Which Side Will You Be On?

Which way are you going? Which side will you be on? Will you stand and watch while all the seeds of hate are sown?

Jim Croce, “Which Way Are You Going”; cover and revised lyrics by Drew and Ellie Holcomb

You know, with all the craziness (read: pandemic, mask politics, vaccine skepticism, conspiracy theories, protests, blatant racism, disregard of others, and just plain hatred) of the past year and a half, I think it’s important to take a step back and ask ourselves: Which way are we going?

Because when things calm down (and they will), we’re going to look back to see which side we were on. We’re going to see if we stood and watched while the seeds of hate were sown.

But it’s not too late to reassess. To make a change. To do good.

Which way are you going? Which side will you be on?
Will you stand and watch while all the seeds of hate are sown?
Will you stand with those who say “let his will be done”?
One hand on the Bible, and the other on the gun.
One hand on the Bible, and the other on the gun.

Which way are you lookin’? Is it hard to see?
Do you say what’s wrong for him is not wrong for me?
Lives have changed, they’ve rearranged, what have we become?
All the olive branches turned to spears,
and the flowers turned to stones.
All the olive branches turned to spears,
and the flowers turned to stones.

Every day, things are changin’, words once honored turned to lies.
People wonderin’, can you blame them,
‘Cause it’s too far to run, and it’s too far to hide.

So now you’ve turned your back on all the things you used to preach.
Now it’s let him live in freedom, brother if he lives like me.
You walk the streets of righteousness, but you refuse to understand.
You say you love the baby, but you crucify the man.
You say you love the baby, but you crucify the man.
I don’t understand.

You say you love the baby, but you crucify the man.

US Coronavirus Deaths to date: 617,952

US Gun-Related Deaths in 2020: 43,558, up by over 110% from 2019

US Children Aged 0-11 Killed by Guns in 2020: 299

Black people killed by police officers since the murder of George Floyd:

