The world was shocked — stunned, by the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. Then, in swift succession, riots, arson, looting and killing broke out in dozens of U.S. cities. World leaders flocked to his funeral. Eulogies and praises for Dr. King could be heard — even from 'those who only weeks before had called him "rabble rouser." WHY? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? WHERE IS IT TAKING US?
HEARING of the shocking and brutal murder of Dr. Martin Luther King filled me with a sense of outrage, sorrow — and foreboding. I had just returned to Los Angeles on that fateful Thursday, after witnessing the blast-off of America's huge Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy in one more of the preliminary tests to America's planned flights to the moon. What a paradox! That morning, I had seen over one hundred million dollars' worth of taxpayers' money thundering into space. I had seen what appeared to be a completely successful (only later, we learned trouble with the second and third stage engines made it less than that) space launch — a monolithic, towering giant the height of a 36-story building slowly — slowly, with earth-shaking, clattering, staccato, body-throbbing explosions, gather speed, and hurtle out of sight into the eastern sky. The space shot was the culmination of millions of man-hours of dedicated work. The result of cooperation — unity — harmony! Here was the result of literally thousands of persons of every conceivable background, with hundreds of different corporations manufacturing different components — all blending together with fierce dedication to produce a gleaming metal giant that would gulp fifteen tons of fuel every second — a spectacular sight; one that set the gallery of professional newsmen to cheering in spontaneous outburst at the sight of a success for the United States. Then, later that same Thursday — came the shocking news of the attack on Dr. King. Yes, what a paradox! What irony it is that our vaunted technology can demonstrate to the world COOPERATION, dedication, unity, HARMONY, in producing bigger and more powerful THINGS! In manufacturing the vehicles that can carry man (or hydrogen bombs?) around the world in orbit, or into outer space. Yet we cannot seem to produce better men. Just as one tiny valve — one tiny leak in a fuel line — one tiny, faulty transistor, could cause that huge missile to fail; so could one twisted, sick mind, hiding in a sleazy boarding house, cause a whole nation to falter!
Wrong Priorities! Wrong Goals!
What IRONY it is that we can appear so dedicated to greater engines which can be used for mass destruction — and so utterly APART when it comes to the needs of human beings! In the wake of the bloodletting, rioting, looting and arson that followed the assassination of Dr. King — Americans reflected on the subject of race. Many well-known Negroes, previously known for their high tolerance level — their commendable objectivity — suddenly made statements tainted with bitterness and doubt. Many well-known whites — among them leaders in many areas of society — who had previously spoken out against Dr. King, were suddenly making statements of outrage, sorrow, and — was it shame? Obviously — whether it was reflected in anger and resentment, or in shame and sorrow — the death of Dr. King was a deep emotional experience for the whole nation. I couldn't help viewing these two momentous experiences in contrast. First, I had been physically shaken, the sound waves reaching me with literal physical shock, by the launch I had witnessed that morning. Then, within hours, I was again shaken, this time emotionally, by the news of yet another anarchical assassination in our country! To me — the contrast of seeing the harmony and unity on the one hand, and the disharmony and chaos on the other — was inescapable. Reflecting on the priorities of a nation willing to spend multiple hundreds of billions on the space race on the one hand — and either unwilling or unable to provide means to solve its own domestic problems on the other — I couldn't help but marvel at the irrationality of such priorities! For all our scientific greatness — we haven't learned to live together in peace. For all our technology; our military machine; our industrial capacity — the man himself seems shriveled, little, somehow smaller. What is our goal? Is it to become better human beings? Or find out whether the moon can be colonized? Is it to devote ourselves to discovering WHAT WE ARE — or to find out what the moon is made of?
