Monday, April 9, 2012

Racism Still Exists In America

Yes, that "taboo" subject on a major social problem people often ignore, and some claim no longer exists is dominating headlines again. Racism. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran claims the Holocaust did not exist despite all the evidence--concentration camps, photos, documents, etc. Racism still exists in the United States, and true, progress has been made in the past several decades--but not enough. Stereotypes abound and racial profiling abound. Racial hatred is a dangerous thing.

Let me give my take on the Trayvon Martin’s case. I think there is a big problem for a person to track a stranger down and confront him because he is walking along a street. I think it is a very reasonable assertion to believe racial profiling may be at play here. Furthermore, I can say with absolute conviction-- if both parties were white, black, green or yellow;, I believe George Zimmerman should had been arrested. Judging from the video, it does not align itself to Zimmerman's account of the events that night. An unarmed teen carrying tea and Skittles is now dead--his life cut short. Trayvon Martin was no doubt alarmed when Zimmerman approached him. Would you be alarmed if some brawny unauthorized fellow came up to you demanding questions in a confrontational manner?

But laying the emerging facts and evidence surrounding this particular case aside, I am amazed at the hostility this has generated by some folks because people are demonstrating and calling for justice regarding Martin's case. Hostility has erupted because Americans are once again discussing racism--I think discussion is a good thing. Racism has been an issue often ignored in the Church and in the United States today.

1 John 2:9-11

9) He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
10) He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11) But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Many black churches were instrumental in mobilizing people into the Civil Rights movement. These churches played a tremendous role in dialogue, orchestrating marches, and appealing to people to contemplate their prejudiced attitudes. Martin Luther King and fellow demonstrators were mocked, ridiculed, and berated--indeed, history often repeats itself. Because people like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson are questioning Trayvon Martin's killing, and demanding answers does not make them inciters of violence, nor does it fuel a bad fire. The hornets’ nest was there long before Trayvon Martin was killed. What is getting the goat of many, including some church leaders, is the necessity of dealing with the "question" of racism. Appearances sake could also be at play --racism never looks good for a community. Yet, give people enough credit to discern that a particular individual acting on hatred in one area does not make everyone a hater in a specific locale. Nevertheless, specific organizations in certain areas may have discriminatory practices or prejudices which need be addressed.

Recently, 5 people--all black were shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma by two white people. One of the shooters used racial expletives on Facebook--you know the N-word. His father was shot by a black man nearly or on two years before to the date of these crimes. Three of the victims were killed, two survived wounded. If this shooters father had been killed by a white man, would he began to target his own race--whites in revenge? No. The racial hatred was already embedded in his heart and soul.

Racial hatred is a dangerous thing. Not just for the victims either. When you stand before the throne of Almighty God, you will give an account for your actions, and for what was in your heart when you were upon this earth. Through His grace and power, people can overcome racial hatred, but it takes a deep look into oneself, and a first step towards acknowledgement.