An old issue has been at the forefront of public discussion the past few months. Racial inequity has been called America’s original sin. People who wanted liberty for themselves did not always rush to protect the liberty of those may look a little different or speak a different language than they do. In the 1800’s the doctrine of white supremacy took hold in large swaths of America. It almost tore us apart. We struggled through a Civil War, Reconstruction, a counter reconstruction called Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement which was the successful heir to Reconstruction.
I believe that Institutional racism is dead. We won the war after 350 years. There is no doubt that legacy racism exists and is like a scab that keeps being picked at by the race baiters on all sides.
I believe that we need to deal with the legacy issues in a straight forward manner. First, let me admit that I do believe in the silly notion of race. It truly is a social construct as that silly woman from Washington proved. The fact that someone finally found it beneficial to pass as black instead of white shows that we have made some progress just like in a weird way Bruce/”Caitlin Jenner shows that we made progress in the way that we treat women. An hundred years ago, some women pretended to be men to get more opportunity. Scientifically, race does not exist in humans. Why do we insist on perpetuating it with state sanctioned forms?
One thing that Johnson was right about was that we need to act affirmatively to correct the wrongs of the past. That is a Biblical principle. The Apostle Paul wrote in the Epistle to the Ephesians “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” (Eph. 4:28 ESV). The principle is that when you change, you replace negative action with positive ones. Bless instead of curse. Go the extra mile. Give instead of stealing.
The first step is to just stop it. Do not be a respecter of persons or one who plays favorites. Judge everyone by their own character. Walk in love. Encourage others to do the same.
The second step is to act justly. Do not pervert justice based upon one’s resources or connections. Ensure that the government treats everyone with respect due a human being. Due process of law is a must.
The third step is to provide equal opportunity. Ensure the education system works for everyone who will use it. End the disparity of resources on the public side. State and federal education money should follow the child. Children with disabilities should get the tools they need to succeed. We need discipline back in the schools not criminal prosecution for children behaving like children. We need to teach children that they can achieve not that they are hopelessly oppressed. We then need to give them the practical tools of financial literacy, relationship skills, leadership, reading, writing professionally, logic, and mathematical thinking.
The fourth step is that we need to celebrate each other’s achievements and traditions. Diversity is good. We can have diversity and not divisiveness. We can respect and learn from one another.