When I was a boy, nine or ten years old, I asked my best friend
from third grade to come home with me one afternoon after school. Doug was an amazing guy who wanted to be a professional soccer player someday. We had so much in common. In fact, to this day, I’ve met very few people that I ever bonded with more quickly than he.
That afternoon we played in the backyard; then some board
games in my room. It was a great time with a great friend... a friend my father was meeting that day for the first time.
Needless to say, I was shocked and devastated, after Doug
left, when my dad told me that Doug couldn’t come back to our house. I was totally perplexed. What possible reason could prevent such a wonderful human being from being welcomed in our home? My father’s response, “He’s not one of us.”
That was the first time I’d ever given one second’s thought to
the color of Doug’s skin. I was as heartbroken as a nine-year-old boy could be. It was also the first time I had looked into the eyes of a racist...a member of my own family.
I remember making a vow that night: “God, I will never, ever be
someone who can’t see the beauty of another person’s soul because they won’t look past the color of their skin.” From that day till this day, I despise racism. Here are several reasons why:
-It presupposes a superiority that doesn’t exist. In God’s sight, there's never ethnic preference. Our calling is to be like Him.
-It reveals the lack of sacrificial love. Love that looks with disfavor on someone who is different than us will never be sacrificial.
-It's simplistic. It measures a person's worth by the color of their exterior shell, (i.e. their skin--an extremely thin membrane covering every human body).
-It's judgmental, usually fueled by pride.
-It exposes a weak mind lacking depth of insight.
-It accepts as “logical” an idea that is patently illogical--the idea that ethnicity or family of origin can, in some way, truly make someone “more than” or “less than” ourself.
-It always divides; never unites.
-It's contrary to the teachings of the Rabbi I follow. His name is Jesus.
-It prevents relational intimacy. It's impossible to ever cherish the soul on one who hates without cause. Someone married to a racist understands that.
-It keeps people and systems from achieving their highest potential, thus our world will always be less than it could be.
Simply put, we are always better together. I think it's time we understood that, don't you?