Eugene Cho

If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we at least listen, seek to understand, and mourn with them?

trayvon-martin-family-photos-1_1

Soon, the headlines and media coverage will turn to the next magnet. And soon, another frenzy will ensue. What will it be about? Who will it be about? The answer I do not know but the fact that we’ll move on is certain.

But some will stay. Not because they want to per se but because it’s the reality of their lives.

It’s not that I’m trying to be a downer or “that pastor” that keeps bringing up the issue of race. I could contend that race doesn’t exist. Or it shouldn’t. It’s a human construct. It was a gift from God to reflect His creativity, beauty, and diversity but as a result of our human fall, depravity, and sinfulness…it has been constructed for domination, exploitation, and separation.

As a result, it is sadly a part of our reality and will continue to be so – until that glorious Day when all things will be restored. But in the here and now, we must continue to labor through the consequences of the curse of that suspicion and separation.

Want an example? At the heart of the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin – for some – has been the issue of race: It’s existence or non-existence. And because it was deemed to be the latter, the jury ruled not Zimmerman not only not guilty but a victim. Our justice system – however fallible or infallible – has been administered and we must respect it.

But this is not my point. I have no ill will against the jury or against Mr. Zimmerman. I pray for him, his wife, and his family. I pray for his safety and well being. I long for the opportunity to speak God’s grace over his life if our paths were to ever cross. I really do.

My point is something all together different.

In our voyeuristic society, we have access to nearly everything…Snowden’s whereabouts excluded. It’s stunning and overwhelming at times. The GZ/TM was no different. If anything, even more so glorified and amplified with the intense media scrutiny.

As a result, so many people were talking about it and when the verdict was announced, it became apparent just how differently people followed the trial.

For many, it was an event. It was current news. It was a large Judge Judy episode on steroids.

And for others – especially in the African American community, it was something entirely something different:

In Trayvon, they saw a familiar story.
Perhaps, all too common of a story.
They saw a son, a husband, a nephew, or perhaps…even themselves.

This past Sunday, I spoken with several of my Black congregants and they were all shaken. Every one of them. Couple in near tears. One of them wrote me a brief email and shared these poignant words:

“…for me this hits super close to home as a black man who experiences variations of racial profiling on a regular basis in my life, along with the fact that Trayvon very easily could have been my teenage brother (who wears hoodies ALL the time and lives in a primarily white neighborhood) or it could have even been my own son.  This is fairly emotionally close and raw and real for me.”

And I guess this is my challenge to  my readers, supporters, critics, and stalkers.

For a moment, put aside your political views, your victories for the Stand Your Ground legislation, your aspirations to be a political commentator, or your gun carrying stances and…

Can we just shut up, listen, and mourn?

Can we just take some time to hurt and mourn with many of our Black brothers and sisters?
Can we take some time to hurt with many Black churches and communities?
With our black friends, co-workers, and neighbors, can we commiserate with them – however limited we may be in that commiseration?

For us – as Christians – if our Black brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting…If they are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ; And if we are truly the Body of Christ as we profess…can’t we just shut up, listen, and mourn with them? Can we possibly try to listen, hear, and capture a glimpse of why they are upset, concerned, anxious, worried, and even fearful?

Does the Scriptures not command us to “mourn with those who mourn?”

Someone sent me this “anonymous” letter. I do not know the author. It is merely a letter to George Zimmerman from “A black male that could’ve been Trayvon Martin.”

Is it a broad stroke? Is it too general?

Perhaps.

But read it nevertheless.
Read it. Shut up. Listen.
Hurt. Mourn.

lettertozimmerman

My last exhortation for this post:

Please don’t reduce this story to a mere 24 hour social media frenzy.
Examine yourself. Count the costs.

Commit yourself to justice, reconciliation, and peacemaking. God invites and calls us to be agents of reconciliation to a world in need of much mending, healing, and grace.

We must take this call to heart.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

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72 Responses

  1. Jim D. says:

    Eugene, I say this to you again in a spirit of care. How does this edify the body of Christ? How does this facilitate unity? How does this honor Christ?

    • It does so in two ways off the top of my head.

      Firstly it recognizes the unity of the body as described in 1 Cor. 12:25 – 26 which asserts that when one part of the body of Christ is suffering, we all are suffering together.

      Secondly, it is in line with the instruction in Romans 12:15 which, in the midst of a passage that tells us about what love looks like, instructs us that we should rejoice when others rejoice and mourn when others mourn.