Never before in the history of the nation had so many cities become the scene of mob violence so suddenly. Beleaguered police forces simply couldn't handle the massive task assigned to them — had to be reinforced by National Guardsmen and Federal troops. As if in symbol of the nation's deep racial sickness, black, towering clouds of smoke framed the executive mansion and the Capitol building. In Washington, D.C., seven persons were killed in a mad, wild orgy of arson, looting and shooting. Bands of looters roamed the streets in automobiles — openly defying curfews, smashing store windows and carrying off goods in full view of newsmen and police. In hundreds of cases, looters went gaily about their crimes while police stood by — under orders to avoid violence wherever possible. Roaming bands smashed store windows and looted shops within two blocks of the White House. On one occasion, looters struggled for long minutes with a five-foot-long hi-fi set, attempting to force it into a small foreign sports car. Police, who had been watching the whole affair, finally arrested them. Looters broke windows, then stood watching to see what the police reaction would be. When the police did nothing, the mobs moved in and ransacked the stores. Uncounted millions in losses, in literally dozens of U.S. cities were chalked up to looting alone — with additional uncounted millions in property losses. It will never be known what the mad, wanton violence cost taxpayers in the maintenance of Federal troops in riot areas, or in the precise amount of money lost in looting. But what was lost psychologically — racially — was perhaps more costly. Americans were shocked to see machine guns mounted around the Capitol building — Federal troops protecting the nation's government buildings from its own citizens! As if on cue — almost as if planned — literally dozens of American cities erupted in violence. Washington, D.C. counted 7 persons killed, 1,166 injured, 7,370 arrested — more than 700 fires set, amounting to more than 15 million dollars in insured damages alone. Quickly, Chicago, Baltimore, and other large cities exploded in violence. It took over 10,000 troops to restore a semblance of order in Baltimore, where 6 were counted dead, and about 900 injured. Around 5,500 were arrested, and more than 10 million dollars lost in more than 250 separate cases of arson. The rioters in Baltimore followed a near workaday schedule. They took breaks for lunch and dinner — slept through much of the night, then began fire-bombing and looting again through the mornings and evenings. In Chicago, it took 7,000 National Guardsmen and 5,000 Federal troops before most of the pillaging was brought under control. Still, 11 were killed in Chicago, with about 1,000 injured and more than 2,000 arrested. Property damage soared to more than 10 million dollars, and more than 1,000 persons (most of them black, living in Negro areas of the city) were left homeless. In the wake of Chicago's riots — many store owners said they would simply refuse to rebuild — would stay out of business. And from tiny town to big cities, violence flared and burned across the length and breadth of America. The list of cities seems endless. More than one hundred and twenty-five cities in 29 states and the District of Columbia reported violence — including Birmingham, Mobile, Denver, New Haven, Jacksonville, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Des Moines, Wichita, New Orleans, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Mo., Newark, New York, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville, Richmond, Seattle and Tacoma. At least 39 persons were killed, and more than 3,500 injured. More than 20,000 were arrested, and more than 2,600 fires set. Property damage was estimated at more than forty-five million dollars in insured losses, with millions upon millions more in other losses and costs. In all, 68,887 troops were used, including 15,000 in Washington, 11,000 in Baltimore, 12,000 in Chicago, 4,000 in Detroit, 4,500 in Pittsburgh and 3,000 in Kansas City, Missouri. Many saw, symbolized by the view through national television cameras of the Capitol building and White House etched-in a background of black smoke, a virtual revolution in America.
Anarchy? Police State? Revolution?
Some began recalling the Civil War, and the Revolutionary War. Others saw the massed troops as a drift toward a virtual police state. In the wake of the riots, leading magazines published interviews with Negro "moderates" and "militants" alike. Some said they saw no hope for America's cities. This clearly implied more and more of the same kind of violence, finally resulting in all city life in many areas simply ceasing — with the cities becoming literally waste places — devoid of life. Other saw more hope in the symbol of the massive funeral for Dr. King, and the hastily approved Civil Rights legislation by Congress than in any events of the past several years. But all, universally, saw a magnitudinous problem of such gargantuan proportions so as to be virtually indescribable. All saw America at the crossroads — tottering on the brink of destruction from within — crumbling as a society unless some way could be found to solve racial problems. From world capitals came expressions of profound shock, dismay, or resigned aloofness. Perhaps it was equally symbolic that, at the very time President Johnson was seeking a "mutually acceptable" site for talks with the Hanoi Government, America was rent asunder again by massive race riots which this time came within sight of the White House windows.
Were These Riots?
