I was there with Martin Luther King Jr. working for civil rights. I was there with a black preacher working for equal rights. I was there in tears and held the hand of a black friend tell of the way he was treated as a young man in south Georgia. I was there when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally ended discrimination. I was there and observed the people of our nation wanted change and the end of discrimination. Discrimination and injustice still exist and always will, but I was there and have seen amazing progress in race relations.
Yes, I was there and now I am here. Blacks now live and work in every walk of life. Major cities elected black mayors though the cities are largely white. Thurgood Marshall was a Supreme Court justice. Clarence Thomas presently serves as a Supreme Court justice. Blacks and whites intermingle in all public places; (there are) interracial marriages. My church had two ministers. One was white and the other black. The words black and white are undesirable, but necessary to identify.
Regardless of color and gender, I see people according to character and integrity. We are a nation of over 300 million. Total demonstrations nationwide numbered in the thousands, never even close to a million. The nation, as a whole, is not a part of the demonstrations against law enforcement.
There are bad and corrupt people in every walk of life. Focus is on law enforcement; they are in the public eye. Ninety-nine point nine percent of law enforcement officers are dedicated men and women who daily put their lives on the line. Officers are there even when matters have nothing to do with police work.
In the Boulder City Review police blotter: Officers are called to remove a rattlesnake from a yard. They removed Bighorn sheep from highway. An officer saw two small children lost and returned them to their mother. Where do you turn when you need help? Not the fire department, not the chamber of commerce, not the City Council. Where? The police. If they can’t help, they will direct you to where help can be found.
The Pledge of Allegiance states “one nation under God.” On our money is written “In God We Trust.” (In the Bible, Romans 13:1-5,) the god we trust said, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted …”
Romans 13 teaches governments primary purpose so people may go about their activities freely and live without fear. Law enforcement is the foundation of government. Without law enforcement there is anarchy. The present riots are anarchy and oppose the harmony God demands. Romans 13 authorizes the government to take the necessary action to stop riots and punish those who riot. Rioting, regardless the purpose, is anarchy. The rioters attacked police officers, official representatives of the government.
What of the First Amendment? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress …”
Our nation is far from perfect, however this is the best place on earth to live. No one wants to leave; millions want to live here. The way to move on is not simply finding fault and negative. Rather (it should be) to believe in our nation and with positive input grow and improve. Will we ever reach perfection? Never; but never give up in that pursuit. In this pursuit, we are “one nation under God in whom we trust.”
Barney Cargile Jr. is a minister of Christ for over 65 years and a published author. He has lived in Boulder City for 30 years.