As a recovering pessimist, I’m trying to be a lot more optimistic about life and the experiences in it. However….This one subject I’m not….Racism. It’s not going away anytime soon.
Racism. It’s not going away anytime soon.
Wait…What? Pastor Steve I thought you like bringing hope to people and encouragement. Yeah, except…this one. I can’t. It has existed since the beginning of time and will go on until Jesus sets this thing straight. That’s right. You heard me.
Growing up an Eagles fan. I was taught from a very young age to hate the Dallas Cowboys. Why? Because they were “America’s Team”. The star was satanic. The pretty boy smiles of the superstars just turned your stomach. Why? Because that’s just the way it is.
Because that’s just the way it is.
Cowboys vs Eagles
White vs. Black.
American vs Russian.
Allieds vs Axis
Liberal vs Conservative
Republican vs Democrat
The list goes on…
Ever since Genesis 3, we got in trouble. We doubted God’s word and thought that ours was better. Hence, the mess we are in today. From a biblical story perspective, there’s always been fighting. There are so many stories in the bible it’s not even funny. The list goes on. I’ll try to personalize this through my eyes. Maybe you will see it differently. That’s OK. I’m not here to debate it. But this is my blog, and I’m writing based on my thoughts.
I. In my city
My hometown of Millville years ago used to be primarily white and blue collar. The American Dream of the middle-class life was thriving due to the glass industry. Now, manufacturing has either shut down or relocated which now leaves the inner city of Millville poor. Demographically, you still have the remnant of the white blue collar community still here surrounding the inner city which is predominately black. Not all, but mostly. We have gangs. We have drugs. We got everything a bad inner city needs to “thrive”. However, there is a HUGE disconnect between cultures. Some people believe that if others just leave, life will be good again. The way we always had it. Some believe that if they move out instead and leave Millville it will be better. Oh, and there’s a problem within the inner city on each other. Where there are good meaning people that live there but hurt no one. Another says violence is fine for survival. Leaders have tried to get together time and time again to help bring awareness and forge new friendships. But many attempts have not crossed that threshold.
II. In my country
This country started with breaking free from tyranny only to continue it with slavery of the blacks. The civil war finally happens. Our country is on the verge of a complete split of North and South. The South surrenders, but the war goes on today. The latest? In Charlottesville, VA KKK rally resulting in people hurt and one died because someone decides to ride a car into a crowd of protesters that are protesting the demonstration. The irony of it is white people are marching to announce their hatred toward minorities, while others who protest them are white. And the young lady that died was run over by a car with a white driver in it. It’s stupid. No matter what color. There are too many other examples to name. As long as you live here, you can tell stories.
There are too many other examples to name. As long as you live here, you can tell stories.
III. In the world
I have a pastor friend that is black (I have been told that if I refer to black people as African American, I can also offend because not every black person is from Africa). I remember when I invited him over to my then grandfather’s house that we lived in when he was still alive. He was 87 at the time. My friend hesitated. I had no idea why. Then when he told me about that generation with both our grandfather’s experiences, I totally understood. My grandfather could walk down the street unharmed. His Grandfather couldn’t.
My grandfather and my great uncles fought in WWII. I used to ask them about their stories. Some told them, some didn’t. Then, I went to the WWII museum here in Millville which had real life stuff from that time. But as I noticed the propaganda, the Germans and the “Japs” were the bad people. Why? Because they attacked Pearl Harbor. So of course, we need to hit them back. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t, for one minute, defend Adolph Hitler and the Japanese Emperor for what atrocities they caused.
But it was that hatred. Kill them. Kill them at all costs. Did you know that here in Seabrook, NJ there was a Japanese internment camp? Yep, we forced people who were Oriental to stay there until the war was over? The difference? We treated them “humanely”. Really? Japanese Americans also fought some of the toughest war scenarios in WWII. Blacks were not allowed to fight with whites. But still allowed to fight. Makes no sense.
Fast forward to the 1980’s. I was a young teenager. All I remember was President Ronald Reagan talking about the Russians are bad people. This thing called the “Cold War”. Wait, didn’t the Russians help us defeat Hitler and they were still as Communist as they were in the 1980’s. There was even a Rocky movie Rocky IV Of course, Rocky wins. He couldn’t possibly lose to a Russian.
Russians bad…Americans good. And yes, they fell. But as of 2017, they are as Communist as ever.
Fast forward to 9-11-2001. Up until that fateful day, I really didn’t think anything different of someone who was Muslim. But on that day a few things happened:
- Nobody cared about what color you were.
- Nobody cared about what nationality you were.
- Nobody cared if you were rich or poor.
People were helping one another. People were patriotic. I had this burning urge to hang the American Flag everyone. Buy an American car. But now, the enemy are Muslims. 16 years later, we are still at war. And do we even know what the end game is?
Fast forward to August 2017, now it’s the North Koreans. They are the “bad people”. They are the new “Japanese”
Nothing has changed. Different players. Same story.
We can do our best to TRY. We CAN limit this. People coming together to celebrate our differences and practice the art of LISTENING instead of SHOUTING.
Here’s a website that I like from a person named Gerald Celente. I’m not crazy about his language, but I do understand that his job is to predict trends. And he’s pretty passionate about it.
There are things I am for and also against. But I don’t need to hurt people who oppose my beliefs. There are people that feel the same way about me.
Jesus’ famous quote from the cross says it all.
Father, forgive them they know not what they do.
We ALL need Jesus. He IS the answer.