Yesterday was a bizarre day. A protest in Charlottesville, VA., held by alt right white supremacists turned ugly quickly. You’ve probably seen the video. A twenty year old man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring about 15. The story circled the news all day long. It was total madness.
One commentator on CNN said, “The darkness in that man’s heart is unspeakable.” That is true. So is the darkness in the heart of the white supremacist movement.
Alveda King once said,
Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It’s a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated.
Racism is anti-God.
The Bible says God created mankind in His image. There is only one mankind. One human race. It doesn’t matter what color, what country or what language. All people are the special creation of God. All people bear God’s image. And, therefore, all people possess intrinsic value and dignity.
Racism defies the image of God.
Racism is anti-gospel.
The most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, says,
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus came to die for all. The hope of Jesus is available to all who call on Him. It doesn’t matter what color. It doesn’t matter what country. And it doesn’t matter what language. The gospel is for everybody. And in heaven there will be worshippers from every tribe and tongue and language praising God for the salvation He provided in Christ.
Is Racism Really Still A Thing?
For most people like me, racism isn’t a daily reality. Because I am part of the majority ethnic group in this country, I haven’t experienced racism. I don’t fear racism. And, like many, I thought for a long time that because I didn’t use certain words or associate with certain people, that I didn’t have to identify with racism.
But I’ve learned over the years that simply not participating in racist activity isn’t enough. Racism plays itself out in subtle and not so subtle ways. And we must learn to recognize it, call it what it is, and speak against it.
Desmond Tutu said,
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
That might sound like a harsh word. But, like Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Taking a back seat won’t solve the problem of racism. We won’t see progress standing on the sidelines. If we are going to see lasting change, then we must speak up and speak out against the injustices that are happening all around us.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, ESV)
In Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria, she unpacks three types of racists in our country today.
#1 Active Racists
These are like those white supremacists on the news yesterday. People who are actively living out hatred toward others. It’s the overt kind of racism.
#2 Passive Racists
These are the people who stay neutral. They don’t actively participating in racist activity. But passively. They don’t speak up. They are the “good men who do nothing.”
These people recognize injustice. Call it what it is. And speak and act against it.
Thurgood Marshall said,
Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.
Those who claim to follow Christ should be the first to speak against injustice–whether it’s obvious or subtle. Because of who God is and because of what Christ has accomplished, we must stand up for our brothers and sisters who are victim to injustices of all kinds. And racism is injustice. It is evil. And the church cannot stand for it.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9, ESV)