Two years ago I created a Facebook page that would promote racial harmony, one that encouraged open and honest dialogue between blacks and whites for the purpose of hearing each other and seeking a solution in our little circles to stop the cancer of hatred and biases due solely to skin color. This morning I took the page down.
It seems no one was really interested in such dialogue, and the few who posted to the page used it only as a platform to justify the feelings they embraced, and not as a tool to discuss root causes, seek resolution or promote in any way anything resembling harmony, love or at the least tolerance. It was hijacked and used to further divide. If social media has done anything over the past few years it has opened up my eyes as to how wide-spread the epidemic of racial tensions are. Had my page been devoted to white supremacy or black restitution, it would have reached the 5000 person limit quickly. Everyone is quick to vent, quick to point out examples of racist attitudes, quick to post controversial comments with no intention except than to stir up the saints. Post a video of a black cop dancing with white kids on his beat and get a few thousand views; post a white cop turning a traffic stop into a take-down and it goes viral with millions of views. We have become so overly exposed to sensationalism that we view the first scene as extraordinary and the latter scene the norm. We have all become pawns in a black and white chess game played by much higher forces whose security and wealth depend on the continual propagation of dividing the races. And with the hope that each next generation will end the hatred, it only proves to become worse. Yes, we’ve made strides, but even at the highest level, a black President did not use the historic accomplishment to promote healing but instead drove us farther apart, and the orange President we have now did nothing to separate himself for legions of white nationalists who endorsed him and has overseen even worsening racial division.
But I think what breaks my heart most is that even among those who publicly profess to be believers and followers of Jesus Christ and his teachings, there exists obvious biases and resentments held toward their Christian siblings of different colors. Because of the circles I run in, the majority of my social media friends are Christian, so I get to observe these attitudes up close and personal on a daily basis. Many Black Christians and yes, even clergy, hold a view that the white man is the source of everything evil in their world and deep down still hold them in contempt for the sins of their great-great grandparents, refusing to acknowledge that generational hatred can be healed and eradicated through the love of God. In a very real sense, they only believe “won’t he do it” up to the point of reconciling the races. And in response, the backlash from Christian whites weary of having to defend themselves against those they sincerely view as brothers and sisters in the faith morphs from sadness to resentment to antagonistic as they in ignorance try to address things they know not of. And so it plays out as an eternal feud for the world to witness, mock and mimic. After all, if we Christians who tout love can’t even get it right, then the world should feel much more comfortable in embracing their racist views and attitudes like an old friend. It should be wrong to harass or discriminate against a black person simply due to the color of their skin; it should be equally wrong to view a white brother as part of the problem or the eternal oppressor likewise simply because he happens to be white. When will it ever stop?
I am convinced it won’t and this is why. We, in our steadfastness to be unmoved in our respective defense of our response to racism, have completely ignored the most demanding, absolute standard left for us, the Word of God. There is nothing in scripture that would even slightly promote our current approach to racism in the world and the church. How many scripture must I quote where we are commanded to love each other?
“Hate what is evil, love what is good; Be devoted to one another in love. Honor each other above yourselves”-Romans 12
“Forgive one another as you have been forgiven, and add to this Love which binds all tings together in perfect unity”-Colossians 3
“Love keeps no records of past wrongs-it delights not in evil but rejoices in truth”
-I Corinthians 13
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins”-I Peter 4
“The entire law is fulfilled in one command-Love your neighbor as yourself”-Galatians 5
Bear with one another in love-love your enemies-do good to them-pray for them-if you don’t love, you don’t know God-and on and on and on. Love is the central theme of the entire New Testament, but this is why racism will continue to exist, and many won’t like this. LOVE AND OBEDIENCE ARE INSEPERABLE IN SCRIPTURE AND IN CHRISTIAN LIVING! Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments“. But if we in our hatred and biases are so strong in our convictions that even this undeniable, non-negotiable, absolute mandate for our Savior is so easily disregarded as believers, then the world has no hope of ever seeing the demise of racism. We are become as blind people leading the blind because the truth we profess is not really in us. We are no better than the Pharisees Jesus called whitewashed-having some appearance of Godliness on the outside but being full of corruption, evil and death on the inside, sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal.
This is most painful to me because I have dear black friends who I feel see me as part of the problem, the privileged. And I have close white friends whose responses to the issue are downright hateful, shameful and embarrassing. My personal page has become more of a social view into the reality of race relations between those who are supposed to have a share in the inheritance of hope, and for that I am beyond dismayed and becoming angry. Don’t go to church on Sunday and do your thing but get on Facebook first thing Monday and shame Christ. I’m done with it and will call you out. If I can’t do something positive to change it, then I will go to great lengths to expose it, so be ready. Don’t put on Christ but sow discord just to get a few Likes-don’t pretend to empathize but harbor generational bigotry in your heart. Don’t pretend to want reconciliation when the hatred and dissent is the only thing you thrive on. Don’t Friend me just so you can observe and look for some sign that I’m just another one of “my people”. Don’t reach out just to show you have numerous black Friends just for chance to spew your vile on their pages. God can’t be impressed, and I’m sure as hell not.
So does anyone out there really want to fix this or all we all just posers?