But were all the riots really riots? Observers noted there were no demands made — no slogans shouted — no placards or banners evident. Just wanton arson and looting. Were the so-called riots CAUSED by the death of Dr. Martin Luther King? Certainly, the immediate national coverage of the assassination, plus additional national coverage of each and every important incident of violence, helped give impetus to smoldering feeling. But was it the real CAUSE? Many officials noted the riots, if they were that, seemed run almost on a timetable — and that fire-bombing and harassment of firemen and police seemed almost planned. So, once again, the specter of Communist opportunists taking advantage of an explosive situation reared its head. But, regardless of whether riots, crimes of opportunity, or attempted revolution, each act was using the death of Martin Luther King as an EXCUSE! An excuse. Not a cause, or a "reason" — but an excuse! How else can the profile of rioting in Washington and Baltimore be explained?
Surprising New Profile of Rioters
Some very revealing facts have been unearthed from the ashes of Washington following the riots in the nation's capital. The Negro population in Washington, D.C. is almost two-thirds of the total, and Washington has a Negro mayor. There is a majority of Negroes serving on the city council, and also on the school board. While the police force is nearly one-fourth Negro (not quite the same ratio as the population of the city), a continuous attempt to bring about friendly relations with the Negro populace and the police department has been maintained. Obviously, the biggest employer in Washington, D.C., is the Federal Government. And more than thirty percent of all local Federal Government employees in Washington are Negroes. Looking at the District of Columbia as a whole, Negroes account for more than fifty-five percent of the District payroll. Integration has been in effect in schools, housing, and all public accommodations and services for a very long time! STILL, many of Washington's Negroes rioted! But who were the rioters? Were they only a "minority" of the underprivileged and poverty-stricken who did not have jobs? Were they those who were somehow
NO, THIS ISN'T VIETNAM! Soldier stands guard in front of burned-out area of Washington, D.C. after burning and looting which followed death of Martin Luther King. - See PDF for Pictures
"demonstrating" against discriminations, or venting their wrath against the white population as a result of Dr. King's death? Hardly. Many of those arrested for looting during the riots had good paying jobs, drove late model automobiles, and were well dressed! Many of the automobiles used in looting of shops and stores were late model. Even expensive foreign sports cars were seen, and, perhaps the most shocking of all, several of those arrested were employees of the Federal Government with jobs above the $100 per week bracket. As you read this article, those employees of the Federal Government are back at work. In Baltimore, Maryland, a city which had been a near "model" in race relations, and had never before experienced a major racial disturbance; it took nearly 11,000 troops to bring the riotous conditions under control. Was it a "coincidence" that Stokely Carmichael, racist black-power militant, was seen meeting local black-power leaders only three days before the Baltimore riots began? Strangely, almost as if on cue — almost as if "planned" from the outside, young hoodlums began to form in groups at exactly 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. In only moments, firebombing and looting broke out. And, as mentioned earlier, the Baltimore looters followed an almost routine schedule in their setting of fires and looting of shops. Were these, then, riots? Were these outbreaks of wrath demonstrating the frustrations of a downtrodden and beleaguered part of the population who were somehow enraged because of poverty, discrimination, and the time-honored and traditional causes of race riots? Hardly. What broke out in many of these cities was not a "race riot" but simply a wanton series of crimes of opportunity! What possible excuse could a group of thugs in Washington, D.C. have for carrying boxes of new shoes from the shattered interior of a shoe store because of a murder in Memphis? What possible excuse would a fifteen-year-old in Chicago have for burning the store of a Jew because of a depraved act of an unknown assailant in Memphis? What possible excuse could there have been for Negroes fire-bombing homes of Negroes, and shops of Jews, other Negroes and whites alike with indiscriminate vandalism — because of a sickening murder in Memphis? There was no excuse. No reason. That's because violence is inexcusable and unreasonable! The new profile of many of the rioters in the April upsets across the length and breadth of the United States was that of crimes of excuse! Crimes of opportunity! You could almost HEAR the self-justification and excuses used by those who indulged in the violence. They would have said, "Well — Dr. King tried it the NON-violent way — and look what it got him!" But what a shopworn, picked-over, misused excuse! And what shameful hypocrisy. Does it make any sense? Riotous youths who ostensibly decry the violence that took Dr. King's life will brutally MURDER, LOOT, PILLAGE — all the while HIDING behind the excuse of "revenge"! No, these were not "race riots," nor were they "caused" by the death of Dr. King! Obviously, seething tempers exploded at the news of Dr. King's death. But law-abiding, respectable Negro Americans, while expressing anger, shock, and dismay at the brutal killing of Dr. King, would no more have thought of rioting, burning, or killing indiscriminately than should the white population think of blaming ALL Negroes for the criminal acts of the rioters! There is always a natural, human, carnal RACIST reaction to crimes of this nature! The natural, RACIST reaction to Dr. King's death was, "Whitey got him!" It was, "White America killed him!" And the natural, RACIST reaction to the riots which broke out was "The Negroes are rioting!" What was your reaction?