      Ultimately, what I see in the Bible is that mourning with others is an act of love towards them and our love for others is a demonstration and a manifestation of our love for God (1 John 4).

    • Dean says:

      I am unable to comprehend how you would even ask this question…how is it not honoring Christ to encourage everyone, no matter how you see the issue from a political point of view, to get down off of your soapbox, shut your mouth, and mourn with those who mourn?

    • Karen S. says:

      Eugene’s post moves incredibly to encourage us to listen, with open hearts, to the struggles of our brothers and sisters in Christ. To hear their hurts, hold their hands, and just be with them sitting in their pain. How could this NOT edify the body, and honor Christ?

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Jim:

      I got your email, too.

      I don’t think I can say anything to convince you otherwise.

    • Will J. says:

      I think Jim D. has a very good question, which still hasn’t been satisfactorily answered. Probably because we haven’t properly established exactly what it is we’re told to commiserate with.

      What, exactly are blacks mourning? Can’t be the death of Trayvon Martin; he’s been dead for over a year. So, what is it? Could it be the verdict? More accurately, could it be they didn’t get the guilty verdict they wanted?

      Could this be the whole reason for the existence of this article?

      So, let’s see: They didn’t get what they wanted. And they’re “mourning”. Huh. Last I checked, shedding tears and making a general stink over not getting what you want isn’t called mourning. It’s called throwing a tantrum.

      I’m surprised that Mr. Cho, having raised kids, can’t tell the difference.

      And now, Mr. Cho would have us shut up and listen to people who are in the process of… tantruming. Let’s see how the following statements work by substituting one teensy little word:

      “If our black brothers and sisters are [tantruming], can’t we at least listen, seek to understand, and [tantrum] with them?”

      “Can we just shut up, listen, and [tantrum]?”

      “Can we take some time to [tantrum] with many Black churches and communities?”

      “With our black friends, co-workers, and neighbors, can we commiserate with them – however limited we may be in that commiseration?”

      Commiserate with those who are throwing tantrums? Isn’t that rather absurd?

      Didn’t Mr. Cho say, “…because it was deemed to be the latter [existence vs. non-existence], the jury ruled not Zimmerman not only not guilty but a victim. Our justice system – however fallible or infallible – has been administered and we must respect it.”

      That may not have been Mr. Cho’s point, but the fact is, there are people in the black community, led by Mr. Sharpton, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Holder, who are not respecting the verdict. Had the black community, especially their “leaders”, respected the verdict, would this article have even been written?

      When little children engage in immoral, irrational, and immature behavior, they are disciplined and corrected. Yet, when grown adults behave this way, the rest of us are told to “shut up and listen”. Given that immoral, irrational and immature behavior is unacceptable in anyone, why would Mr. Cho think it necessary to silence any criticism of adults when they engage in this behavior?

      Could it be because they’re black? What was the title of this article again?

      Mr. Cho, why do you think it necessary to castigate the Christian community at large for not “mourning properly”, yet refuse to call out leaders, such as the REVEREND Al Sharpton, as they instigate violence and unrest? Why do you criticize Christians for insignificant things, most of which don’t even rise (or stoop) to the level of sin, yet give a pass to blatant sin in leaders who claim to be Christian? Didn’t Jesus have a phrase for this sort of thing? Something about straining out gnats and swallowing camels?

      As for your “challenge”:

      - “For a moment, put aside your political views…”

      Mr. Cho, it would be impossible to put aside our political views regarding this case. The trial itself was politically motivated, and, if there were any real justice, the prosecutor would find herself on the receiving end of a lawsuit for her unethical conduct.

      - “…your victories for the Stand Your Ground legislation…”

      It has already been determined at trial that the Stand Your Ground legislation had absolutely nothing to do with this case. Stop propagating myths.

      - “…your aspirations to be a political commentator…”

      Whether you will admit it or not, this whole article is politically tinged. So, you first.

      - “…or your gun carrying stances…”

      George Zimmerman was acquitted. In your own words, “…justice… has been administered and we must respect it”. Therefore, his case has nothing to do with “your gun carrying stances”.

      - “and… Can we just shut up, listen, and mourn?”

      Given the facts of this case, and the wholly inappropriate reactions of some in the black community, your challenge falls apart. It is irrelevant, unnecessary, and divisive.

      Therefore, I will not shut up and listen, let alone mourn, with people who insist on acting like spoiled brats.

