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“So You Think You Know Better Than God!”

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Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Is that right? If I didn’t know a fool, I know one now. How you gonna know more than your Maker fool? God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb [Jeremiah 1:5]. I tell you only a fool would deign to say, “I know what is best for me.” In fact, that would be downright rude, and would showcase how arrogance begets stupidity. This is the most basic message of Wisdom: Never “backseat drive” someone who clearly knows you better than you know yourself, and wants to help you. I should just end this message right here!  You know nothing! It is only in God that you live and have your being!

The nerve of the self-serving and foolish thinking of prevailing culture today sending a loud and audacious message to God: “I know better. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take it from here.” You know nothing! God knows best!

People today tend to think that they are the ones in charge of their lives. They call the shots. They make the decisions. And God is left out of the picture.  Let no one deceive himself. God is the Lord of your life. He is the one who gives your life. He is the one who directs your life. And He is the one who determines when your life is over. Don’t get it twisted!  You would do good to remember what [1 Corinthians 3:18] says, “if any man among you think that he is wise in this age let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.

You know, there are two contrasts in life – the foolish man and the wise man.  The foolish man is someone who thinks they know everything. You can’t tell them nothing!  They will not listen to reason. Just “unteachable.”  Try to show them their waywardness only creates an enemy!  But the wise man – while the fool persists in his foolishness, the wise man will listen when he is confronted with the truth and he will adjust his life accordingly. He has a “teachable” spirit! He realizes his own limitations and shortcoming and grasps every opportunity to develop his life into one that is more pleasing to the Lord.

What a difference! The fool says, “I can take care of myself; I can figure out my own life. I don’t need others telling me what to do.” By contrast, the attitude of the wise man is: “I’m always open to the input and advice of those older/wiser/more experienced than I am.” And that is why, as another proverb says, the wise become even wiser. Don’t be a self-centered fool by ignoring wise and helpful input from others. Don’t be a fool, taking pride in what you perceive as your intelligence and wisdom. Such wisdom “is foolishness in God’s sight”. By contrast, trust the Lord, learn His wisdom from the Scriptures of the Bible, acknowledge Him and His ways, and you will be a truly wise man or woman. You think you know better than God…. You know nothing!

Letter to the Editor: I WILL Vote

By Mildred Henry

I read the headlines in total disbelief!

A professed leader in the Black Lives Matter  (BLM) movement reportedly said,  “I ain’t voting until Black Lives Matter“.  I cannot believe that any informed,  self-respecting African American will openly proclaim that he or she will not vote! This is a gross indignity because of the sacrifices and lives lost by our predecessors in order to gain the right to vote.  This misguided individual tramples on the graves of Sojourner Truth; Fannie Lou Hamer; the Mississippi Freedom Riders; Barbara Jordan, Dr. Martin Luther King, and the sacred graveyard list goes on and on.

Supporters of the “I ain’t voting” cognitive dissonance trample on the grave of my mother who was told she would lose her teaching job if she joined the NAACP and conducted a voter registration drive. She joined, became a lifetime NAACP member, and the family survived. 

We survived in spite of the racists who burned our family cotton gin (3 times) and general store to the ground.  Our family provided merchandise, and rides for neighbors to go to town, to register, to vote, to shop, and to conduct business. Comradery existed whereby you picked up and provided a ride to someone walking by the side of the road.   

 We survived in spite of the fact that schools for Black children were closed 3 and 4 months of the school year to work in the cotton fields. We survived  in spite of having to walk 10 miles to school while school buses for white children threw dust up in our faces.  We survived many adversities in order to be where we are today.  I WILL vote.  

Black people were castigated, tortured, lynched and suffered terrible deaths for just expressing the desire to vote.  It was through the power of the vote that we defeated segregationists George Wallace of Alabama, and Governors Lester Maddox and Orville Faubus of Arkansas.  If one of the reported leaders of the BLM is an attorney, as reported, he should be well aware of the court battles of Attorney and Chief Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. As an Arkansan, I watched Attorney Thurgood Marshall and local attorneys like Attorney George Howard, engage in battle on behalf of the Little Rock Nine students’ effort to get an education at Central High School.  Mrs. Daisy Bates and the State Press Newspaper (distributed by my mother) espoused the power of the vote to change the segregationist structure in Arkansas. These students (and many others)  endured insults, life threats, personal danger, and loss of life to get a competitive education and learn that using the word “Ain’t” was not acceptable in the competitive corporate world.  We fought for a competitive education and the right to vote in order to right the wrongs.  I WILL vote!

Rhetoric is cheap. BLM threatens to give the presidency to Donald Trump. Why? I am amazed at how gullible some people are to the unfounded promises uttered by this individual. He promises jobs but he makes products abroad and sells them to consumers in America. How will providing jobs abroad “make America great”?  He can begin by bringing those jobs to America, and assure that ”Made in America” is on all of his products.  As a businessman, carefully scrutinize his business record and his tax return (which he refuses to release).