"They killed him! They killed Dr. King," sobbed a young girl in Watts. But who were "THEY"? No one asked. And no explanation was given! By the hundreds of thousands other Negroes reacted similarly. The bigger, truly objective and sincere NON-racists reaction would have been, "What a dirty, wretched SHAME that some evil, twisted, DEPRAVED MURDERER would take it upon himself to kill another human being because of his unbridled RACISM and HATE!" The NON-racist reaction would have been one of shock! Of outrage! Of SADNESS, and of PITY for Dr. King's widow and children! It would have been SINCERE and DEEPLY FELT! But it most certainly WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN dodging behind the murder, almost as if being glad it happened — because it provided an hypocritical EXCUSE to indulge in the kind of violence the violent had hoped for all along! Don't delude yourself! The human mind is capable of shameful, towering hypocrisy. And the worst kind of hypocrisy was evidenced all around us recently — from all sides! Many who had been totally OPPOSED to Dr. King, including some Negro militants who had called him "Uncle Tom" and a "Honky" were suddenly using his life, and his dream, AS IF IT WERE THEIR OWN! They were suddenly unable to say anything nice enough about this fallen Civil Rights leader. In like fashion, Negro militants were quick to see this same hypocrisy in many leading whites who, only days before, could say nothing good about Dr. King — but immediately after his shocking death were quick to eulogize and praise! Just as Jesus Christ saw the deep HYPOCRISY in the minds of the Pharisees of His day, so we should be able to appraise the incredible hypocrisy in the hearts and minds of people in our day. Jesus said, on one occasion, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: therefore you shall receive the greater judgment!" (Matt. 23:14) Continually, through that 23rd chapter of Matthew, Jesus is quoted as calling the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of His day, HYPOCRITES who outwardly appeared righteous to men but inwardly were full of "hypocrisy and iniquity" (verse 28). Jesus warned, in likening the leavening of bread to the vanity and hypocrisy of human nature, that His Disciples should "beware... of the leaven of the Pharisees, WHICH IS HYPOCRISY" (Luke 12:1). And that hypocrisy IS PRETENSE! And so is that same hypocritical PRETENSE evident today! To those who riot in America's streets today, Jesus Christ says, "HYPOCRITES! You burn, stab, maim, destroy and kill — all the while PRETENDING you are doing it in outrage against a senseless murder — but you do it almost GLEEFULLY! You do it JOYFULLY, you do it as if HAPPY for the opportunity! You do it in HYPOCRISY! You do it in the face of a fallen man who claimed he gave his life to further NON-VIOLENCE! HYPOCRITES! You who believe stealing, burning, and KILLING is the answer to murder are reverting to the law of the jungle, all the while hiding behind an EXCUSE of Dr. King's death! HYPOCRITES, who claim to be shocked, saddened and hurt by violence — and who gleefully indulge in violence yourselves!" HYPOCRITES, who claim to have pity and sorrow for Dr. King's widow — and yet hurl into her face the very action and deeds Dr. King spoke against much of his life! No, these were not "riots" in the classic sense of the word. These were massive crimes of opportunity. Undoubtedly, many misguided persons vented their anger and frustration over Dr. King's murder in some unlawful act — but the many thousands who leapt at the OPPORTUNITY of breakdown in law and order were not rioting — they were merely stealing, burning, looting or sniping at others in a mad orgy of violence because they now had some sort of an "excuse."
A CRIMINAL Society?