      Mr. Cho, you’re a pastor and a leader… and a father. Fathers don’t put up with tantrums. I expect better of you.

  2. Sarahah says:

    I was going to comment on this anyway, but maybe this comment can now also serve to answer Jim D.’s question:

    Thank you. Thank you for putting words to my thoughts. Right now, I can’t. I am a white, but my brother was adopted and he is black. He is fifteen. He is 6’3″. He is a football player who bench presses some number I can’t remember, but it made me think of Batman.

    I can’t debate this. I can’t argue this issue without without resorting to some very base instinct to reply only in capslock and sarcasm. Because running deeper than any need to be right or outraged there is just pain and fear. I am hurting, along with so many, and I have been increasingly hurt over the past few days by the dismissive attitude of others. I have never been black, and I am aware of the privilege that comes with my whiteness. But someone I love more than anything in this world could be Trayvon, and it haunts me.

    I have read a lot of blog posts that are tackling the serious issues of racism and privilege. They are important and necessary. But right now, I can’t intellectualize this. All I can do is grieve, and I have been for three days now. And I did when I first heard about this over a year ago.

    I watched white, Christian men, who take pride in how “diverse” their church is, attack another friend of mine, a black pastor old enough to be their father as he tried to explain why this mattered, why race mattered. “YOU HAVE RACISM IN YOUR HEART,” they said, because it wasn’t enough to argue, they had to get all spiritually abusive about it. And all I can do in response is cry.

    This post is edifying. This post is healing. I have been thinking of that quote that makes the rounds on the internet every time there is a national tragedy, the one from Mr. Rogers about looking for the helpers. I have struggled to find helpers in this situation, because I need to see this addressed by the church. Thank you for being a helper.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Mourning together with you.
      Even in mourning, there’s great power.

    • Dawn B says:

      I mourn with you, too. And understand many of your feelings, fears, and questions. As a mother. I am white. I will never know what it is like to walk in a black sister’s or brother’s shoes. I do know a little of what it is to walk in the shoes of a mother. A mother who adopted her precious daughter–who is black. Her boyfriend is black, as are a good many of her friends, as are most of our neighbors, and our school district in the area we’ve chosen to live.

      And, definitely, Pastor Cho, thank you for being a helper.

  3. Shrazzi says:

    What a moving post! My family felt blessed to read what you’ve articulated so clearly. It is not for us to judge the issue, either side, instead we must mourn with those who mourn. Unity in the body of Christ. We thank God for your bravery in bringing up such a sensitive topic.

  4. enscriptchun says:

    Thank you for this post, Pastor E.

  5. Kendall says:

    Just a simple, heartfelt thanks, Eugene. Thank you for your words. (I am an Afr-Am male follower of your blog for a while now.)

  6. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Terry says:

    When will it be just brothers and sisters and no “color” designation before hand. Now that would be a great day

  8. Tawnya says:

    Brother Eugene, thank you for sharing this. Sadly, what I fully expect to happen are for even self-identified liberal, big-hearted brothers and sisters in the majority to try their best to squelch this discussion because times have (allegedly) changed, black people are living in the past, or some other such justification for continuing to ignore what we’re saying. When we call out injustice, we’re accused of painting our white brethren with a broad brush and have instances of so-called “reverse racism” thrown in our faces. Keep on speaking for us, as I hope we can all learn to speak for each other.

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • jasdye says:

      I wish I could say, “no, you’re wrong here, Tawnya. White allies and leftists know better than to condescend, ignore, force the agenda…”

      But then I wouldn’t have seen what I’ve seen recently. Lots of white liberals/progressives/leftists defending their (our) White Supremacy.

  9. Taylor says:

    Thank you, pastor. My thoughts exactly. Why are the mourning being confronted rather than comforted?

    • Joshua says:

      I think this stems from the fact we all mourn in different ways. Looking at the classic 4 stages of grief, the destructive among them being denial, anger, and depression.

      I’ve seen a lot of people who have responded to this situation by saying things that appear to be steeped in denial, anger, or depression. When such statements are made in spite of certain evidence or facts in the case, or in claiming knowledge of things we just don’t know, it can be easy for those who disagree to jump in and point out these mistakes without recognizing that the source of the denial, anger, or depression is mourning. And it can therefore be easy to say things one would never say to someone that is known to be in mourning.

