Monday, August 2, 2010

Racism: Alive and Well

Racism: Alive and Well

Racism is nurturing a hatred for someone because of their ethnicity or because they happen to have a large amount of melanin pigment. If we look at the other side of the coin we can say it is a hatred for those who lack melanin. Either way, it is judging someone by their outward appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7 is a reprimand to men who judge others by looking at the outward appearance. The verse declares that God never does that, he judges a man by looking inward, into the deep recesses of his heart.

Isn’t that what Martin Luther King was declaring when he said that he had a dream of a time when men would not be judged “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. “ Racism is a particularly strong demonstration of hatred in the human heart and Christ had some strong words for those who hate, he said, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” (1 John 3:15)

America’s first black president has been in office for nearly two years now. His promise of change brought great hope to the masses. Could it be possible that America could now turn the corner on its problem of racism? Even though this president attended Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years and listened to his constant stream of racist hatred, we still refused to lose hope and he was voted into office with a mandate from the American people to end racism forever in America.

How foolish we can sometimes be. Racism isn’t something a mere man can erase. It is a problem of the heart, it is sin in the fallen nature of man and it will be with us until all sin is eliminated or until the end of the age. Even more foolish than those who believed racism could be eradicated by a mere man was the preposterous claim of a politician who claimed he could bring us all together, the politician who answered Rodney King’s question, “Can’t we all get along” in the affirmative.

Barack Obama has certainly had opportunities to right the ship but he has failed miserably. Our racism meters began a fast tick when he defended Henry Louis Gates, Jr. before he had all the facts and declared the white police officer who arrested Gates “acted stupidly”. Obama should have been advised to stay neutral at the very least. When Harry Reid made offensive comments about the “light-skinned” candidate “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one” Obama shrugged it off and seemed to send a message that racism was something only Republicans could be guilty of. Imagine if Bush or Cheney would have said such a thing.

In early 2010 some opponents of Obama’s health care plan marched on the capital. Many were accused of directing the “N” word at certain black congressmen. Yet, with thousands of phones, open microphones, video, etc. not a single “N” word was recorded. Would it not have been a good and noble thing for our president to step forward and declare such unfounded accusations slanderous and reprehensible?

It is clear that the Obama team sees an advantage in stirring the racial waters. What better way to motivate voters in November than the use of the race card. I would suggest that a president who cheapens real racism by flashing the race card so carelessly in an attempt to get reelected is most certainly racist. Those who suffer the deep pain of genuine racism are now victim of a “cry wolf” syndrome. The accusation is tossed about so carelessly that fewer and fewer people are giving the claim any credence. If you oppose Obama’s health care you are a racist. If you disagree with Obama’s policies you are a racist. If you vote Republican in November you are a racist. If you listen to Hannity or Limbaugh you are a racist and if you oppose the illegal entry of immigrants across our borders you are a racist.

Obama’s silence was deafening when the NAACP made accusations of racism in the Tea Party movement. He could have spoken words that would have brought racial healing but he refuses to do that for fear he will lose the political advantage the racist claims provide him. Is he selfish? Is he egotistical? Is he narcissistic? It’s not about Americans, it’s not even about African-Americans, it’s about Barack Hussein Obama! Mr. President, you’re no Martin Luther King!

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