Indirectly in honour of election week, I wanted to talk about an issue that has been on my heart for a very long time now, maybe even a year or so now: race in a Christian context.
If you've read my blog for any amount of time or even if you snoop around a little bit, you'll quickly find out about my faith. If you share that faith with me, welcome, fellow brother or sister in Christ! Make yourself at home. If you don't share that faith with me, welcome, fellow brother or sister! I will not treat or care for you any differently.
I'm just going to cut to the chase. Christians are some of the most racist and most exclusive people that I've ever met. And you know, that's pretty sad, considering that we are supposed to love as Jesus did.
It wasn't until going to a predominantly white, Christian university that I ever heard the term, "colorblind." Growing up in a lower class, immigrant/minority community, you knew very well what the race of the person next to you was, and you acknowledged it. There was no denying that. Especially when you grow up in a place where there were, in fact, gangs, based on racial/ethnic background.
When people use the term "colorblind," it's not usually out of malice. People who say this are probably not trying to hurt the person of color they're talking to. However,
& it's not just that. It's saying "but I'm not racist" when a person of color talks about their negative experience with white people. It's saying to "get over it" when venting about a race-related issue. It's talking about how people of color get scholarships for their race when white people don't. It's saying that race isn't important because "God created us all the same."
Obviously, you don't have to be a Christian to think this way, but I address Christians in this post because this is the group of people I notice this the most from. I grew up in the church, but I grew up in a secular community. College was the first time that I was fully immersed in Christian culture, white Christian culture, to be exact. So with my very contrasting experiences, I'm fairly familiar with how these two different groups of people tend to think about certain issues.
It tends to be Christians who dismiss issues about race because it's racist to talk about it, or we are in a "post racial" society, or it's our fault that things are the way they are.
I'm telling you right now if you've said any of the above things, STOP IT.
You are not helping the problem by shutting down people and their experiences. The book of Genesis talks about how we are all created in His image, and that includes our racial/ethnic backgrounds as well. God wasn't colorblind when he created us otherwise we would all look the same, skintone wise.
And I know that many Christians are against things like #BlackLivesMatter, but instead of going against it, why don't you mourn with your Christian brothers and sisters? If you hate Black Lives Matter but can say Blue Lives Matter, then the word "black" was the problem.
I've said this before on my personal Facebook and I'll say it again,
Jesus spent time with and cared for the people that society hated, the people that society oppressed.
When Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman (a group of people that Jews never associated with), he did not ignore her or insult her. He spent time with her and cared for her, which eventually led to her salvation and belief in the Messiah. When a prostitute came to Jesus and washed his feet with an expensive oil and her hair, he looked past her past instead of shaming her for the kind of life she lived. In fact, many times, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, the people who were considered to be "good" because they did everything about religion "right" for that time period.
I can talk more in detail about anti-blackness and prejudices we have as a result of how our society was built and so much more, but that would just be babbling. If you've made it this far in the post, please just take this away from this post:
As Christians, we need to be on the forefront of the hard issues such as race. Our brothers and sisters in Christ may be part of the very groups of people who are oppressed, and when your brothers/sisters are hurt, you don't get angry with them while they're down, you love them. You stand up for them. You care for them. We lay our lives down as Jesus did. And as Christians, we need to do the same.