Thinking about Racism

Earlier today, a friend posted on Facebook

What do you think? Yesterday I said, "racism makes "good" people do "hate-filled" things." I believe there are different kinds of racists -- some are conscious and focused, cruel people (whom I can't do much with) but many are oblivious and unaware. Yes, some of my "friends" are naively racist. They are good people raised in non-integrated environments who go to church, try to do right, but have absorbed dominant culture ways around people of color. They have lived an unexamined life when it comes to race and might hold their purse tighter when the unknown black man gets on the elevator. Do you think good people can be racists? Perhaps I need to hold on to hope.

In my news feed, it came right after a link to an article in the Hartford Courant, 17 Arrested After Blocking Hartford Road During Rush Hour.

Police arrested 17 protesters who blocked Central Row during rush hour Monday afternoon as part of a Moral Monday demonstration.

The protest began at 4 p.m. as protesters locked arms and stood in the street. Many held signs saying "Black Lives Matter."

Immediately following my friend’s post was a link to Texas Cop Caught on Video Going on Violent Rampage at Pool Party.

Here is the comment I left in response to my friend’s post:

I tend to think that racism, and other 'isms' is part and parcel of the human condition. To speak in theological terms, of being sinners, of being fallen people. To speak in psychological terms, the fear of the 'other'. Who is like me? Who is different? Who is a good person? Who is a sinner? Who is a racist? Who is deeply loved by God?

To me, that last question ties it all nicely together. I strongly believe that God deeply loves me, in spite of things I've done. I strongly believe that God deeply loves those I would consider racist. I strongly believe that God deeply loves that that would consider me racist. In that, no matter what your skin color is, your reaction to other people's skin color, your gender, your sexual orientation, your reaction any of this, at the most underlying level, you are no longer 'other', you are just like me, deeply loved by God.

Perhaps, proclaiming this radical nature of God's love is core to combating racism and other 'isms'.

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