      Given my personality I naturally find myself wanting to challenge others when they express things they can’t support. For me this is true for both those who claim the verdict was a complete vindication of Zimmerman and those who are absolutely sure of his guilt. The truth is we don’t have sufficient evidence on this case to back up absolute belief either way.

      I’m trying to learn to better recognize mourning and to either shut up or find better ways of engaging in purposeful conversation with people rather than confronting. I can only hope I get better at doing so as life goes on.

  10. SHARAT BABU says:

    Thank you so much for this blessed message and is strengthening me. Evangelist Babu.

  11. This was so good until you included that letter. It’s dripping with bitterness, resentment, and (possibly) a false accusation of racism. It flies in the face of your post’s intended meaning. Many of us would love to mourn with those who mourn, but that note isn’t about mourning; it’s about lashing out. And many of the things you are reading which you are complaining about are actually responses to hateful things like that note.

    • Sindile Vabaza says:

      Part of mourning is understanding why people could get angry if not comforted, if reconciliation and healing is not pursued, you can’t live in a bubble dude. People are angry not just for this but the general treatment of black people in America. I am black and don’t live in America and quite frankly am thankful because being black in America sucks.

    • Phil Ireton says:

      James: I agree with you. Rather than mourning about the loss of a young man who may (or may not) have grown up to be a great man (at least to somebody), we rejoice that GZ will have to experience what all blacks experience (because what he did was wrong?) It’s really hard to mourn when you have hate in your heart.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      James:

      This is fair and I appreciate the pushback.

      Part of living in community is to be honest…that when you’re hurting and in pain, there’s a level of raw-ness to our emotions and even with our words.

      I wrestled with whether or not I should include that letter. I shared it on my Twitter and received a lot of pushback.

      Is there bitterness or resentment reflected in the letter? Some. But that may also reflect how some feel in the rawness of their mourning.

      What is mourning and grieving if we only allow folks to do so in a way that is acceptable to us?

      • jasdye says:

        Thank you for including the letter, Eugene. We can’t have justice and reconciliation just and only on our terms. There is a lot of anger, and it is good to come to terms with that and why the anger.

      • Phil Knox says:

        Some bitterness? That is a considerable understatement. Where were our black brothers and sisters during the OJ Simpson verdict? This article seems pretty one sided.

  12. missyscud says:

    You are right, we need to shut up and listen and mourn. As a 60 yr old white woman who comes from a family who helped the African American population in the 60′s by building low cost housing, I can’t imagine how they feel.
    But I can empathize and I can pray for this racism to end.
    Isn’t that exactly what Jesus would do if He lived on earth today.
    He would love and care and listen.
    We , as His followers should promote reconciliation.

  13. […] Eugene Cho, If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we just shut up, listen, and mourn with t… […]

  14. Joshua says:

    Thank you for this reminder Eugene.

    I think perhaps the hardest thing to do in some cases is to recognize mourning, especially in impersonal online communication.

    We all mourn in different ways. Some are in denial, some are angry, some are in depression. Very few of us have moved on to acceptance and hope yet.

    I have seen some very nasty things said by some people in response to the verdict- both by those that essentially celebrated the verdict, and those that are rioting and railing against Zimmerman’s racism and the systematic failure they see in our justice system.

    Many of the angry expressions I have seen have questionable support from our current knowledge of the case. As someone that thinks the way we reason is important I can be quick to jump in and challenge people when they express things they can’t support, trying to encourage them to reflect on how they reason and process information. But this isn’t really the time for that.

    It goes against my first instinct, but I am slowly learning to recognize when an angry expression is driven by mourning – or at least to recognize that it is likely. The challenge for people with my personality in these cases is to figure out when – if at all – to engage regarding dubious claims, and in any case how to validate the person’s mourning in the process: to mourn with those who mourn.

    Denial and depression tend to color the way people express themselves differently than anger- they can also be hard to recognize in online communication, but the general approach to responding to them is the same.

  15. Carrie says:

    Thank you for writing this and saying this. I am a white woman, and have been heartbroken by the cruelty and the thoughtlessness of some of the things I have read online and heard people say. I should never read comments on the internet, I know. But people have created fake facebook profiles just to spew hatred. Whatever side of the issue you are on, the cruelty and mean spiritedness has been disgusting. For all the people saying racism no longer exists, don’t you find it odd that it is only white people saying that?

  16. Ro says:

    Eugene, the letter you posted assumes that you know what really went down the rainy Florida evening. You don’t have that knowledge, do you?

