Bizzle’s Powerful Message to White Christians on Ferguson, Compassion

To my white Christian friends, when you read/listen to this, do so with humility, an open heart, and most of all with compassion.  The question is not “Do you agree with all of Bizzle‘s points?”  The question is, “Do you have compassion on what Bizzle, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Eric Garner and so many like them who have grown up in environments so different than most all of you?”  Environments that condition people certain ways.  Environments that would have conditioned you in certain ways.  Environments that are unjust that they exist at all.  And the next question, “Are you even willing to be challenged to think in the area of race or has your sinful pride already shut your ears down and put your defenses up?”

The way Bizzle responds to almost every defense I’ve received from white Christian friends of mine when I blog about issues of racial injustice is amazing.

Can you love Bizzle as your brother in Christ?

How many of you are wondering “Why does this guy call himself ‘Bizzle‘ anyway?  What kind of name is that?”

How many of you will call Bizzle a liar after listening to this song?

Do you call someone a liar who has been abused by their dad and confides in you?

Can you love Bizzle as your brother in Christ?

Can you pray for the pain Bizzle feels?

Could Bizzle attend your church and be welcomed as an equal?

Can you incarnate your love to those who grew up very different from you?  The way Jesus incarnated his love to you…

Can you have empathy?  Can you have compassion?  Can you build bridges of understanding rather than continue the divide wider and wider.  Can you acknowledge someone else pain without defensiveness?

Can you at least appreciate the courage and honesty it took for Bizzle to write this song? 

When there’s blood in the streets (streets)
And you remain quiet, don’t you come with a speech
(When it pop) Man down (down), Gunned by police
Hood Cries, you ignore it? Don’t say nuthin’ to me
(When it pop) (When it pop)
The hood been cryin’ out (cryin’ out), but no one ever hears (yeah)
Until they turn it upside down (side down) Now everyone appears (yeah)

[Verse 1]
(uh) (yeah) I bring up Trayvon, you say he was a thug
I bring up John Crawford, you say he had a gun
I bring up Eric Garner, you say he was overweight
And you say that Michael Brown shoulda never tried to run

Do you really not realize that it’s a pattern and you not havin’ compassion
When these tragedies happen
Isn’t it odd, usually you sympathize with the victim
But this time you just continue to side with the killers

Could it be you bought into the lie
Do we love to genocide
Though the hood got a record that none of us can deny
Some are killers (true) And others pick it up just to survive
You think you would be as holy if you grew up on this side

No excuses (nah) But you gon’ have to tweak your perspective
It’s easy bein’ sheep, when them sheep feel protected
Get around them wolves and them teeth start projectin’
Second that you sleep you can leave unexpected – (Check it)

[Hook (2nd Time)]

[Verse 2]
(Uh) You’re lookin’ mad negligent
On top of your theology
Your blind spot’s evident
Any quotin’ Jakes
Then you yell out “he a heretic”
But when the hood cries
John MacArthur ain’t addressin’ it

You don’t like Sharpton? Who you gon’ replace him wit
If you ‘on’t never pick up when they call you, save it then
Want me to be quiet? (uh) You gon’ have to make me then
Cuz every time I tell the hood somethin’, you okay with it

Isaiah 1:17 in ya Bible (turn)
Most of them people won’t look anything like you
Fatherless, oppressed and a widow, I remind you
Take a look around you, who does that apply to?
Why would the Lord tell you to plead they case?
‘less He expected you to ignore the things they say
Like “man, the system mistreat us, and the police beat us
But you ‘on’t ever believe us, why would I trust yo Jesus?”
Don’t just say you love me, show me homie!

[Hook (3rd Time)]

[Verse 3]
A year ago if Blake Griffin called Donald Sterling a racist (racist)
You would look at the team and say he exaggerating (uh huh)
Tell him to quit complainin’, like how is he racist
Look at the money you’re makin’
Why we delusional ‘til we tape it
Twelve percent of America, Forty percent in prison
One in every three of us have paid a prison a visit
Doin’ sixty percent more time for the same offenses
You reply “that’s BS, I don’t believe them statistics”

I just want you to listen, you think I’m sayin’ you did it (no)
I ‘on’t see your compassion, I just see you get defensive (uh huh)
There’s a problem, (yeah) you thinkin’ that I’m tryna say it’s you (you)
But really I just want for you to have a problem with it too

Picture us growin’ up in the crib together as brothers
Parents treatin’ us different, you say I’m trippin’ it’s nuthin’
But when you sleep, he touch me where he ain’t supposed to be touchin’
But when I tell you he does it, you look at me like I’m buggin’

I’m tellin’ you he mistreatin’ me
When you ain’t lookin’, he beatin’ me
And you keep sayin’ we brothers, but you ‘on’t never believe me
So when you see the division
It ain’t all on pops (no), it ain’t about what he did to me
It’s about your response (uh)

We just want for you to cry wit us (cry wit us)
An’ quit tellin’ us we ain’t justified in our feelin’s (our feelin’s)
So when you reply “this is not the fifties, Bizz” (okay)
All I hear is you replyin’ the same way people back in the fifties did –
“This ain’t the Twenties, Bizz”

