In recent days (and years), we have seen an increase in racial challenges to white autocracy. It has not been a pretty picture: but it has been a good thing. For too long have white people, especially in the South, turned a blind eye to the black issues that we have created.
This EMPulse will try to speak into some resolution to this systemic problem.
First, some review of white attitudes toward black people over the past 175 years is in order.
· Slaves-property/profit. Negros were seen as property, somewhere between farm animals and human beings, fit only for what they could produce.
· Freed-a blight & problem. By the late 19th century blacks were seen as a blight on society. Human, but dirty and immoral.
· Repressed- uneducated, persecuted. The industrial revolution in the early 20th century kept them uneducated. They were persecuted in their poverty.
· Rising presence- cannot be ignored. By mid century Black people became a rising presence in white dominated America; treated still as inferiors, tolerated by the white establishment.
· Societal acceptance- almost. With the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and the clarion voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., white-America was forced to adapt to an intelligent vocal minority that knew that this national prejudice what not what God intended in creation.
· Latent systemic prejudice. Within the first two decades of the 21st century, there arose a chorus of voices from the black communities across America that enough is enough! White repression, especially from local police, has grown out of control. A few bad cops, and possibly an undercurrent of resentment, gave impetus to a swelling outcry against police brutality. And, of course, disproportionate racial response within Black America.
So, here we are, 5 months into the 21st century. We have NO resolution, NO solutions, and little understanding of the local and national scheme of things on either side. Personally, I do not believe that any white man has the ability to put himself in a black man’s shoes. The historical/social differences & distances are too great.
What can we do to correct, or at least address, the inequities, prejudice, hangings, burnings, murders, discriminations and ostracizations of these past 175+ years?
To look to government, local or national, to correct these injustices is vacant expectation. Do any of us really believe they know how?
To let the people work it out on their own terms hasn’t worked out so well either. Look up the Tulsa (OK) race massacre on May 31-June 1,1921, or, the Rosewood Massacre in Levy County, FL; or the police repression of the Freedom Movements of the early 60s – late 70s.
The only solution is for genuine Christians is to take up their cross and follow their Lord to repentance and faith. To sit before our Lord and examine our own hearts in terms of our hidden prejudices is a good place to start. Remember what our Lord calls us to—
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:39-41
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Galatians 3:28.
I grew up in Baltimore in the 1950s-60s. To say it was a dangerous, tense time between whites and blacks would be academic. I lived it. I had some truly great friendships with a couple black guys that were frowned upon by my white friends. It was a hard time in my life. And I would do it the same way all over again to live out the gospel in their midst.
Honor God, honor people, of all races, make a difference,
Dr. Gary Davis, President
NEXT— Fighting God