“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:1-2 ESV
Submit-to give over or yield to the power or authority of another; to subject to some kind of treatment or influence; to present for the approval, consideration or decision of another or others; to state with deference.
On July 17, 2014 Eric Garner died. Video footage of his death was repeatedly shown on television and media outlets across the nation. In it Eric Garner, self proclaimed to be “sitting minding (his) own business”, had “just broken up a fight” and “did nothing wrong”. Yet he appeared to have remained on a scene that officers wanted clear. So acting on their original suspicion of him selling single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps they attempted to arrest him. Garner declared his innocence to the officers and was no longer going to have it (the harassment they have given him before}. Garner and other Staten Island bystanders showed clear frustration about the injustice as plainclothes Officer Pantaleo moved up behind him an initiated a NYPD banned choke hold. Garner with restricted breathing ability went into seizure and loss of consciousness. Suffering from asthma, heart disease and obesity the medical examiner said were all factors in his eventual death. Officer Pantaleo was fired as a result Aug 19th, 2019. Much respect to the Garner family.
Wearing the shirt “I can’t breathe” I marched for Eric Garner 5 years ago. With my husband, kids and numerous others we rallied on the National Alliance Network buses led by community civil rights activist Al Sharpton. To fight against police brutality and system injustice We did! Marching for our beliefs on our basic human rights to life, to freedom to justice …to breathe. Since 2001 use of police chokeholds has doubled according to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) reports. It is something I strongly believe in and am hopeful that laws will be established now that bill (A10170) has been introduced so that New York City law will make chokehold tactics illegal. Although Mayor de Blasio signaled 5 years ago he would veto it, believing such matters belonged to the jurisdiction of the PD. Councilman Rory Lanceman (D-Queens) recalled it after another recent incident. Det. Fabio Nunez reused the tactic on Tomas Medina on July 14, 2018 after he refused to show identification. Perhaps due to de Blasio’s Presidential candidacy run for 2020, or for whatever reasons, the bill, that Sharpton proposed become a national law, is now on the floor with penalties up to a year in jail and fines up to $2500. It won’t bring Garner back or right the wrongs the over 1100 civilians the CCRB reported the prohibited method was performed on-but it will be somewhat of a right celebration for long awaited justice.
But Garner ultimately resisting arrest was wrong. As the Detective’ Endowment Association Union president Michael Palladino says “When someone resists arrest, cops can’t just simply walk away..You show me someone resisting arrest, and I’ll show you an ugly video.” Complying could have saved Garner his life.
As with a lot of my friends and family accosted by police officers though innocent, it is indeed ugly, scary and a lot of times without video. It is known in psychology that fear oft makes us choose to fight or flight. Police aren’t particularly sympathetic to Blacks’ and Latinos’ responses especially after years of desensitization, lack of retraining and “blue boy club” dynamics and mentality. We minorities have been subject to injustice for centuries and want to stop being racially profiled and intimidated-in our own communities nonetheless. The Caucasian race, with their “white privilege” can speak up for themselves, defy injustice and get respect. But we look threatening, are strongly opinionated, angry and defiant. Like Sandra Bland who died in police custody, after a traffic stop arrest in an alleged suicidal hanging. With plans for the day and for her future protesters believe that it was she died by police strangulation. Would she be dead today had her name been Sandra Bullock or Sandra Dee we could only speculate.
On the antithetical, what minority races have to understand is that police want respect too! Though Garner seemed respectful he was obdurate against being arrested. This is where he got it wrong. Officers are human too. Being temperament, self-controlled and compliant is what they need from those they serve. I even stress being a little courteous too would help. Like Jesus, who was falsely accused by chief priests, elders, council members and false witnesses. Like Jesus, arrested by the Temple guards of the Sanhedrin and handed to the Governor Pilate. He submitted. To the point where even when they came for him in the Garden of Gethsemane he healed the cut ear of a soldier.
