Human Lives Matter

Albino Kangaroo

Consider this truth: The rate of survival of albino animals in the wild is virtually zero. One reason is that they are easily visually picked out by predators. But another significant factor is that family and social groups exclude them because they look foreign (Staples). This is not the individual’s fault. It is a fact of nature.

Consider this made-up situation:  A group of kangaroos are living their lives peacefully in the outback of Australia. One of them is an albino – let’s call him… Tim. Over time, several of the kangaroos begin to harass the albino kangaroo – they chase him, bite him, steal his food, kick him, and even worse – ignore him.  Suppose one of the non-albino kangaroos – let’s call her Tina – decided to stand up for Tim the albino and began to defend him to the others. If kangaroos could talk, would you think Jane would defend Tim because he was an albino or because he was a fellow kangaroo?

Now let us reverse the situation.  Imagine a mob of all albino kangaroos except for one brown one. If in this situation an albino kangaroo came to stand up for and defend the brown one, should the brown one be defended because he is brown or because he is a fellow kangaroo?

Consider this suggestion.  In the world of religion, Christians, Muslims, and Jews all – in some fashion or other, hold the Book of Genesis to be special and / or sacred. In that book (I am not assuming you believe this to be factual, by the way, just what is historically true of these religious followers), the Creator creates the world, then living things, and then finally humans. They were like the rest of creation because they were created by the Creator, but they were unlike the rest of creation because they were created in the image of the Creator (Genesis 1:26-27). Several chapters later, the Creator gave humans the right to kill and eat all other life. Humans, however, were not to kill other humans – and the reason was because humans were made in the image of the creator.  Humans were special, and not to be treated like the rest of the living creatures.

When human beings are cruel to other human beings, it seems reasonable that when we come to defend those being attacked, we should do so not because of what sets them apart – what makes them different – but because of what makes them the same as us:  humans. Whether or not you put any stock in the Genesis account does not allow you the freedom to argue otherwise. It is the nature of life to protect its own family – and we are the family of man. Humans are special – even the ones for which I do not particularly care. From innocent newborns to genocidal murderers like Pol Pot, they are all humans and on the basis that alone should be treated with a minimum of respect and honor. This is not to say that societies are not free to establish laws and systems of justice that promote the good and protect the members of society – but even in the administration of these laws, individuals should still be treated with a minimum and modicum of respect.

There are many out there these days that are, in good faith, trying to defend those who are victims of racial bigotry and hatred,  and they are doing so by emphasizing the differences.  While I applaud the motive and passion, I honestly believe that the rhetoric of “Black Lives Matters” actually increases the division and exacerbates the problem. It keeps the focus on what makes us different, not on what makes us that same. As the famous 60’s song by Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone) says, “we are family” and THAT is what we should be promoting and protecting.  I suggest we strive to be people who simply do not see people as this race or that color- but as human beings who deserve respect. I have a dream of a society that not only does not judge (a thought process) others on the color of their skin, but neither treats (an action) another based on the color of their skin – rather they are judged and treated based on the content of their character and the behavior that follows.

I encourage you to see people – and protect people based on who they are at the most basic level – family… and not just a family of kangaroos, but a family of humans who have been created in the image of their Creator.

Staples, Fred – Curator oat Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonsdale, Australia  (qtd in

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