When God's people built themselves a golden calf, the next generation bore the consequences as well. Surely the younger group said among themselves "it's not our fault that our parents were so sinful. We know better now." And yet, they continued to wander the desert.
Like other states, Missouri was significantly affected by redlining, the War on Drugs, and other 21st policies that created a direct lineage to the strange fruit it bears today (more about Missouri's racial history can be found here and here ). This history brings context to the dehumanization of Black people that leads to their murder in our communities, to their treatment as second-class citizens in the courtroom, to the scare tactics they face on campuses, to the shows of force that make Black residents fear for their lives and property.
But the point is not to single-out Missouri itself. Indeed, every state has its own racial history that has significant consequences today. Take some time to look into the racial history of your own state, your own city, even your own block.
|Redlining map of St. Louis. |
Ferguson is clearly visible in the top right.
Look at the property records for your home and for your church. Is there a Racial Restrictive Covenant in the history of the property where you live? Was your church's land bought using proceeds from the sale of slaves or their property?
This history is important. It puts our current events into a context that informs our interpretation of what we are seeing all around us. Just like our biblical forebearers, we inherit the consequences of generations past. The question is whether we will take definitive steps to break the cycle today.