If you’ve been near social media or a television recently you probably know about the troubles in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s a predominantly African-American suburb of St Louis where, around Noon on Saturday August 9, 2014 a Mike Brown, a young, 18-year old, African-American died during a confrontation with the police. According to news reports there is no question that a police officer shot Brown, who was unarmed. There are multiple people who say that Brown had his hands up when he was killed. The Police Department, however, claims that Brown reached for the officer’s gun, that there was a struggle, one shot was fired inside the car and the rest were fired outside the car. The investigation is ongoing. Some in the community claim that this Brown’s death is part of a larger pattern and Saturday evening there have been riots in Ferguson every night and some looting. The first night the police sought to contain the violence but since that time they have taken a more aggressive posture. News stories, video, and photographs show heavily armed police confronting crowds. Reporters and even one St Louis Alderman have been detailed by police. Needless to say, tension are running high. Earlier today the Governor announced that the Missouri State Patrol is taking over the supervision of security in Ferguson.
Joining me to talk about this latest episode in the ongoing saga of American race relations is the Rev. Mr. Leon Brown. He is pastor and a church planter for the PCA in South Richmond, VA where he is establishing Crown and Joy Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA, a multi-ethnic congregation. He’s a frequent contributor to the HB. He is a veteran of the United States Navy, a graduate of Westminster Seminary California and has served as Assistant Pastor of New City Fellowship (PCA) in Fredericksburg, VA. On top of all that he is presently pursuing doctoral studies in OT and the Ancient Near East.
Earlier today Leon published a provocative piece on the Ref21 blog. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. In it he spoke bluntly about the state of race relations in the USA and particularly in the Reformed and Presbyterian world and he offered a way forward. All of this is worth discussing so we’re doing a special episode.
Here’s the episode:
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