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Philando CastileI have extremely great concern for myself, my wife, my daughters, and my sons. As an African American man, one can have an encounter with the local police that ends in the use of lethal force simply while doing an honest job because an anonymous tip says you are brandishing (or threatening with) a weapon, and because we already live in a society racially biased against African American men and predisposed toward assuming African American men are dangerous? No African American father, husband, brother, son, uncle, or cousin is safe – not of any class, job status, or part of the country—not even in P.G. County, MD.

If you cannot reach for your ID in order to verify your identity and to demonstrate legal ability to carry a gun, you have no freedom at all if/when confronted by the police. An African American male could be missing from any table tonight, including mine, due to the wrongful use of force sometime today. I have wept watching the news stories from the last two days. I am going to do all I can to help my sons see how significant the Sterling and Castile stories are to their and my existence.

Many condolences to the families and friends of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on all of us.

#AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #BlackLivesMatter #theGospel