Don’t Take the Bait of the NEW Racial Tension
Before I launch into this discussion I need to qualify something: Racism has never even been on my radar. I was raised by a mother who had no tolerance for racism. When my mother remarried she married a black man. Her brother, my uncle, married a black woman. I myself dated several black women in my single years. My best friend in grade school was black. My two favorite workout partners when I was in my twenties were both black. The color of someone’s skin was simply never an issue for me…ever!
But today the growing racial tensions in this country hit very close to home.
Pulling into a gas station today I got to the pump a second or two before another car that pulled up behind me, and then beside me. As I looked over I saw a young black man glaring at me with a death stare. He pulled up to the pump beside me, which was also free (it wasn’t like I took the last pump available), and proceeded to curse me out because my kind [white people] have been stealing from his people [blacks] for centuries, and apparently me getting to the gas pump before him was just another example of how whites steal from blacks. I couldn’t believe that he was making a vacant gas pump about race! He even proceeded to insult me for my choice of vehicle. He apparently didn’t like it much that my car is nicer than his. And the fact that I drive a nice car and he doesn’t is because I’m a racist, according to him.
This young man has taken the bait – the bait of racial tension cooked up by people behind the scenes who are good at creating conflict where there wasn’t conflict before. And white people are following suit as well, by the way.
I can tell you that in my entire lifetime I have never seen white people as frustrated as they are right now at black people, and the attitude of the black man at the gas pump represents part of the reason why, because unfortunately his attitude is part of a growing segment of our culture.
We live in a culture that was turning a corner in racial tensions 40 years ago. The progress we were making was tremendous. The the most successful sitcoms on television, in fact, were focused around African-American families. The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son in the 1970’s (both of which often cast white people and police officers as buffoons, by the way) gave way to even more successful shows in the 1980’s like The Cosby Show and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. White viewers helped to make these shows a success. African-Americans had found a successful place in society right alongside whites. [By the way, the fact that we as a nation feel we must observe a politically-correct standard of referring to people with black skin as African-Americans is just one small example of the ultra-sensitivity that a lot of white people are exasperated with. I don’t expect black people to refer to me as an Irish-American, for example. I’m a white man. I’m an American. And I’ve never even been to the land of my ancestors, just like most black Americans have never been to Africa. We are all Americans, black and white. Can we just be okay with referring to each other as men and women, and if we have to have a description, just saying black or white and leaving it at that? But I digress.]
As I was saying, we were making tremendous progress as a nation in racial issues prior to 2012. If anything, blacks are favored in many ways. Affirmative Action made sure of that. If a white student and a black student are vying for the same college scholarship and have about the same qualifications, the black student gets the scholarship nearly 100% of the time because colleges are required to give out a certain number of scholarships to minorities, especially blacks. And Affirmative Action also gives those same advantages in the workplace. That doesn’t seem fair to me, but it does reveal the efforts that our nation has made in giving blacks a fair shake at education and employment. And Affirmative Action is the result of the efforts of many people, both white and black, by the way.
Many of our public offices are also now occupied by blacks. The City Council in Baltimore, for example, is occupied by a black majority. We have even voted in a black President of the United States for two terms!
Folks, listen; blacks make up only 12% of the American population, and whites are 74% of the American population. When black people get elected to public office, it’s because MOSTLY WHITE PEOPLE VOTED THEM IN! It doesn’t look like to me that white people in this nation are against black people. In fact, the way it looks to me is that our nation loves black people for the most part, granting a few exceptions.
Hey, I’m not denying that there are pockets of racial issues that still exist in our Country. I think that will always be the case to some degree because we as fallen people are sinners, and sinners sin in a variety of ways, including sins of racism. Racism has existed on every continent of the world since time began, I suppose. Racism was certainly alive and well in ancient Israel and during Jesus’ time. Did you notice that the Jews, who have been the most discriminated race in the history of the world and who should know better than to be guilty of racism themselves, turned right around and discriminated against the Samaritans? Racism isn’t new, people. And neither are double standards and hypocrisy. People tend to suffer injustice and then turn right around and do the very same thing to other people. (That human tendency and God’s judgment against it is addressed with surgical precision in Romans 2:1-3.)
But by in large, we have progressed as a culture to the point of being nearly done with racism. At least that’s the way it was prior to just a few years ago. I know some people would disagree with me on that, but black conservative Larry Elder makes a pretty convincing case of why I am correct to make that assertion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piwaBO6U43U According to Larry Elder, a black man, racism for the most part is dead in this Country except for the people who like to keep it stirred up.
So why is there such a renewed upheaval of racial tension then? Why are so many blacks so mad at whites?
I find it interesting that since the election of President Obama – who was elected by mostly white people, remember – that race relations have not progressed forward. They have actually gone backward. I would venture a guess that racial tensions have regressed to what they were during the 1960s when we were just starting to pull out of this mess. What in the world is going on?
Many political insiders have speculated that President Obama is trying to create upheaval in our society so that chaos and violence breaks out to the point where he can declare Martial Law, and then set himself up for a third Presidential term. I don’t know if that’s true, but his total disregard for the Constitution of the United States would certainly hint toward that. Many people believe that President Obama wants a dictatorship, and there is some evidence that he may even be tied to ISIS, according to some sources. His allegiance to Islam does make it appear that something sinister is going on behind the scenes that the Press refuses to report, because, of course, they are staunch supporters of any politician who is a Democrat, even if that Democrat hates American and Christian ideals.
Certainly there are other things going on as well that I don’t have time or room to go into now. Larry Elder does a better job than me of explaining those things anyway. Watch his fascinating interview in the video link above.
So regardless of what might be going on behind the scenes that has incited a renewed hatred between blacks and whites, my message here is to NOT TAKE THE BAIT. Someone wants us to hate one another. Of course, we know that ultimately that someone is Satan, but Satan works through willing vessels who are happy to carry out his will, knowingly or unknowingly.
But the people of God are not supposed to give in to this sort of thing. As the people of God, we are a united holy nation, a royal priesthood belonging to God. We know that the everyone’s skin color is exactly the same once you get below the first few layers. We are all made in the image of God, and our humanity is expressed in so many different ways because God likes variety, obviously.
So for someone to say that I’m a racist because I drive a nice car and I got to the gas pump first is the same kind of Neanderthal thinking that got this Country in the racial mess we were in back in the 1960’s. Are we so stupid to want to return to that madness?
And by the way, my negative experience with that foolish young black man will not turn me into a racist for another reason that doesn’t even have anything to do with my Christian convictions. I realize that this was an isolated incident. I realize that not all black people are like that. He is probably in the minority of people who are black (I hope). And I would hope that the black groups like Black Lives Matter would realize that if there is any racism against black people at all in this Country, it is by a very, very small number of whites. I am concerned, in fact, that if all this racial tension against whites continues, there will be some sort of backlash that won’t be pretty. And I really think that’s what some people are hoping for.
But my message here is as much to whites as it is blacks. Listen white folks; don’t give in to this. This racial tension is by design, it appears, and for us to give into those who want to stir things up is to play right into their hands. Don’t go the way of hate. Go the way of love. Love always wins. Love never fails.
And my message to blacks is this: there are FAR MORE white people for you than against you. Don’t give in to the hype that whites are out to get you or that all of them feel superior to you or that they want to oppress you. That’s a lie! Look around! White people by the droves are working hard to try to help blacks succeed. And it has been that way since the days of slavery when white people worked tirelessly alongside blacks to overturn slavery.
Let’s not return to the days of the stupidity and evil of racism, in whatever form it takes. Let’s heed the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
“Darkness can’t drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate can’t drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”