Response to Ahmaud Arbery

It’s taken me a few days to process last week’s headlines about the Ahmaud Arbery incident. Mostly because, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” —André Gide

Racism is a topic I’ve written about often on my blog; more often than I imagined when I wrote about Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, or even after Charlottesville in 2017.

While it’s important to keep speaking up and speaking out, our actions truly speak louder than words.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” –Walt Disney

While many of us have had to work our way through feelings of outrage, anger, even fear for the future, we don’t know what to do to start making positive lasting changes when it comes to racism. 

In scary times, Fred Rogers’ mother reminded him to,Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” We are living in scary times, and I’ve been looking around for some real life, current day ‘helpers’.


Let me tell you, my hope has been restored as I keep finding regular people doing
something to start changing their world.

    • Facebook is full of #iRunwithMaud posts showing people taking action by running to show their support and solidarity. 
    • Biblical parenting resources on how to talk to your children about diversity and race are just a Google search away.
    • Diverse Church leaders are using their platforms to decry injustice, and meeting to discuss a unified response as well as how to move forward.
    • The King Center is continuing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to resolve social, economic and political conflicts, reconciling adversaries and advancing social change in your community, nation and world. 
    • Amazon has great Bible-based books on diversity I can read to my granddaughter, Zo-Zo.
    • Major companies and churches are increasing diversity through their hiring practices.
    • Be The Bridge lets you sign up for emails to learn how to be an anti-racist Bridge Builder.

While my heart aches for the ongoing stories from around the world of image-bearers being treated as less than, I see sparks of courage and creativity from a diverse assortment of grassroots world changers, and my hope rises up with a resounding “Yes! Yes! Yes!”. Not only are there good people doing great things to make this world a better place now, but they’re paving a better path for future generations.

I firmly believe that ‘doing something’ means more than yelling at the wind. Part of overcoming racism means jumping into action. This looks like doing our civic duty to advocate and vote for change legislation that gives all young people equal access to vocational pathways for success. It looks like committing to provide equity in our hiring practices and who we put on stage. It looks like the sacred and secular tearing down walls and joining forces to devote resources that help establish better educational institutions and enterprises in urban core America. It looks like a modern-day David Livingstone, who built trade as a bulwark against slavery, fighting with all we’ve got to counterbalance generational poverty and injustice.

For every one of us who have spoken out against racism, posted on our social media outlets, shed tears over the senseless loss of lives or prayed for the families affected by these tragedies, let us choose to take one brave step toward doing something in our family, in our neighborhood, church, business and community to combat racism starting today that will affect positive lasting change for everyone’s tomorrows.

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Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.9 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

One thought on “Response to Ahmaud Arbery

  1. Rob,
    This is so good! My former prayer partner of eight years who was African-American used to say he could smell the presence of racism when he walked in a room. Since he was a news anchor on one of the local TV networks, he was in many different settings. Sad to say, the stench of racism could be found in the church environment as well as the secular. Thank you for speaking out!

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