  1. Tony McDade aka Natosha McDade, 38, Tallahassee, FL
  2. Modesto “Marrero Desto” Reyes, 35, Marrero, LA
  3. Ruben Smith III, 35, North Little Rock, AK
  4. Jarvis Sullivan, 44, Yulee, FL
  5. Terrell Mitchell, 34, Philadelphia, PA
  6. Momodou Lamin Sisay, 34, Snellville, GA
  7. Derrick Thompson, 46, Fountain, FL
  8. David McAtee, 53, Louisville, KY
  9. Tyquarn Graves, 33, Brooklyn, NY
  10. Kamal Flowers, 24, New Rochelle, NY
  11. Lewis Ruffin Jr., 38, Orlando, FL
  12. Phillip Jackson, 32, Tunnell Hill, GA
  13. Michael Blu Thomas, 63, Lancaster, CA
  14. Rayshard Brooks, 27, Atlanta, GA
  15. Cane Van Pelt, 23, Crown Pont, IN
  16. Donald Ward, 27, Phoenix, AZ
  17. Brandon Gardner, 24, Beach Park, IL
  18. Terron Jammal Boone, 31, Rosamond, CA
  19. Derrick Canada, 43, Giddings, TX
  20. Skyleur Toung, 31, San Bernardino, CA
  21. Robert D’Lon Harris, Vinita, OK
  22. Rasheed Mathew Moorman, 26, Roanoke, VA
  23. Aloysius Larue Keaton, 58, Little Rock, AK
  24. Kevin O. Ruffin, 32, Sheboygan, WI
  25. Ky Johnson, 31, Kansas City, MO
  26. William Wade Burgess III, 27, St. Louis, MO
  27. Joseph W. Denton, 35, Milwaukee, WI
  28. Paul Williams, Houston, TX
  29. Malik Canty, 36, Paterson, NJ
  30. Erroll Johnson, 31, Monroe, LA
  31. Richard Lewis Price, 49, San Diego, CA
  32. Hakim Littleton, 20, Detroit, MI
  33. Vincent Demario Truitt, 17, Austell, GA
  34. Aaron Anthony Hudson, 31, Syracuse, NY
  35. Darius Washington, 24, Chicago Heights, IL
  36. Vincent Harris, 51, Baton Rouge, LA
  37. Jeremy Southern, 22, Sacramento, CA
  38. Name withheld by police, Detroit, MI
  39. Chester Jenkins, 60, Stockton, CA
  40. David Earl Brooks Jr., 45, Roxboro, NC
  41. Darrien Walker, 28, Detroit, MI
  42. Ashton Broussard, 30, Houston, TX
  43. Amir Johnson, 30, Ventnor City, NJ
  44. Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, 60, Sylvania, GA
  45. Salaythis Melvin, 22, Orlando, FL
  46. Jonathan Jefferson, Bossier City, LA
  47. Rafael Jevon Minniefield, 29, Moreland, GA
  48. Kendrell Antron Watkins, 31, Tuscaloosa, AL
  49. Anthony McClain, 32, Pasadena, CA
  50. Adrian Jason Roberts, 37, Hope Mills, NC
  51. Trayford Pellerin, 31, Lafayette, LA
  52. Damian Lamar Daniels, 31, San Antonio, TX
  53. Julius Paye Kehyei, 29, Houston, TX
  54. Name withheld by police, 43, Dearborn Heights, MI
  55. Michael Anthony Harris, 44, Daytona Beach, FL
  56. Robert Earl Jackson, 54, Thorsby, AL
  57. Dijon Kizzee, 29, Westmont, CA
  58. Deon Kay, 18, Washington, D.C.
  59. Steven D. Smith, 33, Syracuse, NY
  60. Major Carvel Baldwin, 61, San Antonio, TX
  61. Steve Gilbert, 33, Delray Beach, FL
  62. Jonathan Darsaw, 28, Moscow, TN
  63. Robert Coleman, 88, West Sacramento, CA
  64. Darrell Wayne Zemault Sr., 55, San Antonio, TX
  65. Charles Eric Moses Jr., 33, Brunswick, GA
  66. Dearian Bell, 28, Atlanta, GA
  67. Patches Vojon Holmes Jr., 26, Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO
  68. Kurt Andras Reinhold, 42, San Clemente, CA
  69. Willie Shropshire Jr., 57, Waggaman, LA
  70. DeMarco Riley, 27, Decatur, GA
  71. Jonathan Price, 31, Wolfe City, TX
  72. Stanley Cochran, 29, Philadelphia, PA
  73. Tyran Dent, 24, Queens, NY
  74. Anthony Jones, 24, Bethel Springs, TN
  75. Kevin Carr, 23, Los Angeles, CA
  76. Dana Mitchell Young Jr., 47, Los Angeles, CA
  77. Fred Williams III, 25, Los Angeles, CA
  78. Akbar Muhammad Eaddy, 27, Rock Island, IL
  79. Dominique Mulkey, 26, Tampa, FL
  80. Marcellis Stinnette, 19, Waukegan, IL
  81. Rodney Arnez Barnes, 48, Elmwood Place, OH
  82. Gregory Jackson, 45, Moss Point, MS
  83. Mark Matthew Bender, 35, San Bernardino, CA
  84. Ennice “Lil Rocc” Ross Jr., 26, Kansas City, MO
