Jim Wallis on Ferguson: Repentance has not happened there yet

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Sojourners founder Jim Wallis. Photo courtesy of Sojourners

Sojourners founder Jim Wallis. Photo courtesy of Sojourners

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(RNS) "I’ll say this as clearly as I can: What’s very clear is that black lives are worthless in America and the criminal justice system. It’s time to right that unacceptable wrong."

  • Doc Anthony

    Perhaps Jim Wallis will be the first to apologize to that innocent store clerk whose assault, bullying and robbery were broadcast to an entire nation.

    NOBODY — no civil rights leaders, no US attorney generals, no protesters, preachers or looters or reporters — has apologized at all to that clerk and family for what was done to him by the late Michael Brown Jr.

    I understand there are some serious racial issues involved overall, but this particular omission has gone totally beyond scandal.

    The non-stop Rush-To-Judgment and Mob-Rule stuff by some Ferguson residents has to end as well, but there isn’t even any credibility left to ANY Ferguson protestor or preacher, black or white until somebody — anybody — deals with the obvious omission.

    Will there be any “repentence” on that one?

  • William

    Why is a trial needed? What if the grand jury does not indict?

    To be blunt, Michael Brown may have been the person who least valued his life: if he attacked an arm Police Officer did he care about his own life? Or for that matter did Michael Brown care about anyone else’s life?

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  • Robert Brown

    Martin Luther King was an awesome preacher. Listen to some of his speaches, he wasn’t giving a speach, he was preaching.

    According to the news, there were several witnesses. Hopefully, the truth will come out. If the officer is guilty, he will go to prison. If he is innocent, I’m afraid there may be riots.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a civil rights leader like Dr. King around today?

  • Jim Schramm

    Perhaps there doesn’t need to be repentance? Perhaps the powers that be are in office because they were voted into office. Perhaps the white mayor ran I opposed. Perhaps the officer is innocent? How about people quit making things about race when they are not? I’m a Ferguson resident who moved into the community 5 years ago because it is diverse, peaceful, and inclusive to all. Perhaps liberal media doesn’t report the news but creates news to match their agenda. How about people preach about something they know about?


  • “It’s not just about admitting wrongdoing but also committing to making changes that prevent further harm from being done” – JIM WALLACE

    Then let us get rid of religion. Good grief.
    Towns like Furgusen are not in need of ‘repentance’ – they need JUSTICE and MONEY.

    Where are the jobs that build a middle class? Where is the money for education? What are the politicians doing, sitting on their butts?
    I live in a city and we have so many jobs because we have an educated class.

    No education = no money = no tax base.

    Why has education been cut?
    RIGHT WING CHRISTIAN REPUBLICANISM – Sequesters and cuts for 13 years have destroyed our cities.

    The Last thing that needs to take your dollar is your ineffectual local church!!!!!

  • rob

    it has nothing to do with the black kid or white cop.
    it has every thing to do with how America is right now ..
    and its a sick puppy its just a indicator of this fact ..

    2nd chronicles 7:14



  • rob

    @Amax you should shut up your part of the non-Christian group that has caused most of the trouble in the world from the dawn of time..

    there is really only two groups in the world Christian and non Christian..

    all non Christians believe in a different god than Christians your god is your self,, making you even more ignorant than the others of your non Christian group.

  • @Rob,

    “You should shut up”

    Not a chance.

    Atheist: “It appears God does not exist”
    Christian: “Shut up.”

    I hope other Christians reading these comment boards pause to
    consider this ‘logic’ and begin thinking for themselves.
    I know you won’t dare.

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  • Diogenes

    As usual, Jim Wallis demonstrates a undiminished capacity for overwrought rhetoric. As for repentance, whether performed as a spiritual act, or a merely moral one (i.e. rational), there’s room enough to go around for everyone in America. None of us are perfect moral agents.

  • Jack

    King was amazing in so many ways. But his greatest gift to America was to articulate civil rights not as some radical imposition on an evil America, but as a call for America to fulfill its own deepest ideals as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. He called America back in a hauntingly beautiful way to its truest self.

    This is in stark contrast to the cynical race hustlers who have sold their souls to rich white radicals who hate America and want to use them to destroy it.

  • Jack

    Max, money’s not the problem in education. We spend more per student than we ever did. The problem in poorest areas is simple — poor parents don’t have the same choices as rich parents, who can always send their kids to private schools if their local school is failing to educate. Part of the answer is to enable poor parents to have similar choices. Put another way, the reason the best-performing schools are in the richest areas is that these schools know they had better be top-drawer because parents have the money to send their kids elsewhere if they are not.

  • Bob M

    “Why is a trial needed? What if the grand jury does not indict?”

    Exactly! If the grand jury indicts, Officer Darren Wilson will be arrested and he will go on trial.

  • Shallow poseur strikes more poses. Wake me when it’s over.

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  • How many have seen the picture of the policeman’s face after he was hit?

  • Sundown

    Let’s be honest, Jack. Pretend you were alive during the 60s. Can you honestly say that you would not be among the people calling Dr. King a “cynical race hustler”?

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  • Jack

    Sundown, think about what you just posted. You are equating Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton with Dr. King. If you really think they are carrying on his legacy, you don’t know very much about the man and what made him great.

    King was anything but a “race hustler.” I have read his speeches and sermons, and while I wouldn’t have agreed with every one of his policy positions on areas outside of civil rights, his approach to civil rights and equal opportunity was near-perfect, as was the quality of his leadership. He also was a deep and thoughtful theological thinker as well. I strongly suspect that he read Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man — both volumes — from cover to cover.

    Coming him to Jesse and Al is like comparing Einstein to Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

  • Jack

    Jim Wallis has nothing to say.

  • I am not sure it’s been published. There’s an example of an orbital fracture circulating on the internet, but that’s not this officer. It’s a motocross participant injured in 2006.

    It’s been difficult to get a sense of how reliable the news reports you see are. We know from the autopsy sketches that Brown was facing the officer when the officer shot him. The position of the wounds does not give a secure sense of the position of the limbs beforehand. I believe one pathologist did offer his opinion that the last shots to Brown were the lethal ones. Wilson plugged him repeatedly in his right arm (to Wilson’s left) before putting bullets in the head and thorax. One wound to the hand suggests it could have been in one of a couple of positions – raised over Brown’s head or to the back, as it might be in the rear swing of the arm accompanying a running stride.

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