I Hate Racism
By Bruce W. Robida
It’s no secret that racism still exists in America. For centuries, African Americans have been enslaved, abused, scorned, and treated as second class citizens. Fortunately because of the work and influence of men like Martin Luther King, Jr., racist attitudes have largely diminished in this country. Of course there is a small segment of society that still holds to racist beliefs, but it is my belief that it is a very small segment with little or no influence.
But another trend has emerged and seems to be gaining traction that I think might cause a backlash that leads to more racism. It is increasingly obvious that there is a reverse racism at play and it involves more than a small segment of the African American community. It is understandable that there might be some resentment still because of the way they have been treated, and it is still fresh in the minds of many of the older generation. But this resentment sometimes translates into passive aggression. It is not always an outward display of contempt for the white man, but I have sensed it none-the-less. I live and work in a community of mixed races and I see and feel it on a daily basis. While the older, white racist generation is passing away and the younger white generation is becoming increasingly accepting of African Americans, the older Black generation doesn’t seem to want to let go of the past and they are teaching the younger Black generation that white people are still their enemies, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. If White acceptance of Black people is going to continue to increase, Black people are going to have to start the process of forgiveness, especially since most of the younger generations had nothing to do with the racism of their fathers.
I do understand the difficulty people have forgiving others that have wronged them. But what I can’t understand is that even in Christian Churches, forgive and forget is not on the minds of African Americans. So-called African American Ministers/Civil Rights leaders like Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton continue to sow seeds of discord unlike the Civil Rights leader they claim to be carrying on the dream of, Martin Luther King, Jr. To MLK, the Civil Rights movement was not about special rights for one race over another, it was about equal rights for all. Do I have to quote from his “I have a dream” speech?
It makes sense that non-Christians would continue to hold a grudge and harbor resentment. But when a person puts on the name of Christ, as they have been forgiven, so it is that they too should be willing to forgive (see MT 6:14-15, MT 18:21-35). This is what is so troubling for me. All racism is bad no matter where it comes from, but in the Church? There are White racists and there are Black racists, and some claim to be Christians. Please, if you are a racist Christian (oxymoron), choose one or the other. It is my hope and prayer that you will choose to be a Christian because the two are not compatible. You are either one or the other, but you cannot be both.
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