Are we becoming a criminal society? For years, on The WORLD TOMORROW program, and in these pages, I have emphasized juvenile delinquency, growing disregard for law and order, mounting crime and preoccupation with violence in our sports and entertainment. Yet, tragically, each year crime INCREASES in the United States. Now, we see the international spectacle of Americans in frenzied criminal orgies on such a scale as to require troops of the United States Army to train their guns at our own citizens. For years, I have insisted HUMAN NATURE IS CRIMINAL. Sometimes, people are shocked to hear me say a baby is BORN "criminal." Sweet, precious, lovely though he may be to his parents — a tiny, struggling, helpless little life. He is nevertheless capable of huge passions — and unacceptable behavior. Every baby must be TAUGHT self-control. He is not born with any instincts of kindness, patience, goodness, love, understanding, emotional control, honesty, integrity, faithfulness. He is born, rather, with a pull in his nature toward SELF. His first instincts are totally SELFISH — directed inwardly. Each individual child, black or white, must be TAUGHT everything from control of his bodily processes to control of his emotions. But what CHANCE have millions upon millions of Americans had — allowed to "grow up" (certainly not "reared") by careless, unqualified, selfish parents in an atmosphere of self-centeredness, fights, hatred, racism, and unbridled emotion? And what "chance" have millions of Negro youths had — many of them knowing no father of their own, having no stable home life whatever (every fourth Negro child is illegitimate, according to proven statistics), and "learning" everything they "know" in an environment of illicit sex, broken homes, fights, stealing, street gangs, prostitution, dope addiction and all assorted kinds of crime? Each person must be TAUGHT to be honest. He will not BE honest "naturally." Sometimes that lesson must be PAINFUL. MILLIONS of Americans have admitted, privately, to committing acts for which they could have been JAILED at one time in their lives or another (over 90 percent, according to a recent poll). MILLIONS of us would have to admit — if we would be HONEST WITH OURSELVES — that it was only the fear of being caught, and PUNISHED for criminal acts that held us back — kept us from giving vent to a natural drive of human nature. Each person must be TAUGHT to have patience, kindness, understanding. He is not naturally gifted with these loftier human emotions. He must be TAUGHT to have them. And sometimes the lessons are severe. But ARE most people being taught these values? ARE little white children taught it is a DIRTY SHAME, and a hypocritical bit of Nonsense, to call a Negro a "nigger," or a Jew a "kike," or an Italian a "wop"? No! Most GROW UP in an ENVIRONMENT of racism and prejudice. Are white children taught to HATE racism? Are they taught to wonder what it is like to be a member of another race? To learn RESPECT and appreciation for the differences in each race, and in every other human being? Sadly — sickeningly, THERE EXISTS VIRTUALLY NO SUCH TEACHING IN HOMES ACROSS AMERICA TODAY! Are most Negro children TAUGHT it is wrong to feel inferior, and to HATE white people? Are they TAUGHT TO FORGET THE PAST, and look toward the FUTURE? Taught to have patience, understanding, and a great capacity for forgiveness? Of course not! And racist reaction to such a statement will be the typical ones of "YEAH! You want US to be 'patient' while you use our women, steal our property, work us to death for no wages, treat us like dogs, etc., etc., etc." The NON-racist reaction will be one of understanding. MILLIONS of Americans flock smugly in and out of their churches each weekend — listening to the droning voices of thousands of preachers intone thousands of platitudes — and go home clasping their racist hates to their breasts just as firmly as ever! Face this truth! MILLIONS of white persons LEAVE THE STEPS OF THEIR CHURCH every Sunday with their "nigger" jokes, and their suspicions and hatreds just as FIRMLY ENTRENCHED in their lives as ever! There has been just about as much RACE HATRED spawned from PULPITS as from Ghetto streets! Deny this, and you deny some of the most obvious facts of our WRONG way of life. Deny it, and you're denying YOUR OWN HUMAN NATURE that is within you — denying your own race problems! Yes, babies are BORN criminal. Each little child MUST BE TAUGHT to have the ideals of honesty, integrity, and understanding. And all too few have been taught these principles. Let's understand MORE about human nature!
HUMAN NATURE — What It Is!
