Ferguson's Problem Is Sin Not Skin

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Christian New Orleans Saints Player Benjamin Watson’s Comments on Ferguson Goes Viral; Says Sin, Not Skin Is the Problem

By Leonardo Blair | CP Reporter
ss-140816-ferguson-unrest-mn-07_be797a85d0654da1aee27b13a9f96508A day after tempers flared with the controversial decision of a Missouri grand jury to not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Christian New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson struck a poignant chord in the national conversation on race, racism and policing in America that has now gone viral.

In an extensive commentary that was liked on his Facebook page more than 700,000 times and shared more than 400,000 times as of Friday, Watson explained that he chose to write down his thoughts on the Ferguson decision after news broke Monday night.

“I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes,” he began.

benjamin-watson-1But Watson did not stop there. He went on to highlight some very real truths about race and racism in America before noting: “I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self-defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”
At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.

Ultimately however, Watson concluded that he was encouraged and hopeful that there is a solution in Christ.
“I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn,” wrote Watson.

“BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope,” he continued.

In a response to his measured reaction to the decision, Brian Benton noted in a comment liked more than 23,000 times that: “You should write a book ‘It’s not a skin problem but a sin problem’ by Benjamin Watson. I admire your boldness to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Another popular reaction to the post by Nancy Dixon McMullen that was like more than 10,000 times noted: “I’m in awe. This hits every emotion from both sides! Thanks for sharing and I hope it is heartfelt by all who reads it.”

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ben watson

17 Comments on “Ferguson's Problem Is Sin Not Skin”

  1. Dion

    My brother was spot on. I read the article and was moved by the accuracy of his post. I pray for his stand for Jesus Christ to remain strong as he points to the real problem: a sin problem that can only be remedied by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  2. Simply Maria

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt message of the hope we have in Christ, for those who believe. Mr. Watson echoed so many of my own sentiments.
    I didn’t hear anyone mention the last face Michael Brown Jr saw as he left this earth. Did the officer have a look of regret or was his grace demon possessed as he claimed Michael’s face appeared to show. God have mercy on all of us.

  3. Lettie

    Spoken like a true child of God. We must love one another as well as forgive if we are true Christians. Hatred is of satan as is fear. Prayer, faith and trust in The Lord, not hatred nor foolishness will will put racism and unjust in it’s place. As the old Gospel song goes, ” We’ve Come This Far By Faith. Well done young man

  4. Ace

    Absolutely beautiful. What perfect and accurate description of the feelings of many; that he was able to articulate it in such poetic words. And what an amazing way to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Reading this gives me hope for the future. And thank you Ex ministries for posting this. Godbless.

  5. Jack

    His message should may all people think. Mr. Brown made a bad decision, plain and simply. A bad choice will overcome you regardless of the color of your skin. Is there racism?,sure. Will it go away?, probably not. You can’t change a person’s heart, only that individual can do that, no matter how many laws are on the books. And we as followers of CHRIST can’t hate regardless of the circumstances. According to the WORD forgiveness is still on the table for the officer in this case. If GOD can forgive this, then so should we. There is no burden of race in the KINGDOM. It’s just another piece of baggage you have to check at the door of salvation.

  6. Lilie

    I don’t have FB or any other thing like it. One of my sisters showed me this man’s post. I sat down and read every word this young man of God wrote. First, I had no clue what he was going to say, but by the time I got to the end of the statement. I was so happy. But then I said to my sister, this , what this young man wrote is awesome, but many many face booker, twitterers, and Instagramers, whatever they are called, will find it to be TOO LONG to read? This will take up TOO MUCH TIME, At best, they might start to read it a little, but quit and keep going to the next thing. How sad it is, when someone actually had A GOOD, GODLY, perspective, a WELL THOUGHT OUT statement, declaring something great at the end! but most people of today’s modern society will make NO TIME to read it bc it is too long. Or they may not want to read it bc it isn’t juicy gossip, or bc there wasn’t enough cussing, or nothing about sex, or acting crazy…. I say this bc I email so many things to my friends, family, coworkers, about the current events, fulfilling bible prophecy, and people get mad bc the video is past 5 min, let’s not mention a sermon or teaching of 45 min to and hour. Or if the article is way too long to read. Really? People how long are we watching tv in a day? How long are we messing with our cell phones , and iPads , video games and other time consuming gadgets? Dang , can we make time for GODLY , virtuous things. Can we be an informed people, to know what all these gadgets do is take up out time so we don’t do the work we should do. Yes, I know that they can, and are being used for godly purposes, but the masses does not use it for that, just for entertainment. Take some time y’all, read his statement and tell your church about this brother’s public comment. GBU .

  7. Jack

    ECC 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (We as Believers can’t put our race or anything before GOD and what is right in HIS sight. We are not the sons of men anymore but, children of GOD and we must act accordingly, no matter who we offend. Even our own race.)

  8. Wisdom Speaks

    Well stated, we are in an era of time that there are not moral absolutes in our current day. We have been socially misguided into believing more in the self power than our Creator,s power to guide our lives in an moral and ethical path to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, by the way this is the foundation to loving others, knowing how to have a God centered self love for one,s self, then and only then can we began to love our neighbor correctly.
    By now one would think about this great concern we face daily in our choosing a correct path to follow, there are forty-two thousand religious paths to choose from in our modern day, that,s a little confusing even for our brightest minds to unravel

    Wisdom Speaks

  9. Terry Thompson sr.

    This was the best response to the situation that happened there. As children of the most high God and the only true God this is what the Preacher’s in that city should have been saying when they got on CNN and the other news stations. No like always we have to look like the old rapping preacher’s and pastors. Look dumb for them other foks. Please God has some real solder who will tell the truth , of Jesus Christ. Sin is the problem that’s it. When will this County see it. You can’t serve two masters. But we continue try to raise these children that they can . When will this country wake up. Sin is the problem. Sin is the problem. To God be the Glory. Amen.

  10. Terry Thompson sr.

    I was at a funeral Thursday and I was in the Pastor Study, and one of the pastor said what should we say to the people know. He said our problem is we all are saying something different. He said we need to get together and all say the same thing to the people. I am sitting there as the youngest pastor of them all, and the Holy Spirit is saying to me . You all should be saying the same thing, it’s preaching My Word. (Lord for give us). This is our problem in our churches we are so amazed in hooping and get folks to stand up like we are at a Preach Off, that people are not being changed. Just preach The Word and God will do the rest. Preach ,Preacher’s , Preach.

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