So God created mankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them.
I have been sick to my stomach every time I turn on the news or open social media. I see article after article and post after post and video clip after video clip discussing and showing how racism is so institutionalized, it’s rooted in our every day lives. So much so, that people are still still arguing in the comment sections about whether or not the Charleston murders were motivated by race.
HOW IS THIS EVEN DEBATABLE??? HOW CAN PEOPLE STILL NOT SEE THE PROBLEM?
I have not used my words.
I have shared the words of others over and over. I “like” stuff to show my support. But I have not used my words.
I have been reading comments and posts that make me so angry I can’t even see straight. I want to quit. I want to turn it all off. I want to plug my ears and sing LA LA LA to it all. I don’t want to let it affect me.
And you know what? I could do that. I could.
It would be easy to “block” anything with Charleston or racism in it on Facebook so it doesn’t show up in my feed. And then I wouldn’t have to think about it because it doesn’t directly affect my every day life.
Because I am white.
Because I am white, I could easily shut it off.
But I don’t. I make myself read it and hate it and cry over it.
And it’s not enough. All that pain I feel? It’s not even close to that being my life.
Being hated, suspected, judged…it is woven into the fabric of Black America. Of any color America other than white.
We say, “No. Not me.” But that is how institutionalized racism works. You may not consciously think, “man, I hate black people. They are all lesser humans.” You may even BELIEVE you are not racist at all. But it’s in your brain. Our country has planted that seed down deep.
It’s everywhere. It’s in all of our cultural images. It’s in our socioeconomic system. It’s in business.
Why is the largest group of people in poverty people of color? It’s because since the day the slaves were freed, there has been no easy way to climb out of nothing. The white people were at the top and they stayed there.
“Oh, Katie,” you might say, “but we have a Black president and my neighbor is Black and he is a CEO.” Yes. Of course. But what about the cycle of poverty swirling at the bottom of America?
I’m not here to talk economics or politics. In fact, there will be those who only focus on my lack of knowing statics and miss my point here entirely.
And my point is: RACISM IS STILL A THING.
I simply cannot understand how people can hear a bowl-cutted runt of a white supremacist say…SAY…he hates black people and felt it was his “mission” to gun them down after praying with them for an HOUR and STILL say, “well, let’s not jump to the conclusion that this was race-related. This country doesn’t have racism like they used to.”
WHAT THE HELL?
Last night I stayed up too late feeling hopeless.
So white and so hopeless to help or be able to do anything ever to help.
This morning, I got up, went to church and sat through a powerful sermon about racism. About getting out of our comfort zones–a small, affluent, mostly white mid-western town–and use our voice and words and anything else to break down the racism.
To be uncomfortable and examine our own prejudices which certainly are there because we are a part of the machine that is a broken world, a broken country.
I don’t know what God looks like, but, as it was pointed out this morning, we are all created in his image. Not his white image. Just “his image”.
That means Asian, Native American, White, Black, Muslim, and on and on…ALL…ALL OF US…in his image.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
In Jesus we are all exactly the same. All of us. He created all of us. Not just white people. Not just Christians. ALL OF US.
Stop acting like the racism isn’t there. Stop being comfortable that it’s someone else’s problem and that is just “too bad” for them.
As a member of the Reformed Church of America, I adhere to the beliefs confessed in the Belhar Confession, but the one that I believe applies here is the one brought up this morning:
We believe…that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted (John 17:20-23)
The Belhar Confession stresses unity and was originally drafted in South Africa during Apartheid. The church carefully and prayerfully considered its role in race issues, and the Belhar was born. The Dutch Reformed Mission Church adopted it in 1986.
We must break down the walls of hate. I believe as a Christian I am actually called to break down this hate. It is my job.
Even if it makes me uncomfortable to raise my voice and say so. ESPECIALLY if it makes me uncomfortable. Because if I am uncomfortable saying it, that means it’s there and it scares me.
And it should scare you too.