He speaks of diversity but uses the terminology “my African-American“ which to me equates to the slogan, “My Nigger,” so frequently used in my youth. 

Donald Trump uses negative slogans, personal insults, and exhibits totally unprofessional, crass behavior, unrepresentative of the values taught us as children.  How could any self-respecting African-American, knowledgeable of our ancestral history, threaten to vote for a self-aggrandizement individual who exhibits such unethical behavior?  We should not jump from the frying pan into the fire.  This is not a game of marbles between children. This is a serious world event which will impact the future of every human being on this earth, especially those of minority ethnic background.

I ask those who thought the Democratic inclusion of mothers of slain Black men was just “political theater”, what did the Republicans do to indicate the importance of this issue?  How did they show the seriousness of the Black Lives Matter movement?  News reports indicate “BLM Threatens to Hand Trump the Presidency”.   Why?  What has he done to earn it? This is not a TV show. This is survival.   I sincerely hope that self-grandiose individuals will not be successful in spewing their venom and preying on the sensibilities of the uninformed.

I WILL vote, and I urge every eligible voter to become adequately informed, VOTE, and Don’t Forget The Bridges That Brought Us Over!

Police Abuse Debate Is More Than A Black-White Issue

By Luis Vasquez-Ajmac, Urban News Service

While the national conversation on police and race seems like a black-and-white issue, many Latinos say they also feel mistreated by cops.

“I grew up in East L.A., in an economically depressed neighborhood,” said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, the first Latino to lead the Los Angeles area’s second largest law-enforcement agency. “I did not have the most positive contact with the police or the people around me. I very much understand the concerns.”

Many Latinos report abusive experiences and negative opinions toward police, similar to those that numerous African-Americans have expressed nationwide, according to a survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. 

“Excessive police use was a huge issue for the Hispanic-American community,” said Jennifer Benz, AP-NORC’s deputy director. Beyond answering this study’s specific questions, some respondents volunteered that “they or someone in their family was harshly treated by the police at far higher levels than whites,” Benz said.

This is not just a white-and-black issue, according to Benz. “Across the country, roughly four in 10 Americans believe the reason for police violence is overall problems with race relations in our society,” she said. “Three-quarters of Americans think it would be more effective to have diverse police forces nationwide.”

AP-NORC polled 1,200 white, black and Latino Americans on these topics in July 2015.
Law enforcement “has a lot of work to do, to continue the dialogue and talk about the excessive use of force,” said LAPD Captain Tina Nieto, incoming president of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association.

The L.A. native echoes those who advocate closing racial disparities by recruiting and hiring more people of color. “It’s very important to make an attempt to have a police force that reflects the community that you are servicing,” Nieto said. “I believe when your police force reflects the community, there are better outcomes.” 
Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, said that where officers reside affects these matters. “We need officers to live in the communities where they police,” he said. “When they live outside the cities that employ them and commute in from neighborhoods that have very different, less diverse demographics, problems are aggravated.”  

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather McDonald disagrees.

“This is an irrelevant consideration. It’s the classic Black Lives narrative that embraces the white cop/black victim line-up,” said the author of the new book, “The War on Cops.”

“The Justice Department came out with a report last year in Philadelphia. It found that black and Hispanic officers were far more likely than white officers to shoot an unarmed black suspect. I think the inquiry of an officer’s skin color is largely a side show,” she said.

Rene Galindo, a telecom network engineer for 2talk, grew up as a Mexican-American in South Central L.A. He said there are two systems of law: one for whites and another for people of color.

“You thought it was normal for cops to stop you for no reason, check your personal property under no suspicion at all,” Galindo said. “I’ve been held for no apparent reason, just for walking home from a friend’s place at night.”  Nieto, however, said police do not confront people willy-nilly. “I know we are not just stopping you because we want to stop you,” she said. “We are way too busy in the city of L.A. Citizens can always request a supervisor to the scene if you believe officers are doing something they are not supposed to do.” 

“Many people of color do not see cops as protectors, but we see the opposite,” said Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers union, which represents thousands of Mexican-American agricultural laborers. “They harass, intimidate and brutalize people of color and kill.” 

White Americans have it different, some say.

“In most situations, white people are not presumed dangerous or guilty,” said the Equal Justice Initiative’s Stevenson. “Because most police officers are white, this means that white people face a different level of threat and risk when they encounter the police.” 

Despite racial gaps in perceptions of law enforcement, most Americans say they want more diverse police forces to ease ethnic tensions.

“It’s not surprising for those of us aware of how the Latino community across the country has been treated by police,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “We need to recruit a more diverse police force.”