It's HUMAN NATURE to hate. GOD, the Inventor of the human heart, REVEALS its true nature. "The heart is deceitful above ALL THINGS, and DESPERATELY wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Yes, the Normal, natural, fleshly mind — the mind with which you were BORN — IS DESPERATELY wicked, unless it has been CHANGED by the nature of God! Paul was inspired to write, "The carnal mind [the natural mind of every person] is ENMITY against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be"! (Rom. 8:7.) The normal, natural, CARNAL mind of every man and every woman — yes and of every child — RESENTS the things of God! The natural mind is ALWAYS SUSPICIOUS! It is ENVIOUS, LUSTFUL, EVIL, RESENTFUL, and HATEFUL! James wrote, "Do you think that the Scripture saith in vain, 'The spirit that dwelleth in US LUSTETH TO ENVY?' " (James 4:5) Today, if you feel you're basically a "Christian" kind of person — you probably feel Christ really WAS the promised Messiah. You feel, whether or not you are a really zealous Christian — that Jesus Christ probably really WAS genuine. At least, if you're like most people, you couldn't call Christ a guilty EVIL-doer, could you? But what about those who lived right with Jesus Christ? Who SAW His miracles WITH THEIR OWN EYES? What about those who lived in Jerusalem during the time of Christ's merciless BEATING — His terrible night of KICKS, CURSES, SPITTING, HATRED, VENOMOUS ACCUSATIONS? What about those who HAD A PART IN IT? What about the hate-filled MOB that screamed out their animalistic bestiality — "KILL HIM! CRUCIFY Him! BUTCHER HIM!"? God tells you NOT to bear them any malice — NOT to HATE THEM — even as Christ Himself said, from His tree of death, "Father forgive them — they know not what they do!" But do you UNDERSTAND the reason they acted as they did? Do you RECOGNIZE the EXACT, SAME IDENTICAL NATURE IN YOURSELF? It's THERE — recognized or not. Many of those same participants in the illegal crucifixion of Christ took their hatred, their firm belief they had rid the world of a TERRIBLE person — to their graves with them. They somehow convinced themselves they should be terribly, indignantly, "righteously" ANGRY at Christ! They CONVINCED themselves He was a FAKE! They thought they "KNEW" they were uncovering, exposing, and punishing some GREAT EVIL!
Christ Says It Will Grow Worse!
And remember — Jesus predicted this evil disease of HATRED would grow worse and worse — heightening in intensity until blind RAGE would characterize our day. Paul said, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind [a deceitful, hateful, DEGENERATE mind], to do those things which are NOT RIGHT [margin]; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of ENVY, MURDER, DEBATE, DECEIT, MALIGNITY; whisperers [delighting in SCANDAL — in filth, evil, RUMOR!], backbiters, HATERS of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of EVIL things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers [not true to their word, NEVER willing to give the other fellow the benefit of the doubt], without natural affection, implacable [their minds UNWILLING to change — to admit new light, to see new facts, or accept the truth!], unmerciful: who KNOWING the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of DEATH, not only DO the same, but HAVE PLEASURE in them that do them" (Rom. 1:28-32). This world is literally FILLED with human beings who fit this very description! And why not? It's a description of HUMAN NATURE in the raw — human nature JUST THE WAY IT IS! Jesus warned, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). He prayed to His Father, "I have given them [His disciples, and true followers in ANY age] thy word, and the world hath HATED them, because they are not OF the world [they're living DIFFERENT lives — lives that have been CHANGED to conform to the life CHRIST led] even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14). He had said earlier, "If the world HATES you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are NOT of the world, but I have chosen you OUT of the world, therefore the world HATETH you"! (John 15:18-19) Yes — like it or not — admit it or not — the plain facts of your Bible are that suffering HATRED will be the lot of anyone who truly repents, and strives diligently to LIVE the abundant, happy, joyous life Jesus Christ makes possible! Jesus said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin"! (John 15:22) The thousands of "rioters" who took to the streets