Racial Tension, I Must Speak!

I must speak because racial tension is getting out of hand.  This country survived Civil Rights before many, if not most or all of those involved in the crazy racial stuff happening today were even born!  We have come far from segregated restaurants, bathrooms and water fountains.  No longer is a person with non-white skin considered only part of a man. Please hear me out.  I’m not saying everything was rainbows and unicorns after the 1960’s.  There was a lot of ugly.  But there was also a lot of good that came from it.  Wouldn’t it do us good to look back at history and learn from it?  And even more than that, what’s happening now is not working.  I’ve got children that don’t look like me, and I’m greatly concerned about their future.

I’m not particularly fond of Archie Bunker, or George Jefferson these days.   But I grew up watching those shows and I believe they helped the racial tension of our history.  Through them, I learned.  Through them, I was able to see the ridiculousness of judgemental attitudes and bigotry.  We laughed at the stupidity on both sides and it brought us together.  Speaking of history.  This article tells of Robert E. Lee’s reaction to racial tension.  It’s well worth popping over to read.

We separate ourselves with the terminology we use.   “African American” or “Mexican American” or fill in the blank American has become more important than being a person living in the United States.  (key here:  “United”).  This mindset makes as much sense to me as an engineer sitting in a high rise downtown designing an intersection like this:

http://modot.mo.gov/kansascity/major_projects/Route_50_Route_131.htm

This intersection was supposed to be an improvement to the previous dangerous intersection. There are not only one such intersection, but TWO within a few miles of each other.  Who goes first?  What’s on 2nd?  Where is 3rd?  Here’s how crazy it was.   When it first opened, Shane called them to ask the proper way to proceed through it. They offered to DRIVE out to show him how it was supposed to work!  Eventually, they sent postcards to show nearby residents how it was supposed to work.  Our dental hygienist got one!

A road intersection.  It should be simple right? But it’s not. There have been at least 30 crashes and at least 2 fatalities since installing this intersection in 2010.  (The data on MoDOT’s website is 3 years old, I’m sure the stats have risen).  These statistics don’t factor in accidents at the second intersection.  Even after the post cards, most people don’t understand.  I can’t find any statistics anywhere, but it wouldn’t surprise me if fatalities have actually increased since building this.  They’ve decided a “J turn” intersection will improve safety at the intersection, so the work has begun.

I fear our societal improvements on racism have achieved the same sad effect as those intersections.  I wonder if they’ve actually had the opposite affect than what was intended.

I know I walk around afraid that I’m going to offend someone with my words if they’re not exact.

Others listen to the culture and are on edge before a word is ever spoken.

We’ve censored words that are inappropriate.  Some are tearing down monuments that represent our past.  A flag that was never meant to be has become a symbol of hate.  And just in case you’re wondering, I strongly believe that some of these things are inappropriate, but they are a part of our past and to wash them away is wrong.  If symbols of our past or words of our past are not present, we cannot learn from them and the hate returns.

One summer many years ago in Memphis, in the inner city, a bunch of white folks walked through the projects inviting folks to church.   More than once the folks that lived there would say “God don’t see no color” and they were right.  Yes, God created beautiful colors, a rainbow of shades that might even tell others a little about ourselves before we are even asked, but when it comes to humanity, color isn’t what’s important.  God doesn’t look at the color of our skin to judge anything about us.  He looks at the heart.  That’s what “God don’t see no color” means.

God doesn't judge our skin color, but our heart Click To Tweet

Our hearts are vile and deceitful.  If you don’t believe me, just look around.  Proud people of color, proud white people so immersed in maintaining their status quo that they refuse to step out and consider the other side.  And it’s not just issues of race, but I’ll leave that for another day.

We’ve segregated ourselves.  On both sides.  I’m sure you’ve noticed.  Oftentimes, our children are the only color in the pews, even in larger churches. But that’s not entirely the fault of the white person.  I’ve met black people that won’t step in a “white” church either.  I’m gonna get brave here, if you’re a black person (or Hispanic, or any other skin tone) and don’t believe racism happens the opposite way, you’re just as blind as those you accuse.

We've forgotten that we are one race. Human. Created in the image of God for His glory Click To Tweet

We’ve forgotten that we are ONE race.  Human.  Created in the image of God for His glory. Sadly that’s part of the consequences of removing God from our culture. As Christians, we shouldn’t live this way.  We shouldn’t apologize for our ancestors, or for the stupidity of others.   I know it seems like the right thing to do, but I believe it only brings further division.  It’s not our sin to accept.  We can be sorry that the divide has happened.  We can be sympathetic, and empathic, and we should be;  but more than even that we should love each other regardless of background or skin color.   Loving one another as Christ loved us is the only way to bridge the divide.  But this can’t be done when we’re pointing to the speck in our brother’s eye.

loving one another as Christ loved us is the only way to bridge the divide Click To Tweet

I have never once apologized to my children for my ancestors and they’ve never huffed away because I haven’t. When you live together doing life together, it doesn’t matter.   We make jokes about Isaac getting his musical ability from his dad who can’t hold a tune if his life depended on it.  I tell my brown skinned kids that I love the color of their skin.  I envy their curly hair.  But skin color is not an issue in our home.   I treat them as I would treat my own children because they are and they treat me as their Momma because I am. People often tell us we’re special, I’ve poo-pooed that but maybe I shouldn’t.  Maybe we are.  Maybe it’s not being adoptive parents that make us special (because it doesn’t) but maybe the fact that we don’t “see” or we don’t “focus” on color makes us unique.  This doesn’t mean we don’t talk about it.  We do!  In this climate, we must!  We must prepare our children for the outside world that may not be as kind to them as we are.

We are the ones that hold the key.  Jesus Christ.  We can’t change what is happening in the hearts of others, but we can change what is within our own hearts.   We can love as Christ loved.  Will you join me?

This may not be a popular post if anyone even reads it.   I am more than willing to have a respectful conversation in the comments, but disrespect will not be tolerated.  Even if we disagree, I pray that we can bridge the racial divide.  I pray that we can come together as God intends, as his children related by the shed blood of Jesus Christ instead of as enemies.

 

4 Comments

  • John Holton

    08/24/2017 at 4:21 pm Reply

    Absolutely right. We’re better than this. God loves us all regardless of any external or internal differences, and we need to do the same.

  • […] looked ahead to the prompts but I did write about the current racial tension last week.  Here is that post if you’re […]

  • Diana

    08/21/2017 at 12:18 am Reply

    Every. Word. You. Wrote.

    I agree one-hundred percent, Christy! I could not have added anything or said it any better. The question remains as to how to get through to some of these people who refuse to listen in the first place because they have closed their hearts up so tight. I pray those of us who are willing to do it will figure out a way.

    So glad I came by! Have added you to my list to visit. Found you via Barbie’s site. Blessings on ya! 🙂

    • Christy

      08/21/2017 at 7:47 am Reply

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Diana! That’s the question isn’t it? Many that accuse have hearts that are unwilling to listen.

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