    • Ro, I read it differently- you’re making me think through my first reading again.

      As I read that letter it struck me that this was the reality Zimmerman now faces regardless of what exactly happened that night and whether his actions were justifiable, responsible, etc.

      Even now that the criminal trial is over, there is still the possibility of a civil rights suit, a wrongful death suit, etc. And even if none of these happen (or he wins them all), he will never truly be vindicated and will always be viewed with suspicion. His life will never be the same. Whether the tone of the letter is appropriate or not given the admonitions Eugene has given in his post is up for some debate. But I think the letter speaks to the reality of Zimmerman’s new life.

      I could be wrong.

      Joshua

      • Ro says:

        We should be mourning for Trayvon and his family. We should also be mourning for what George and his family are going through. Both, folks, not just one of the two. Try to open your hearts wide enough for both of them, even though this isn’t the way we usually operate. We tend to “take sides”. This is unrighteousness if you do this. I have to work at too. God bless you all (even another side to bless!)

        • Carrie says:

          Eugene never said anything against the Zimmerman family. He said he prays for them and that he harbors no ill will toward them or the jury. But whatever happened that night, the Zimmerman family didn’t lose a loved one. No one in their family died. I am personally sick of them acting like they are the victims. I take a side with the Martin family, personally, but Eugene is a better Christian than I am and he did not.

          • Ro says:

            It sounds like they got in a fight and it came down to George’s life or Trayvon’s. If George ‘s head was being bashed into the pavement and he felt that he didn’t have the strength to push Trayvon off, he had to choose life or death. What do you think he should have done at that point?

            • Sarah says:

              Shot him in the foot.

              I don’t think one should be prevented from anger over the senseless death of a child just because they “weren’t there.”

            • Carrie says:

              I wouldn’t have shot an unarmed boy, because I wouldn’t have followed him in the rain and put myself in the position of getting attacked by him in the first place, and GZ didn’t have to do that either. If Trayvon even really did attack him, maybe he did it because HE was scared. He was the one that was being followed. How would he know GZ was neighborhood watch and not some mugger or worse? And that is even if we believe that Trayvon attacked GZ. But ultimately GZ put himself in a position, knowing he had a gun, of scaring a kid just trying to walk home. He was the one following Trayvon. Not the other way around. Trayvon didn’t get his day in court to prove his innocence because he is dead.

              • Wow just wow, I guess very few here actually paid attention to the case. GZ, as you put it, lost TM. TM circled back and went up to GZ and TM asked if GZ had a problem, and when GZ responded no, TM threw the first punch.

                Trayvon Martin is 100% responsible for his own death. He acted like a criminal, it does not matter that he was 17 or even younger. Perhaps if mother and father were more responsible parents this would not have happened. GZ had the right to follow Trayvon.

              • Rev Cho’s respone is quite a bit one sided here. I don’t think George Zimmerman’s family would appreciate what Cho has posted and for that he should be ashamed. That Cho isn’t bothered by the letter posted speaks volumes about his Christian beliefs, and it is not for the better.

  17. […] now, perhaps we can heed the suggestion of Eugene Cho, a pastor in […]

  18. […] and reaction Trayvon Martin case over the last few days. I have read great pieces from TripLee, Eugene Cho, and Al Mohler. No matter your opinions of George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin, I strongly […]

  19. […] And finally this amazing piece by Eugene Cho who I believe is a strong prophetic voice for the kingdom in the world today – this was the best response piece I have read so far on this whole case and I hope we will take this seriously. Especially the white people. Stop the excuses. Stop justifying or diverting attention or being defensive. f our black brothers and sisters are hurting why can’t we just shut up and mourn with them? […]

  20. […] And lastly, a call to listen, understand and mourn. […]

  21. Deanna says:

    Eugene, you are way off base on this one. Christians mourn with those who mourn and you have not called for mourning of the innocent white people who have been beaten to death following this trial, which is not and never was about race (the jury did not even discuss race), although race baiters tried to make it so. When you call for mourning and understanding, it is wrong of you to omit the you ng white man beaten to death by a gang of blacks, the famous jazz musician and the young marine also both beaten to death by blacks. We mourn for ALL those who mourn. We listen to ALL. We seek understanding and compassion for ALL.

    • Deanna, I think you’re reading into this too critically.

      It’s true that Eugene specifically cited that we should “mourn with those who mourn” as a reason to mourn with our black brothers and sisters, and that he didn’t mention the other situations you’ve mentioned.