in April were deluding themselves with the SAME EVIL NOTIONS. They had somehow convinced themselves they should be "TERRIBLY ANGRY" with the whole white race. They deluded themselves they were "doing it for Dr. King" when they gave vent to their passions and lusts. They became righteously indignant, ANGRY at shopkeepers, and wealthy people around them. They became ENRAGED at the symbols of authority, the police. They kidded themselves they were LICENSED to do it. That they were DESERVING of the privilege to riot, loot, and bum. They, too, like the deluded ones who crucified Christ, believed they were punishing some GREAT EVIL. But what a shameful hypocrisy! Why destroy a man's whole life's accumulation of work with one Molotov cocktail because of the insane crime of another man? Why add one murder to another and suppose the first justified the second? Today, as NEVER before, people allow themselves to become consumed with purple-faced, blind, mind-chilling, vicious RAGE against members of another race. And the way of life of Christ's true servants makes others ANGRY! Because it's natural to RESENT THE WAY of God — the way of LIFE God reveals in His sacred Word! It's about time you really SAW human nature — YOUR nature, and recognized it for what it truly is. No amount of "reasoning" and arguing about the "good" ideas and deeds of humans will change the truth of God's Word. Human nature is rotten! Human nature is RACIST! It's an evil, filthy, DOWNWARD PULL — tending toward violence, destruction — no good thing! Paul was inspired to say, "For I know that in me (that is, IN MY FLESH,) dwelleth NO GOOD THING" (Rom. 7:18). The human heart is evil — even the human heart that likes to THINK IT IS GOOD! Human nature is NATURALLY fearful, resentful, self-justifying, egotistic, vanity-filled, hateful, despicable, proud, defiant, rebellious, boastful, obnoxious, annoying, acidic, selfish, self-centered, jealous, lustful, disobedient, stiffnecked, blasphemous, destructive, corrupt, presumptuous and vile! It really is! That's why God says REPENT! CHANGE human nature by taking in some of the very nature of God (II Peter 1:4). Take a look at your own mind and heart. THINK about the lives of others around you. Ask yourself a few personal questions — and be honest with yourself about your own nature!
What About YOUR Private Life?
What about YOUR heart and mind? Do you "fly off the handle" easily? Do You become ENRAGED at someone over racial, religious, political issues? Do YOU become SO ANGRY, SO MAD, SO CONSUMED with inflamed passion that you would literally resort to VIOLENCE? Millions do! Millions HAVE! And why? The answer is simple. It's like a recipe for an evil concoction. Just take human nature. Sprinkle in a few situations; add a lot of entertainment pressures, such as TV violence, radio jazz and noise, movie-land make-believe, newspaper sensationalism. Especially lurid accounts of RACIAL outbursts here and there — add some paper-backed perversity and sex; stir well — and VIOLENCE will erupt! It's been said, "You are what you eat." And your MIND is what you THINK! And if YOUR STEADY DIET IS ONE OF VIOLENCE — then you could become a VIOLENT person very easily! Will you be one who will be filled with RAGE because of your spouse's religious beliefs? Will You become brutally VIOLENT because of RACIAL prejudices and hatreds? Will You ever be one who will PERSECUTE someone else for his religious, racial, political or personal beliefs? Probably not, you may think — but, THINK AGAIN! Unless you're CHANGED, unless your very NATURE has been altered from a violent nature to a peaceful one — you MAY!
It's a SICK, SICK, SICK WORLD!
Look around you. Unless you are careful, YOU could become one of the rioting, looting-crazed individuals preying on a sick society! Most people today are PASSIVE about the crime and violence in our midst. Law enforcement officials decry the near obsession of the modern courts with insuring the protection of the CRIMINAL and his "rights," instead of strengthening the laws prohibiting and punishing criminal acts. It is a great SIN to harbor race hatreds in your heart. It is an equal sin to take the LAW into your own hands. Vengeance belongs to GOD — and that is a LAW of God that He fully intends to ENFORCE! He will do the punishing for the massive crimes and sins of humanity. It is up to the constituted authorities God allows to exist (there is NO authority God does not permit to exist — or it would NOT EXIST!) and to God Himself.