  85. Jakerion Shmond Jackson, 19, Sylvester, GA
  86. Walter Wallace Jr., 27, Philadelphia, PA
  87. Maurice Parker, 34, Las Vegas, NV
  88. Kevin Peterson Jr., 21, Vancouver, WA
  89. Name withheld by police, 42, Detroit, MI
  90. Justin Reed, 34, Jacksonville, FL
  91. Michael Wright, Sacramento, CA
  92. Reginald Alexander Jr., 25, Dallas, TX
  93. Frederick Cox Jr., 18, High Point, NC
  94. Rodney Eubanks, 25, Baltimore, MD
  95. Vusumuzi Kunene, 36, Lanham, MD
  96. Brandon Milburn, 37, Oklahoma City, OK
  97. Tracey Leon McKinney, Gulfport, MS
  98. Angelo “AJ” Crooms, 16, Cocoa, FL
  99. Sincere Peirce, 18, Cocoa, FL
  100. Arthur Keith, 19, Cleveland, OH
  101. Name withheld by police, Inglewood, CA
  102. Shane K. Jones, 38, Dania Beach, FL
  103. 103. Shawn Lequin Braddy, 37, Laurel, MD
  104. Jason Brice, 39, La Vergne, TN
  105. Kenneth Jones, 35, Omaha, NE
  106. Rodney Applewhite, 25, Los Lunas, NM
  107. Terrell Smith, 17, Atlanta, GA
  108. Rondell Goppy, 41, Queens, NY
  109. Ellis Frye Jr., 62, Culpeper, VA
  110. Cory Donell Truxillo, Houma, LA
  111. Mickee McArthur, 28, Ferry Pass, FL
  112. Udofia Ekom-Abasi, Phoenix, AZ
  113. James David Hawley, 47, Pineville, LA
  114. Kevin Fox, 28, Detroit, MI
  115. Dominique Harris, 20, St. Petersburg, FL
  116. Maurice Jackson, 42, Phoenix, AZ
  117. Andre K. Sterling, 35, Bronx, NY
  118. Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., 23, Columbus, OH
  119. Kwamaine O’Neal, 47, Toledo, OH
  120. Mark Brewer, 28, St. Louis, MO
  121. Donald Edwin Saunders, 37, Dayton, OH
  122. Thomas Reeder III, 44, Flint, MI
  123. Joseph R. Crawford, 23, Fort Atkinson, WI
  124. Joshua Feast, 22, La Marque, TX
  125. Charles E. Jones, 36, Houston, TX
  126. Bennie Edwards, 60, Oklahoma City, OK
  127. Jeremy Daniels, 29, Concord Mills, NC
  128. Johnny Bolton, 49, Smyrna, GA
  129. Larry Taylor, 39, Mobile, AL
  130. Andre Maurice Hill, 47, Columbus, OH
  131. Isaac Frazier, 31, Houston, TX
  132. Sheikh Mustafa Davis, 20, Midway, GA
  133. Shamar Ogman, 30, Hartford, CT
  134. Marquavious Rashod Parks, 26, Davisboro, GA
  135. Larry Hamm, 47, Denver, CO
  136. Helen Jones, 47, Phoenix, AZ
  137. Jason Cooper, 28, Charleston, SC
  138. Jaquan Haynes, 18, Atlanta, GA
  139. Shyheed Robert Boyd, 21, Highland, CA
  140. Dolal Idd, 23, Minneapolis, MN
  141. Carl Dorsey III, 39, Newark, NJ
  142. La Garion Smith, 27, Homestead, FL
  143. Tre-Kedrian Tyquan White, 20, Richburg, SC
  144. Vincent Belmonte, 18, Cleveland, OH
  145. Shawn McCoy, Spokane, WA
  146. Robert “Lil Rob” Howard, 30, Memphis, TN
  147. Jason Nightengale, 32, Evanston, IL
  148. Matthew Oxendine, 46, Pembroke, NC
  149. Patrick Warren Sr., 52, Killeen, TX
  150. Lymond Maurice Moses, 30, Wilmington, DE
  151. Kershawn Geiger, 24, Carmichael, CA
  152. Reginald Johnson, 48, Biloxi, MS
  153. Zonterious Johnson, 24, Lawton, OK
  154. Christopher Harris, 27, Toledo, OH
  155. Eusi Malik Kater Jr., 21, Titusville, AL
  156. Tyree Kajawn Rogers, 38, Wichita Falls, TX
  157. Randy Miller, Los Angeles, CA
  158. Roger D. Hipskind, 37, Wabash, IN
  159. Karl Walker, 29, Dixon, CA
  160. Marvon Payton Jr., 27, Las Vegas, NV
  161. Jenoah Donald, 30, Hazel Dell, WA
  162. Dontae Green, 34, Baltimore, MD
  163. Treyh Webster, 18, Mobile, AL
  164. Christopher Hagans, 36, Stratford, CT
  165. Andrew Hogan, 25, Trotwood, OH
  166. Dustin Demaurean Powell, 34, Lakeview, TX
  167. Gregory Taylor, 45, Seattle, WA
  168. Jordan Walton, 21, Austin, TX
  169. Brandon Wimberly, Coral Gables, FL
  170. Daverion Kinard, 29, Fontana, CA
  171. Arnell States, 39, Cedar Rapids, IA
  172. Benjamin Tyson, 35, Baltimore, MD