      But does his omission here of these other situations you’ve raised entail that Eugene thinks we shouldn’t mourn for these other situations? Or that mourning for them is unimportant? Given that he is praying both for Trayvon Martin’s family and for George Zimmerman and his family, I don’t think he’s trying to take sides with his admonition to “mourn with those who mourn” here- he’s just highlighting a particular focus we should have in following this teaching in the aftermath of the verdict, and that mourning with those who mourn is more important right now than arguing over the facts or implications of the case.

      His omission of others we should mourn with may make his post an incomplete response to the overall situation, but I don’t think these omissions are “wrong”, or that they make his encouragement to us “wrong.”

      I would bet if you give him a chance to respond, he will agree that we should be mourning for these other situations as well.

  22. Emily says:

    Pride keeps so many from lowering themselves to a posture of listening & learning.

    Lord, let it start in me. Let it continue in me.

  23. Thank you so much Eugene. Brought tears to my eyes.

  24. Paul says:

    In fairness, “I could have been Trayvon” is only true if you would beat the crap out of someone who is following you.

  25. Will J. says:

    This article is pure, unadulterated emotional pap which does not take into account the facts and evidence that were brought out in the Zimmerman trial, and the mostly self-inflicted problems of the black community at large. To suggest that any racial group is more deserving of respect, sympathy, and understanding than any other is itself racist.

    Before I go any further, I will point out that not all blacks think or act the same way, but it must be acknowledged that a sizable majority of them are on the same page regarding this particular issue. Now, having said that:

    I will not sit and mourn with people who think an appropriate response to not getting their way is by throwing destructive temper tantrums (i.e., rioting, looting, damaging others’ property) and terrorizing the innocent.

    I will not sit and mourn with people who think it’s okay to beat up innocent Hispanics while saying “This is for Trayvon”.

    I will not sit and mourn with people who listen to and are influenced by race-hustlers and agitators like the “Reverend” Al Sharpton, the “Reverend” Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder, and Barack Obama.

    I will not sit and mourn with people who are willing to be stoked into a bloodthirsty rage by the aforementioned charlatans aided and abetted by a despicable, arrogant, lying media.

    Trayvon Martin was a thug. A racist, misogynistic, homophobic, troublemaking thug who viciously attacked George Zimmerman. And now we’re supposed to shut up and listen to people while they mourn a lowlife who was deceptively portrayed as some sort of angelic cherub? Do certain blacks really think it’s in their best interest to compare themselves to this lowlife? What does that say about them? And what about the innocent Hispanic man who went through the hell of a show trial, can’t show his face in public, has to constantly look over his shoulder and wear a bulletproof vest, and is facing the prospect of even more trumped-up charges, all because he had the nerve to defend himself?

    Everything Eugene Cho wrote in this article is predicated on the black community having a legitimate racial grievance in the whole Zimmerman affair. They don’t. The whole Zimmerman-is-a-racist brouhaha was manufactured by America’s illegitimate race-grievance industry, with their willing accomplices in the mainstream media. Why should anyone mourn with people who, over and over again, have proven themselves to be the willing dupes of race-baiting con-men? For people like Cho to try to get a virtue fix by using people’s own Christianity as a bludgeon to silence them on an issue where an entire group of people are willing to be deceived regarding the facts and evidence of what happened and are perfectly willing to allow a subset of their community to terrorize innocents based on faulty assumptions is reprehensible.

    There are Hispanics being profiled and beaten BECAUSE of this case. Where is Cho’s concern for them?

    If Eugene Cho is going to accept the wrong assumptions of the black community and propagate a lie, then he forfeits any moral authority he may have had. Therefore, he has no right to lecture the rest of us on the “Christian” way to deal with this fiasco. Cho can go pound sand.

    • Ron says:

      Nicely written, and for the most part helpful in understanding the real race and bigotry issues that unfortunately exist in our society. But this was never a crime against the color of a mans skin. It was two men, both in the wrong, one lost his life the other has lost what ever life he still has. It is a lose/lose proposition for the two men involved. Let it be a win for all of us by learning and developing empathy for each others community. And by the way, nice use of quoting from the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:9 is the only place in scripture that uses the phrase: “… willing to mourn with those that mourn” Truth is truth no matter where it is found. May God bless us all to learn to love, really love, and find joy and appreciation in our differences in all things, even our skin.