Jesus was innocent. From birth, he never committed any sin or crime except to disobey his parents to be a servant of the will of God. Yet he was treated extremely harshly until the point of death. Stripped naked, spit on, slap, punched, thorns driven in head, whipped with cat o’nine tails loaded with flesh ripping items, publicly embarrassed, forced to carry his own object of torture the cross, ridiculed, teased were just a few of his experiences. Oh and may I add he was afterwards crucified.
Jesus himself says to Pilate in John 19:11, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” Do we feel this way? Do we realize that God has ultimate authority Matt 28:18. Do we recognize that at any point we could inject more respect? We could benefit the situation with more patience in the process, more kindness, and even more (gulp) submissiveness? The Bible says in 1 Pet 2:13-25 ,“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governor. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Submission is also biblically mentioned on issues in marriage, in governing authorities, the church, in one another relationships–and in slavery. Without fully addressing it in this blog please know that Yes it is in there. God’s word has most everything on everything, even the hard to fathom things. So let’s look at this briefly through the knowledge of truth. In 1 Pet 2:18 God is calling Christian slaves to submit. And in Eph 6:9 and Col 4:1 masters are called to treat slaves fairly since He is Master of both! See with God there is no favoritism. For anyone inclined to abuse or neglect God’s word, He reminds everyone to love one another. Why slavery is, is a historically great question. Men have free will and they may use it for selfish gain but one thing is certain– all men will answer to God! And He is just in His will, Job 36:6; Lk 22:42.
Concern (C): Sister, how is your submission? How quickly or slowly do you acquiesce your will to God? To your husband? To your authorities? To one another?
Encouragement (E): To submit is to love. It is truly understanding and agreeing to God’s plan over your life. It is fundamentally about humility. Furthermore it is also a turn around question about how strong your pride is? Don’t be proud of pride because God is not. Pride is a deadly sin that God detest Prov 8:13 “I hate pride and arrogance..” So submit to others not because they are better but that God is better and bigger than all of us. Submit not because they got us but that God does! Sister, God’s Got You!
Act (A): In God we must trust and obey which equals to Submission. Pray and petition through the unbearable and hope in faith for His deliverance. Submit like Jesus did for His church. Do it for the Lord, do it to respect the order of His entities. Memorize Prov 16:20, “God blesses those who obey him happy the man who puts his trust in the Lord’. And cast your anxieties in scripture 1 Pet 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”. Oh Lord help us with the “S” word! In remembering Jesu”S” it’s so much easier to say!
Personal Note: In 2010 After buying my mother a pizza a block away from home, doing nothing wrong just heading back I was approached by “undercovers.” They stated I fit the description of someone in the area accused of theft and wanted to me go with them for further investigation. I admit I was looking a quite disheveled, I worked nights, and was going to school days. I had just run out the house to do run this errand. But I was no criminal, I have never been arrested and so I was strongly opposed being detained or even questioned. Knowing my rights from all my studies, that day, I was just not having it too. I showed them my id upon inquiry then in reciprocation admonished them for not showing me their badge numbers, telling me their names or reading me my Miranda rights. After asking them what precinct they worked out of I informed them that I have college education, was a Christian and a held a job a block away and which was on the same block my two young children went to school on. Fearful that they may have been abductors for all I know trying to coerce me in an unidentifiable police car, insisted they arrest me right here in public because I wasn’t going anywhere. All the while I was praying to God for His help sisters. Thinking strongly about my kids not having a mother picking them up or my family wondering what happened at my sudden disappearance. No I had watched too many crime shows to know that my safety was at stake. Whatever was going to go down was going to happen right here. Outside sure I was strong and intelligent, but inside I was frightened to death because honestly …I was Black and they had the guns. But my Spirit reminded me of something greater I had God, It was He that brought me to this situation and He who saw me out. The officers received another urgent radio call and left me alone…”for now”. To this day I thank God for His provision, that I am alive and all is well..but no it is not as easily forgotten. And that is why as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, did….I march on. Maybe tomorrow we won’t have the same struggle.
**I realize after watching YouTube video listed below I could have done things a lot different. Kept more quiet and ask if I am being detained. Please watch and view this with other videos on your rights when dealing with police.
The Greatest: “The Synopsis of Great Leaders” by Cyril K. Nwozor PHD