Are We Racist?

I asked my wife an innocent question, “What did you get for allowance as a child?” She looked at me funny and asked back, what did you get. As a sucker, I responded innocently, “$40 a month, but I had budget to buy my clothes with that money.” Regina gave me that you don’t have a clue look, “That is more than my mother brought home in a month.” I was flabbergasted as I listened to her talk about what it was like to grow up Black in the prejudiced south. There were times they had to request their “rich” relative to buy them clothes so she would have more than one outfit to wear to school, how she was so hungry she ate what was available in the house despite knowing she would be beaten later. I had grown up as a doctor’s son in an all white town in California that had clauses in each deed forbidding sale to Blacks. The townspeople wouldn’t let us bring a Black boy to the community swimming pool. Despite my marriage, I had to ask, “Was I racist?” I began watching and looking.

When we visited my parents, they would make Regina feel low class by criticizing the size of her forkfuls, talking with her mouth full, and even how she set the silverware. All these things bothered me too. Hmmm, was that racist to think so? Going to Black Churches and White Churches was also enlightening. The Black ones usually made ministers wear robes, which I thought silly. In white churches, many had shifted over to wearing bluejeans in the pulpit, much better in my book. I would have thought that Regina, being an extremely popular professor of sociology, would know better. Then I realized what Regina was fond of saying, “are you trying to make me white?” was true. Despite fighting racism in myself, I was still highly racist.

Anytime a person denies being Racist, using words like, “Some of may best friends are Black (or Mexican or Muslim or Gay)” or “I don’t see color,” they are racist. We all are. We eat, breathe, and absorb racism. What I needed to do was pray to God to make me aware of and heal me of Racism. He responded that I needed to hate the Racism in my old man and hunger to put on the new. Only after time with continually actively seeking to open doors in my life to God, would he be able to heal me, one piece at a time. This was powerful. I could see my flaws, but from a position of Victory, and grow in Godliness. Slowly, I have learned to see each person’s jewel, (their beauty), and not be critical for them not acting in the “obviously better” (Ha) white method.

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