When I was growing up in a small town in Eastern Colorado, I had no idea what racism meant.
Oh, it was not as if we did not read and learn about the Civil War and the story about black men being enslaved by white men, and Martin Luther King engaging in protests against maltreatment of blacks during the civil rights era of America.
It is that I never understood how a person’s skin color somehow made that person inferior to any other person.
In our small town, there were very few “people of color,” and if I recollect correctly, there was only one “native American” who was in our class.
Still, all the racist posturing and sneering never made any sense to me, and that even years later, when I moved to the south, where too many people were constantly on edge over skin pigmentation.
Today, I have several friends whose skin is as pitch black, as mine is pearly white, and the thought of them being less-than-human or created in an image other than God’s does not even cross my mind.
And I have no doubt that they would be willing to come to my side, should I need help with anything, just like I would be willing to do the same, should they need my help.
So, why is it that too many have fallen into the ridiculous trap of thinking that whomever is subhuman or somehow more devious or evil simply because their skin happens to be black, brown, yellow, red, white, or any combination of varying shades thereof?
From the Bible we are told to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:36).
In fact, Jesus said that loving one’s neighbor, along with loving God, were upon what the whole Law and the Prophets hinged.
For some reason, the little phrase “as yourself” really sticks out to me, in this instance.
All the race-baiters and racists seem to be akin in the sense that the reason they cannot get past another person’s skin color and onto loving whomever as their neighbor is simply because they have no real love for themselves.
They are so infected with self-hatred, stemming from a lack of any real love for God, as well as unconfessed sin, that instead of remedying their own problem, they take it out on everyone else and use skin color as a convenient excuse to do it.
Worse yet, since misery loves company, the “Reverend” Al Sharptons, John Lewis’s, and David Dukes convince others that their self-hatred, bigotry, and racism is justified in the name of God.
Well, let me inform them and all the rest of the ignorant sycophants following their lead, that regardless of a person’s race or skin color, God created everyone, and that self-hatred projected onto others is NEVER justified in God’s sight!
It is not your place to rail upon, scheme against, or get even with whomever, simply because you are black, white, or brown and the person you have murdered in your heart is the another color.
Yes, I just wrote that the racist, of any color, is guilty of murdering another human being by acting upon the blind hatred that infects his/her own heart.
Your only place, especially if your think that skin color or race is the basis of your complaint, is to love your neighbor as yourself.
And if you cannot love your neighbor as yourself, then just who is the one with the real problem here and whom ultimately do you think God is going to hold accountable one day?
Is it going to be the person with the darkened skin or the person with the darkened heart?
Again, I never understood racist attitudes 50 years ago and nothing has changed today.
What I do understand today that I did not understand back then is the remedy.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second it like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
If we cannot love our neighbors, regardless of their skin color and because God has commanded it, then all the angry protests, backbiting, and race-baiting rallies will only accomplish the opposite.
And just how wonderful will the world be then? Well, just look around and see. We already have plenty of examples before our very eyes.