Forming HABITS of Violence
Probably, you feel depraved acts of wanton destruction and violence are committed by a certain type of person. But you're wrong. It is this very enigmatic problem that worries modern-day law enforcement officers. They see horrible acts of murderous violence being committed more and more by the "average" person. They prove conclusively that crime is not limited to those who have grown up in slum or underprivileged areas; that all criminals are not demented, or retarded. They shake their heads in disbelief at bestial atrocities committed by "good" people in society! Why does it happen? Why do members of a family fly into a sudden fit of rage, grab a gun, and MURDER in cold blood, other members of the same family? They probably just witnessed a dozen murders on television and in the movies, and read of more violence in the news! They had probably been feeding and gorging their minds on some murder mystery thriller, in almost every leisure moment! Is it any wonder, when tempers flare, and a person reacts almost AUTOMATICALLY according to HABIT? If you're not extremely careful what you SEE, how you THINK, what you HEAR, what you READ — YOU MAY BE ESTABLISHING THE SAME PATTERN OF VIOLENCE in your own life! SO THINK about it. INVESTIGATE your life. Be willing to be honest with yourself about yourself! God says, "WOE unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope... WOE unto them that call evil good, [that was sure a "good" movie, you might have said!] and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter"! (Isa. 5:18-20)
A New Kind of "Justice"
In the immediate aftermath of the April riots, many leading news magazines told of the new policies of some big-city police departments to "contain" a "riot area" rather than using FORCE to stop looting and arson. Some leaders attacked this policy — saying it was tantamount to POLICE GIVING PERMISSION to riot. Others attacked those who attacked the policy. Mayors attacked mayors, and police chiefs disagreed with each other. One advocated shooting arsonists to kill, and looters to cripple; another said he would not resort to use of "unprincipled" force. (Which makes one wonder what series of acts, deeds, or crimes would finally make the use of force "principled"?) But what a seeming CONTRADICTION! It was as if the rioters could have called the police station in ADVANCE. They could have, presumably, told police they had decided to "riot" in this and the other given area. The police, under this new policy, would presumably then be honor bound to SEAL OFF this area, and to insist NO ONE INTERFERED with the rioters while they rioted to their hearts' content. Shockingly, several eyewitness reports emerged from the riots which told of police helping distribute bottles of liquor from smashed stores, and, in one case, stoop to retrieve a dropped article a looter had stolen, and hand it back to him! Yes, what a seeming CONTRADICTION! In Vietnam, the United States has fully committed, apparently, the last American military or financial effort to STOP Communism. In Vietnam, America did not let the Viet Cong or the North Vietnamese simply "stake out a claim" about which parts of the country they wanted to take over, and then stand aside. Yet, in the pursuit of the policy that human life is more PRECIOUS when it comes to civil criminals than international ones, people caught up in frenzied thievery and bloodlust in the streets of our cities are now given notice they are SAFE from any physical harm. It was not always this way. I grew up in a society where I literally was taught to FEAR punishment for an unlawful act. I KNEW the police would ARREST me, and probably put me in JAIL if I stole, or burned, or injured or killed! But TIMES HAVE CHANGED. Today, a potential destroyer of property or life HAS NO SUCH THREAT OF JUSTICE HANGING OVER him! And your Bible prophesied this will all GET MUCH, MUCH WORSE before it gets any better! This society, and the WHOLE WORLD, is in the throes of a worldwide CATACLYSM that is going to usher in the prophesied END OF AN AGE! You are now LIVING in the very moments of history foretold by Jesus Christ of Nazareth in Matthew the 24th chapter! You are now LIVING in the midst of a SICK world. Check up on yourself! Be willing to call a spade a spade! Label things what they really are! And then, with the help of Almighty God, ROOT out of your life the hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and murderous violence of this violent world!
Coming — a Better World Tomorrow
Perhaps most of all, you need to investigate your own RACIAL feelings. Do you truly have love for members of all races? Can you see each person as PRECIOUS in the sight of God, and see him for his POTENTIAL, in spite of his present criminal state? Can you search your heart, and ask God to look down inside your innermost feelings, and ROOT OUT prejudice, inferiority, suspicion, resentment, and all hostile, carnal, human feelings toward members of another race? Can you Negro people realize that many whites tend to "overreact" to you — being even overly friendly, perhaps because they are ashamed of their racism of the past, and trying to ride over it, and make up for it? Can you white people realize, DEEPLY, what it must be like to see all life through a black face, and have people treat you as less than human, turn you from public facilities, tell jokes behind your back? Can you, really? Can your heart go out to members of another race, and can you ASK GOD'S FORGIVENESS FOR RACISM? If all our whole NATION could do this — all our race problems would be over. You can do it — sure you can. But only YOU can do it for You. You cannot expect what you do for yourself to help someone else automatically overcome his racial feelings. But you can pray for him. You can put your own life in the hands of God, and wait for HIS KINGDOM to bring true racial equality at last!