This is my current Facebook profile picture. A picture of my family. I changed it a week or so ago to silently show the world or at least my little corner of it, that people with varying shades of skin color can get along. Not only that but that we can even be family. Not by blood but by choice. There are 6 people living in our home and none of us share genetics. And would you believe it? Except for the normal stuff that all families deal with we get along. Yes, there are sibling squabbles and arguments between mom and dad. There are good days and bad days but none of them are related to skin color. I am Mom and Shane is dad, the others are siblings to one another. All of us bleed red, our hearts beat the same and without breath we would each die regardless of what shade of skin we wear.
I wish others could look past skin color and see the humanity of the person they insult. Instead of dividing, I wish more could remember the words to the little song we sang in Sunday School as children:
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world
Red, and yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight.
Sadly, there will always be people like Archie Bunker and George Jefferson. There will always be people that judge a big white bearded tattoo covered dude on a Harley too. But that doesn’t always make the stereotypes true. I’ve met some really nice Harley owners. Just because those stereotypes are there doesn’t mean we need to feed them.
Blaming “white” people, or blaming “black” people won’t cure the problem. Apologizing for ancestors that may or may not have been slave owners won’t solve the issue either. Yes, by all means be empathetic, but we are not responsible for the actions of our ancestors that we didn’t even know. And even though it may be a nice gesture I don’t think that holding hands and singing Kum by yah at a peace rally will solve the problem either. It’ll produce a lot of feel good, but feel good doesn’t solve the long term problem. When we do life together, and interact with each other at church, at the grocery store or in the community is when we forget about skin color. When we have relationships with people, we realize skin that color doesn’t matter and that friends is what can solve the long term problem.
When he was little, Isaac (the cute kid behind me in the picture) used to have food nicknames for all of us. I was Creme Soda, Daddy was Root Beer, Hannah was Caramel and Malachi was Roast Beef. Tabitha, the youngest was my chocolate baby. We often played the gobble up game and I’d exclaim, “I love me some chocolate baby.” I’ll also admit that I have curly hair envy. I’m not picky, Isaac and Hannah both have beautiful curly locks. Shane has any other kind of hair envy than his own because it’s coarse, thick and straighter than a board. We laugh about it. We lovingly tease each other and we love each other while we’re doing it.
I hate watching the hate around me. I hate being forced to talk to my brown skinned kids about things I wish we didn’t have to worry about. But this is the world we live in so we talk about it. We can prepare them as much as possible and we can pray that God will prick the heart of those filled with hate.
And that is the story of my Facebook profile picture.
I’m linking up with the Writer’s Workshop at Kat’s place this week. I had not looked ahead to the prompts but I did write about the current racial tension last week. Here is that post if you’re interested.