  173. Donald Francis Hairston, 44, Culpeper, VA
  174. Chandra Moore, 55, Detroit, MI
  175. Andrew Teague, 43, Columbus, OH
  176. Howayne Gale, 35, Lakeland, FL
  177. Tyshon Jones, 29, Rochester, NY
  178. Tyrell Wilson, 32, Danville, CA
  179. Nika Nicole Holbert, 31, Nashville, TN
  180. Christopher Ruffin, 28, Palm Bay, FL
  181. Daryl Lenard Jordan, 50, Miami, FL
  182. Kevin L. Duncan, 38, Bellefontaine, OH
  183. Frankie Jennings, 32, Charlotte, NC
  184. Travon Chadwell, 18, Chicago, IL
  185. Malcolm D. Johnson, 31, Kansas City, MO
  186. Donovan W. Lynch, 25, Virginia Beach, VA
  187. Matthew Blaylock, 38, Los Angeles, CA
  188. Michael Leon Hughes, 32, Jacksonville, FL
  189. Willie Roy Allen, 57, Lithonia, GA
  190. DeShawn Latiwon Tatum, 25, Rock Island, IL
  191. Noah R. Green, 25, Washington, D.C.
  192. Diwone Wallace, 24, Alorton, IL
  193. Gabriel Casso, 21, Bronx, NY
  194. Desmon Montez Ray, 28, Birmingham, AL
  195. Dominique Williams, 32, Takoma Park, MD
  196. James Lionel Johnson, 38, Takoma Park, MD
  197. James Alexander, 24, Philadelphia, PA
  198. Raheem Reeder, Tallahassee, FL
  199. DeShund Tanner, 31, Georgetown, KY
  200. Faustin Guetigo, 27, Rockford, IL
  201. Daunte Wright, 20, Brooklyn Center, MN
  202. Miles Jackson, 27, Westerville, OH
  203. Mathew Zadok Williams, 35, Decatur, GA
  204. Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, Knoxville, TN
  205. Pier Alexander Shelton, 28, Bremen, GA
  206. Lindani Myeni, 29, Honolulu, HI
  207. Innes Lee Jr., 25, Cleveland, OH
  208. Roderick Inge, 29, Tuscaloosa, AL
  209. Larry Jenkins, 52, Winter Haven, FL
  210. Name withheld by police, 31, Fort Worth, TX
  211. Dequan Cortez Glenn, 24, Douglasville, GA
  212. Doward Sylleen Baker, 39, Dothan, AL
  213. Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, Columbus, OH
  214. Andrew Brown, 42, Elizabeth City, NC
  215. Tory Casey, 41, Rosenberg, TX
  216. Michael Lee McClure, 26, Billings, MT
  217. Marvin Veiga, 32, Nashville, TN
  218. Hanad Abidaziz, 25, Kansas City, MO
  219. Terrance Maurice Parker, 36, Washington, D.C.
  220. Eric Derrell Smith, 30, Biloxi, MS
  221. La’Mello Parker, three months, Biloxi, MS
  222. Latoya Denis James, 37, Woodbine, GA
  223. Ashton Pinkee, 27, Mesquite, TX
  224. Adonis Traughber, 54, Clarksville, TN
  225. Kalon Horton, 29, Leicester, MA
  226. Lance Lowe, 30, Stockton, CA
  227. Tyrone Penny, 21, Decatur, GA
  228. Darion M. Lafayette, 24, Champaign, IL
  229. Kortnee Lashon Warren, 23, Albany, GA

To close, some book recommendations that I hope my friends and family and anyone reading this post and anyone with a pulse will read:

The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson (If you can read only one, read this one. Please.)
How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Caste, Isabel Wilkerson
Prayer: 40 Days of Practice, Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, Rachel Held Evans
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, Dashka Slater

And on my to-read list:

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Beth Allison Barr
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, Jason Reynolds
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Ronald J. Sider
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, Jemar Tisby
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, Matthew Vines
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Kristin Kobes Du Mez

As a final thought: Throughout history, there often has been a difference between the winning side and the right side. I hope moving forward we can better determine which side of history is the right one and choose that side.

And help it win.