As the fires of South Central Los Angeles died out, leaving only the charred skeletons of that inner-city community, the flames of black rage continued to shock, frighten, and haunt America. The country’s editorialists and political candidates self-righteously arraigned the usual suspects before the bench of public opinion.
But while the stock analyses of black rage were assembled like Fords on a production line, one columnist’s query stood out.
His simple question: Where is the white outrage? As black leaders were saying, Stop destroying your community; you’re only hurting yourselves, why were white leaders not saying they were committed to seek justice, that they shared the moral outrage at the many less-publicized miscarriages of justice against racial minorities in the U.S.?
Where is the white outrage, indeed?
If a violent response to the Rodney King verdict was the sin of the largely black community of South-Central L.A., perhaps indifference to morally evil social conditions and racial discrimination was, and continues to be, the sin of white America—including Bible-believing, church-going white Christians.
In his perceptive study of the Hebrew prophets, Abraham Joshua Heschel noted that the great contribution of those men who were moved by the mind of God was to declare the evil of indifference. “The wrath of God is a lamentation,” wrote Heschel. “All prophecy is one great exclamation; God is not indifferent to evil! He is always concerned, He is personally affected by what man does to man.… This is one of the meanings of the anger of God: the end of indifference!”
To be holy as God is holy is to be kindled by his passionate concern for the well-being ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more