by Captain Bradley

Few things spark more concern from minorities and eye-rolling apathy from majorities quite like discussions, media blasts, and public rallies highlighting race issues in our modern America.

Racial divides will always exist in any society of and level of personal choice. It just comes with the freedom package that brave souls fought for years ago. Those in political change positions only compound the divide by only focusing their real attention on a very different minority: campaign contributors and voters. Real minorities get great speeches, slaps on the back, and virtual thumbs-up everyday, but very little changes in economic and social opportunities.

If there’s one place that racial divides should be closed, it’s the modern church. Let alone the pretty direct teachings of Christ, it just seems like the only, politics-free, safe haven of equality in America. But, church congregation demographics tend to mirror that of the surrounding neighborhood. It’s easy. It’s convenient. It’s “safe”. Downtown churches are a bit different, since no church I know of has a congregation of homeless folks and urban-dwelling hipsters & empty-nesters & few families (that’s us). Our downtown church is large, beautiful, and supported by 99%+ lilly white congregation. It’s just the way it is.

Tonight, there’s evidently a gathering in our downtown park that was inspired by the Trayvon Martin murder. More speeches. More media. More dreams. At least as it pertains to my hometown, life is so much easier for everyone when they “know their place” and keep contrary thoughts to themselves, especially when differing from the chosen-few who like to control things. Tonight’s gathering, discussion, rally, etc. is another opportunity for more than just another feel-good moment…like the sad #OccupyKnoxville effort was during the similar futility of #OccupyWallStreet . Any positive, local outcomes from the Florida tragedy will only come from serious, determined, and faithful neighbors who create better opportunities for politically neglected neighborhoods. Politicians seem to come and go with little to no impact on the racial divide. Only smart neighbors, groups, and people of faith, any faith, can make a real difference after this gathering tonight. We shall see.