barred writing disturbing at times.
Dyson ends by writing that we must, as a country, return to our moral and spiritual foundations. “Moral and spiritual passions can lead to a better day in the U.S.,” he says. “Let the spirit of love and hope shine through that we are a better people.”
I suggest that the forgotten factor, the one rarely talked about in the public square, is the moral and spiritual one, that which changes the hearts and minds of people—including police, teachers, people in Congress and even the president. Without that, new laws will not have maximum affect.
As White Eagle writes, we need to “connect with our spiritual houses.” For me, that is God, through the high life principles and character he showed in his brief human walk on Earth as Jesus. With faith and trust in God instead of a political party or a leader, we can have hope, inner peace, and a roadmap to show us how to treat each other. Then we can begin to solve our divisions and problems on the basis of eternal laws such as “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
* “You must love the Lord your God with all your heard, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”