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  • Staci Sweet

Forgiving Vice President Biden

The third night of the Democratic National Convention was historic! Not only did Senator Kamala Harris give her acceptance speech as the Vice-Presidential candidate, but God allowed me to experience how white supremist felt about it.

It all started while listening to President Obama’s endorsement. As he spoke, the Spirit of God revealed that Mr. Biden SERVED as his Vice President first. That's like Elisha serving under Elijah. And though I thought I understood the dynamic of that, I failed to realize that the man who architected HR 3355 SERVED under a BLACK president.

The man that helped write one of the most damaging pieces of legislation for Black people served under a Black man for eight years. I didn't know that then and up until this past weekend, I hated him for it. This past weekend I saw how God was now giving him an opportunity to redeem himself from his legacy of mass incarceration.

Repentance Byway of Selection

Though Mr. Biden made it perfectly clear that he’d select a woman as VP, the fact that he chose a Black one was twice as historic. When I considered the fact that he chose Senator Harris, I realized what he really chose was God! This was God’s way of allowing Mr. Biden to redeem himself, and the even better part about it is that he's doing it at 77.

When I considered the weight of God's goodness, I cried. Only because once I found out about Mr. Biden's part with the ’94 crime bill, I've held him in HIGH distain. Whenever he was mentioned, I’d tune out and when I saw him on television, I’d immediately turn the channel. Again, only because I saw how INTENTIONALLY devastating the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act really was. But even with all that, God's so merciful that he forgave him. So, who am I to hold a grudge? If God forgave him, I should too, even if I have to do it by faith.

The DNC and Me

That said, I stepped out on faith and have been watching the Democratic National Convention. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot but remember before this week, I couldn’t stand the sight of Mr. Biden. But the more I watched, the more I saw that perhaps his intent wasn’t to devastate. I say that because the more I learned about him, and his wife, the more he resonated with me. The more I found out about his background, the more I saw his spirit; and more importantly, I saw God. And even though I did, I still felt myself tighten as I tried to resist what I was seeing. Therefore, to see his true character unfold was hard. And to be honest, I wanted to hold on to my hate. So much so, I was willing to ignore what I saw; even though I knew what I was seeing was God. It was then that I realized that if I continued to refuse to see what God was showing me, my heart would remain hard, or even worse, my hatred would grow.

Choosing Hatred Over God

In that moment, I knew exactly how white supremist feel. They see the truth. They know that Black lives should matter, but they hold on to their hatred and chose not to believe. It reminds me of the Pharisees in John 11:47, 48 when they said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” They knew there was something special about Jesus, yet they were afraid they’d lose their place of privilege. When Jesus healed on the Sabbath they were like, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Though they saw Him do something good, something that mattered, they shrugged it off to a technicality. I wanted to do the same.

I was like, “Yeah, all that’s good but what about mass incarceration?” I was like, “What about those 356 pages of legislative devastation and the millions of lives that have been impacted because of it?” But like the Pharisees, that’s not what God wanted me to see. Not that those lives don’t matter because they do. But God wanted me to see what could be done FOR those lives NOW. God was showing me that the man who instituted the act, could in fact, be the very one to repeal or amend it.

That’s when I knew I had a decision to make. I could either hold on to my hatred or believe Mr. Biden was a flawed, repentant, redeemed man of God. I chose the latter because I am a staunch proponent that redemption is possible.

Am I saying that you have to let go of yours? That’s not my place to say. All I know is that it took months for me to get here, and I’m still fighting. Much like the inner conflict supremist are quietly having within themselves, and perhaps you're having now. But