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  • Writer's pictureRev. Dr. Ron Bell

Do not look away!

My city is burning, but not in the way the media is showing. Did you see the fire, not the one burning down the precinct but the one burning in the hearts of the wounded in my community? The grieving mothers and grandmothers recalling the voice of our dear brother George Floyd, as he called for his mother, while taking his last breath. The burning of the hearts of we who wept, when our governmental leaders refused to arrest the murderer of this wicked and inhumane deed. Did you see that fire?


Did you see the shattered glass, not those easily replaceable windows scattered in pieces on the ground under our feet? Instead, the shattered glass of expectation for justice, the shattered glass of respect for our humanity that our murderers continue to display, the shattered glass of hope as we watched our brother’s body lay, lifeless under the knee of his murderer. Did you see that glass shatter?


You must have witnessed the looting? Not the ones the cameras and social media love to exploit, but instead the looting of our human rights. The looting of our constitutional rights as citizens. The looting of our communities for decades by corporations for greed. Did you see that looting?


I think you were so busy looking for a riot that you missed the gathering of the grieving. I think you were so busy looking for looters that you missed the lament and heartbreak of a community. I think you were so busy looking for trouble that you missed the tragedy of systemic racialized trauma on the bodies of black and brown people. Tonight, tomorrow, and even the next day I beg of you, look again. Look again.


I do not have a scripture for you. I do not have a perfectly curated historical epitaph from a giant like King or Martin to impress you with. Instead, I have a request for you. Look again. See the trauma and pain of my community. See the anger and anxiety. See the tiredness. Look again.


Once you have really looked upon our sorrow, once you have put away your hashtags, retweets and emojis, once you have set with the weight of our sorrow what you will discover is my city has become

your city. My pain has become your pain. That young person protesting has become your young person grieving, that kid looting has become your kid weeping. Do not look away. For then and only then will you be truly with us! Look again.

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Eboni Bell
Jun 23, 2020

This brilliant writing offers a lens that many refuse to see through. It offers an opportunity of self reflection and introspection, which, for years, has been ignored, but those days are over. No longer will we sit back and allow the ignorance of white supremacists to blaze a fire over our bodies. Instead, you have ignited a fire of justice that will not go out. Long gone are the days when you can ignore the blatant disparities that rage, right in front of you. Either you chose to see it, or you chose not to. Either way, you will be held accountable. Black lives MATTER to God. Open your eyes. Do something about it. It starts with you. It starts…


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Susan Bair McCormick
Susan Bair McCormick
May 31, 2020

Dr. Bell, Thank you for your beautifully written attempt to help each of us see a very healthy perspective on what is happening again in our country. Each time this issue comes to the forefront of the nation's consciousness, I am saddened that this is the reality for so many people of color.


This time, it has felt very personal to me. I attended a college not far from Minneapolis nearly fifty years ago, and I still have friends who live in the Twin Cities to this day. One of my black classmates has become quite prominent on a national level as a pastor who is known to be a friend to senators, governors and at least one president. T…


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Dylan Linet
Dylan Linet
May 31, 2020

@Lee Kaszok: As one white person to another, I hope you get a chance to read this again and really think about it. I would ask you to look inside yourself and ask: why am I so upset about property damage?


I'm imagining you don't have friends, family members, lovers, killed by the police for little to no reason. I imagine as a white person you don't worry that your children could be gunned down for playing with toy guns. I imagine you don't see a need for rebellion because you yourself do not have a need for rebellion.


Keep in mind that black folks and allies have been protesting peacefully for decades. Black folks have been peacefully pleading for the…

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Lee Kaszok
Lee Kaszok
May 30, 2020

I agree that the responsible ones should be punished as if they were not cops but just anyone. BUT and that's a big but there is no excuse for the violence. What has that got them? NOTHING GOOD. It just makes people think, that's what he was like so we stopped him. Do I think they the cops or the people throwing a fit are right , a BIG NO.

I don't want to think we have slipped back to white against black and brown and black and brown against white. I live in a retirement apt. complex and we have people from all over the place and we get along and are friends so what is going on outsid…

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