Police brutality, racist incidents on UW-Madison campus and other campuses across the country and most recently the election of an outwardly racist President of the United States of America have left students discouraged. With the increase of race-related incidents depicted in media, black students have been hit almost every day by the reality that they live in a country that doesn’t value them or their lives. This has always been the narrative but that reality has been present and outwardly visual in ways that this generation has not seen.
Some students have become numb to it, while others avoid Facebook and the news because they can’t bear to watch the same narrative play out repeatedly. Some have even taken action for the cause while others are tired of taking action, praying for an escape from this reality, even if it is temporary.
Far too often, the Black Christian students’ response to what’s happening in this country and on their campus, have been overlooked. As a staff member on UW-Madison campus with the Impact Movement, a ministry that serves students of African Descent, I have come to realize that many Black Christian students encounter and struggle with this reality differently than students who are not of the Christian faith.
After it was announced that Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th president of the United States of America, I was flooded by messages from my students and peers. A leader in the Impact Movement said, “So I woke up this morning seriously contemplating not leaving my room today then I was reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self-discipline.’ There is no need to be afraid. God is still in control and still on His throne. Have a blessed day, loves!”
This leader and most other black students are angry and frustrated with the place our country is in but Black Christian Students also realize who is in control. A God who can do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond what we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). They know that God works for the good of those who love Him. They may not understand His plan but they trust the one that developed the plan.
All of this is not to say that Black Christian Students are not a part of the fight. God’s word also says that faith without works is dead (James 2:17), “learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed….” (Isaiah 1:17), and “… let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream…” (Amos 5:24). These students have a hope that drives them to action to fight against it and assurance that God is with them and is working on their behalf. With that, comes peace.
They are and will continue to be a part of the fight. Their faith is the very thing that will not only sustain them, but assure them that God is in control.