Revisiting a flawed history
“American history,” according to playwright and novelist James Baldwin, “is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” Racial reconciliation can never be achieved unless the people are willing to fight structural racism and challenge the myth we are living in a “post-racial” society. As Christians and human beings, Biolans have the moral obligation to understand and speak out against “colorblindness” — “the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity,” according to Psychology Today. Racial equality is only possible if we embrace and celebrate our differences and not be ignorant of it.
Putting love into action
Theologian James Cohn writes in “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” how even great Christian leaders such as theologian Reinhold Niebuhr ultimately lacked the conviction to directly speak out against racial segregation despite having a sophisticated knowledge of love, justice and truth. Niebuhr was one of the greatest Christians of the twentieth century, but his life and legacy shows how we as Christians must apply our biblical knowledge of truth and love in our interaction with our community.
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public,” Cornel West writes in his book “Race Matters.” Our love requires what Niebuhr once called “sublime madness in the soul” and resistance to all forms of injustice, including our communities still being affected by police brutality and mass incarceration.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports on how the current election is “producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom.” An article by Rethink Schools claims, “Trump’s ascendancy parallels the growth of extreme right-wing parties throughout much of Europe, where a toxic stew of austerity, economic anxiety, and the refugee crisis has fueled xenophobic and neo fascist rallies, electoral victories, and violence.”
We need to make sure dangerous individuals like Donald Trump do not get elected. We do not need to delve deep into history to learn about the detrimental effects of xenophobia and racism.