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Something to Think About: Racism in America

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Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –

 

new michael vaughnThe words of Rodney King, “can’t we all just get along?” still ring true in today’s America, as a question we all need to ask ourselves.

Rodney King was someone who knew what it was like to be at the wrong end of racism, as did Reginald Denny.

These two men, one black and one white, had one thing in common; they were both the subject of hatred that was most likely fueled by racism.

In my opinion, when one race seeks to dominate another race, simply because of race, that can be considered racism.

Therefore, regardless of the color of one’s skin, anyone can be a racist.

And, this desire to dominate does not arise simply from a positional perspective, but has its roots in the thoughts of individuals and stereotypes that have been created in the individuals’ heads who bring those emotions into real action.

The recent protests that occurred at UVA in Charlottesville, Va., are an example of the fact that racism is still alive in America.

The issue I have with the folks who were protesting is not what they were protesting, but that they were part of groups who believe people of different races, etc., are beneath them, and that they desire harm to be done to them.

In America, while we may not agree with the reasons for protests (for example, I did not agree with the Black Lives Matter protests against police officers, but I agreed with their right to do so), as long as the protests are peaceful, demonstrators should have the right to do so.

And, in our democracy, we need to ensure that their rights are not taken away.

As someone who is a Christian, I have seen how the right to protest has been severely eroded, just because of the beliefs that I have.

For example, protesting against abortion at abortion clinics has been limited because of bias against Christians.

Therefore, I believe that removing our right to protest is something that, if taken away, would undermine who we are as Americans.

And, unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be those who believe that one race is superior to another, and there will be those entities that will use that fact for monetary gain.

What would the nightly news be like if they could not, in some way, shape or form, depict a battle between the races; particularly between white people, and black people?

People of all races need to be mindful of their unconscious bias against other races.

We need to be mindful of the fact that we all have a a propensity to favor our own race over others, and that our propensities may affect how we deal with each other.

As a result, we may inadvertently belittle or put down good people who just may happen to be of another race.

And, that bias can cause us to hinder the growth we might have achieved by learning from another race.

Therfore, our goal should be to marginalize those who desire to exploit racism, and keep the battle brewing.

Biased individuals are able to keep the races from trusting each other, which again serves the purpose of division, by continuing to stir the pot.

God made no mistakes in how He created the races.

And, just as Rodney King and Reginald Denny had something in common, everyone on earth also has something in common.

We are all made in the image of God.

Therefore, we all share a connection.

It is important that we do not allow our unconscious biases to take over, and to control logic and common sense.

We need to resist the urge to become emotional whenever there are clashes amongst the races.

I believe that, if we continue to communicate, and to recognize each individual’s uniqueness, we will be able to resolve the problems that we face.

Harboring ill-will toward those of a different race only fosters the ugly face of racism, and helps to keep us divided, instead of keep us united.

Ultimately, since we can do more together, rather than apart, I’m convinced the problems our nation faces will be more easily resolved by working together!

Rodney got it right, “Can’t we all just get along?”

If you would like to contact me, please email me at mvaughn.seniorpastor@newwineskin.org.

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