Confronting Racism and Discrimination

  Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall […]
September 1, 2014

 

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13: 8 – 10; ESV

This article will be one which causes controversy; not by choice, nor is it my intention to cause any malice. However, I believe it’s about time to address these things called racism and discrimination. Our headlines are full of accusations and examples of each and no one wants to speak openly and honestly about it. These have caused great divides in our country and communities long enough. If you are like me, you’re tired of hearing that everything has to do with racial profiling, that all is based on deliberate discrimination, and that this country is going backwards in its fight to confront these destructive evils.

So, if we’re tired of racism and discrimination, how do we confront it and stop it from continuing? Simply put – we can never stop either from existing. Try as we may, there will always be people who use the discrimination/racism card to gain power to fuel their agendas. We, as a nation, though that we had progressed a great deal since the 1950’s – 1970’s when we fought for equal rights; and we have. That being said, lately it seems that we have resorted to go back in time and began placing labels on people once again and targeting various races and groups with what seems like profiling. The events which are currently taking place in Ferguson, the crisis with ISIS in the Middle East, and the fight for same-sex marriages are but a few examples of what I write about. How do we address these issues? Head on…

  • Admit our prejudices – None of us wants to admit it but we all have some form of prejudice. It might not be about race, but it could be driven by social standing (homeless people, felons, etc…), political stance, financial basis, intellectual standing, geographical basis, religious standing, age, dress code, generational, gender based, and so on. All of these cause us to hate, to reject, to fight, to act out; even if it is only internally. Not a person alive can claim they have NO bias against anyone. Christian are not exempt from this either! Our jails and prisons are full of prejudices and discriminations that are OPENLY practices. These attitudes filter outside the walls into the communities. People rise up and cry discrimination when someone from their group is accused of doing something and blames another group of profiling the entire race/group. Is that right? NO!
  • Once we admit our prejudices, begin to think rationally – What is meant by this is that whoever wronged us, do not group everyone into that one person’s wrongful acts. There are bad people in every race and group; these people have decided to do evil things and find joy in doing this. Likewise, there are great people in every race/group. Not one race or group is completely good or evil. Therefore, as these bad things happen, focus only on the actions of those causing the wrong.
  • Stop putting labels on those committing the wrongs – if something is wrong, then it’s wrong. To say “a Black individual is accused by a White individual” or “a Christian individual is speaking out against a gay/lesbian individual” needs to stop! Why do we insist on placing a race/group label on everything that is addressed in the media? What’s wrong with simply stating, “This individual did…”? Addressing the wrongs done instead of adding to that wrong our prejudices will stop the power these perpetrators of wrong are gaining from calling “fowl” for said discriminating.
  • Understand that we can never completely stop racism and discrimination – if we understand this, we can change how we respond to it. There will always be those who are closed-minded and ignorant to racial equality and other groups. As true as this is, it is equally sad to realize.
  • Decide how you will react to racism and discrimination – You can make a difference. If you see that you are the one discriminating for whatever reason; STOP! If you choose to discriminate against someone, you are equally as wrong as the wrong done to you! If you witness an injustice due to racism or discrimination, speak out about it and stand against it! We are charged, as people who seek to be “One Nation”, to be just that. If we place ourselves into segregated groups; we open ourselves to the potential discrimination and racism.
  • Follow the Bible verses listed above – the best way to address discrimination and racism is with love. If we can learn to love those who differ from us for who they are, we can possibly end racism and discrimination. But it starts with you and me. If we wait on others to change first, we’ll keep waiting. However, if we love first, we can learn forgiveness and mercy. We can learn togetherness and trust. We can live as One Nation undivided. These verses help us to do just that.

One last thing; open discussion is needed to combat this growing issue. To ignore it, to say it doesn’t exist, to pretend that it doesn’t affect you is only fooling yourself. Please talk in your churches and meeting places about racism and discrimination. As one famous person once said; “Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Father God,

Please help us to be a people of love. Help us to not discriminate but to stand against the evil being done. Forgive us where we have failed and help us to right the wrongs we commit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Kenny

Christian. American. Father. Husband. Friend. Brother. Son. Grandson. Uncle. Cubs Fan. Digital.

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