[Hook (4th Time)]

To my white brothers and sisters in Christ – I’m doin’ this for a couple a reasons

One – I just want to give you a little more perspective on where it is we come from and why it is we feel how we feel sometimes. We can’t keep sweeping these race issues under the rug. Cuz the only time we seem to have these hard conversations is when tragedy happens and everybody’s high on they emotions. And yes we are all one in Christ, but once we step out them church doors, the world’s gonna respond to us differently. And how we respond to one another’s pain, is gonna affect our relationship. It’s not anger, it’s hurt

And reason number two is this – I never walk on egg shells when I’m talkin’ to the black community. I’m always raw, I’m always sayin’ “stop that killin’, stop sellin’ drugs in our community, stop actin’ this way” and no one ever has a problem with it. Nor do I ever feel like I’m puttin’ my career on the line, or that I’ma lose all of my black followers. But the truth is, I feel that way right now. I feel that way every time I bring up racial injustice. Like I’ma stop getting’ booked for churches. Like my career’s on the line. And I shouldn’t have to feel that way, if we’re one in Christ. I shouldn’t have to feel like “I need to get a white person to say this for me, because they’re not gonna hear me”. I shouldn’ta feel that way, and I do. A lot of people do. And there’s some things that you probably feel that I don’t know, because we don’t talk. So feel free to use me to put the conversations on the table, all in love, not to be divisive, but to get past some things, so the next time tragedy happens, we can be on one accord. And I said it before, I’ll say it again, I’ma Christian before I’m black, but I’ma continue to speak against injustice the way I always have. And whether it’s a black person or a white person on the other side of that, so be it

Related Posts by Noah:

5 responses to Bizzle’s Powerful Message to White Christians on Ferguson, Compassion

  1. Hey man, been awhile and wasn’t gonna post here but listening changes things. Props to you for posting the video and asking the questions. Not too comfortable when a mirror’s being held up but reality’s just better. Not just racism and maybe it’s on me but just seems there’s a huge compassion deficit in the church. Not so much that people are saved, that the gospel’s heard, that sinners get saved. More so that others in all their humanness and problems and pain and sin enter the heart. Sitting here can’t think of many times the church has taken the lead in this country in giving people dignity in their lives. . . blacks, homeless, gays. It’s not so much there’s no acts that do things to/for others but whether the other guy enters the heart. Y’know, donating a coat but never asking the homeless guy his name or sharing a meal. Sometimes seems church does just enough to ease its conscience rather than entering anything real that would change it. Don’t mean this to be guilt and I’m not there yet but wanting the reality of what is Christ in this world in his people. Not even sure we do real within the church that well but so many outside the church need to touch the reality of Jesus.

    • Welcome back Alan. I think you hit it spot on with: “Sometimes seems church does just enough to ease its conscience rather than entering anything real that would change it.” There’s pretty big (and accurate) criticism of the Church that we are not very interested in systemic change or helping systemic injustice. You bring up a good point that on an even smaller scale, we aren’t always very interested in the relational component of loving someone, only in the feeling that we did our part to help. This is an accurate criticism the American Church often gets from indigenous ministries in third world countries, where they value time and relationships much more than we do. We value material things way too much in America, at the expense of relationships, whereas it’s the opposite in third world countries. Ironic how that shows up in how we help people. Both of these criticisms require a lot more thought and time to remedy, something we are usually too much in a hurry or too lazy to deal with. Thank you for bringing that up, it’s quite helpful.

      • Good to be back Noah. Had to come back. . . UM plays at Rutgers Oct 4th, and if I waited till after the 4th, posting then would just come across as gloating :).
        Can understand material things being important in the culture, but don’t get that there’s this crazy direct equating of material things with spirituality in the church here. Have met brothers from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan where they actually need material things yet they most want/need to know they’re prayed for, that they’re remembered. Thinking if/when the church here faces the things they do that we will not have the spiritual capacity to bear unjust suffering, that we’re like Jesus that way. How cool would it be if we measured churches by their spiritual capacity rather than buildings and attendance and dollars?
        Any update on your reality book or your book with Jim? Hope things are going good for you and your family and Crossroads.

        • Michigan would probably get 6th place in the MAC this year, just an fyi I won’t be talking much trash that is for sure! I’m in talks with a literary agent on my sexual purity book, but am making some pretty major changes on it that are going to take a little while longer. So that’s encouraging, but also needing to be patient, which is okay, God has given me a lot of peace about his timing on it. I’m glad it didn’t get published any earlier because God is still working on a lot of self-glory maturity issues in me. And poor Jim, he really has to be patient because I really can’t start working on the homosexuality book until I’m done working on the sexual purity book! Thanks for asking!

          • Can have fun with sports since they only mean anything only for that year. Being a Rutgers fan always has a “this too shall pass” feel. Last week was at the PSU game and with 2 min left having been ahead the entire game, RU had State in a 3rd & 23 and they gave up the 1st down and then the TD. Hate/love Rutgers.
            God grant grace in the finishing and release of the book. Who knows man. . . the other side of the maturity issues means more to your pastoring and future books.

What do you think? Leave a reply...