  26. Kim says:

    Thank you. Words cannot fully express what this means to me. Don’t allow any one to silence you on this issue. God bless you and my brothers and sisters of Quest Church.

  27. Brian B says:

    The only people anybody needs to mourn with or for are the family and friends of Trayvon Martin. They’re the one who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

    For the rest of the world (including our black brothers and sisters) who are “mourning” this, they need to wake up. We don’t need to shut up and listen to more of the same broken record about “racial profiling” and social injustice any more than they need to shut up and listen to the facts of the case and the views of others who think this had nothing to do with race.

    Black people need to stop seeing themselves as a big fraternity that always have to side together and act a certain way. Not all black people are like this but you know who you are. Listen to your own rhetoric and judge people by the content of their character not the color of their skin.

    ANY teenage boy could have been Trayvon Martin – if they got into a fight and took it too far. We all need to learn from this incident and remind ourselves and our children to make wise decisions.

    I don’t think Zimmerman did anything wrong in this case. I don’t think Martin did anything wrong either up to the point where he started bashing the guy’s head into the pavement. He could have diffused the situation easily if he had not resorted to violence. The police would have showed up, told both parties everything was fine, and Martin would have gone on home grumbling to his friend about the “Creepy-ass Cracka’s.” Zimmerman would have gone home grumbling about burglars in his neighborhood. No big deal for either party.

    If black people want to feel safer for their children and themselves, they need to stop protesting and blaming their problems on the system and everyone else and start teaching their children not to act certain ways. And I don’t mean teaching them the old “You have to be extra careful because you’re a black man in America and white people are racist” stuff – you know who you are. They need to be teaching them how people act in public and how to treat people with respect and avoid violence and fighting words when they get mad because it gets you nowhere in society -whatever color you are.

    There’s nothing to mourn and hurt about for most of the country, even black people. Just lessons to learn and discussions to be had. There’s nothing spiritual about hiding from those conversations with people close enough to call brothers and sisters.

    I feel this whole article is a thinly veiled attempt to take the “high road” while still pushing the author’s agenda to make people believe that supporting, even if indirectly, the Trayvon protestors is the Christian thing to do. It’s not.

    The best thing a Christian could do is put down their protest sign, go home, and sit their own kids down for a grown up talk. Pray with them. Pray not for the hand of God to intervene in government or individual racists hearts, but pray for God to reveal more of himself to them and to hear what He would say to them and what He would work in their lives, not what they think needs to change in society. Pray to be conformed to His image yourself, not for others to see the error of their ways. Seek His face not his hand. Teach them from the Bible not from the writing of worldly civil rights leaders.

    Do not listen to this silly nonsense about shutting up and listening and mourning and hurting along with people who are pursuing worldly solutions to spiritual problems.

  28. […] WELL to a Korean pastor’s take on the response to the Zimmerman verdict: “If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, why can’t we at least listen, seek to understand an…” by Eugene […]

  29. […] If Our Black Brothers and Sister are Hurting, Why Can’t We Just Shut Up, Listen, and Mourn With Th… […]

  30. […] If Our Black Brothers and Sister are Hurting, Why Can’t We Just Shut Up, Listen, and Mourn With Th… […]

  31. […] If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we at least listen, seek to understand, and m…Eugene Cho […]

  32. […] is basically the epitome of hospitality, what should be a hallmark of Christianity, right? “If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we at least listen, seek to understand, and m…“ And that’s enough to set off the unhinged angry […]

  33. […] “If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we at least listen, seek to understand… by Eugene Cho at his blog. […]

  34. I found this very helpful in evaluating the ways I can be intentional in approaching issues like this as a personal of both emotional and cognitive intelligence.

    I think it is quite applicable in this situation, especially in cases where there are disagreements about the facts in the case and how to properly interpret them.

    http://www.nathanlpc.com/2013/07/07/meta-emotion-feel-feelings/

  35. Little late on a comment……I am a white woman who was married to a black man and have two beautiful daughters and 4 of the prettiest children I have ever seen!!!!! Trust me…..RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN AMERICA!!!!!!! Sad but true.

  36. Bayard Rustin says:

    Such a thoughtful and temperate posting. Too bad it was greeted by some with such vitriol. Emotion trumps reason every time.

  37. Theresa Postma says:

    Thank you Eugene Cho, you are right on. Don’t let anyone silence you. I appreciate your posts very much. You are an encouragement to those in the Body of Christ who seek reconciliation & appreciation for one another.

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