Racism in America
“Be like Mario!” One of my friends posted a message on Facebook decrying the continued existence of racism in America. About the same time, another friend posted a note as well on racism. I see where both of them are heading but somehow both are a little short of the mark.
The first post was calling for us to be like Mario who sort of represents all races and nationalities but unfortunately the post ended up with the idea that Mario collects coins like Jews and jumps high like black people. Now knowing my friend very well, I am convinced she is not speaking, intentionally, in a racist manner. Yet, the way we see people and come to conclusions about them seems to be so ingrained that we don’t even recognize them.
My other friend raised the question of why do we have all there celebrations recognizing other races – Asian American Month, Black History Month and such thing, but fail to raise up Caucasians as well. Great question, but maybe aiming a little low. Wiping out racism isn’t about making everybody equal nor is it about ensuring everybody gets the same level of recognition.
Paul tells us, “All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ.” Colossians 3:11, The Message. As well, we have the well known freedom manifesto of Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” ESV
Yet we remain people of difference – no one of us is the same whether it be the color of our skin, the shape of our eyes, our height or lack thereof, whether we use forks and knives or chopsticks, and because of those differences, each of us gets to bring something to the table that may not be there otherwise. Paul also tells us about what it means to be part of the family.
The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 2 Conrinthians 12:25-26 The Message.
So let us become people who celebrate with the other “parts” as to their differences, and come together as brothers and sisters who share in all things – collecting those coins for our brothers and sisters in need, jumping high because Jesus wanted some of us to have that gift for His use down the road but always seeing some how the differences in some way, Christ knows, can be in support of the Body.
Maybe it is about seeing the differences but not “seeing” the differences at the same time. Maybe we can read about Phillip and the Ethopian eunuch and the Good Samaritan and talk about how that works.
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.