Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It’s a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated. -Alveda King
Most Christian ‘believers’ tend to echo the cultural prejudices and worldviews of the dominant group in their country, with only a minority revealing any real transformation of attitudes or consciousness. It has been true of slavery and racism, classism and consumerism and issues of immigration and health care for the poor.- Richard Rohr
You don’t fight racism with racism. The best way to fight racism is with solidarity.- Bobby Seale
I sat under a gorgeous grey cloud -sky this morning. I was reading Genesis 8 in my backyard, drinking decaf and enjoying the slightly cooler temperature. This is why I love fall!
So, in Genesis 8 God dries up all of the floodwaters and tells Noah and his 3 sons and daughters-in-law to repopulate the earth. All of a sudden, it hit me: I am a direct descendant of Noah. Either Shem, Ham, or Japheth is my great(x1200) grandfather. Maybe I should name my first daughter Oholibamah.
A minute later, I realized something else. Every person on earth is descended from that same little family. Let’s skip over the first cousins marrying each other. That means that everybody: black, white, Asian, Latino, Arab, Indian, and all others are family.
So, why don’t we act like it?
We are taught to fear the unfamiliar. Over the years, we have been separated by distance, skin color, religion, cultural divide, economic status, painful history, and learned distrust.
The fact remains: we are one big, crazy, diverse family.
Some we are proud to claim. Others, not so much. I am related to the Dalai Lama. Beyonce should take me on vacation. Miley Cyrus is my cousin. That person I can’t stand at work: family.
If we lived like family, things would be so different. We would purposefully spend time together. We would have a sense of responsibility for one another. When our brother went to rehab, we would visit him and love him through it. When our sister was on the street with a sign asking for money, we would offer her a bed to sleep in. We wouldn’t let our differences stand in the way of loving and helping one another. We would bear with one another even when it’s hard.
This is even more true in the Christian community. God calls us to have unity with one another, yet the church remains largely segregated and relationships are lost because of it. We just don’t get it.
Ignorance is ignoring the facts. The fact is, racism breaks God’s heart. The fact is, it’s unfair and hateful to judge people just because they don’t look like you. People are people. Period.
We have so much to gain if we can find a way to celebrate and embrace our differences and bond in our similarities. Each of us has to figure out how to navigate life, and love is definitely the truest guide there is.
There is no “them”. There is only “us”.
Go be family.