"I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favor of the land." Ezekiel 22:30

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Stop Talking About Race

I'm a young, middle-class, white male from the Midwest with a graduate level education, and I don't care about race.

Your first reaction might be: “Easy for you to say.”

Okay, so it’s easy to write off my opinion because of the color of my skin, education level, and where I come from. Had I not prefaced that statement with anything about my background, would you have thought different? What if I had a completely different background? Would your gut reaction change if I were a working class, black female from the south with only a grade-school education?

But what if I told you that I actually had a black roommate in college for two years? Or that one of my long-time friends is black, oh, and a doctor.

Either way it shouldn’t matter. The validity of my opinion should not rest on where I’m from, how educated I am, or whether or not I have minority friends. Nor should it matter in the least what the color of my skin is.

Funny thing is, I’m not alone in thinking this. Here’s proof in a quote you might recognize:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I think we all recognize those timeless words; words which I agree with 110%.

In a few days, our nation commemorates the speaker of those words, the towering figure that was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sadly, to this day, more than 50 years after those words were spoken, we still have not realized Dr. King’s dream.

A prime example occurred back in December when MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and others flatly mocked Mitt Romney and his family for a Christmas card featuring the former presidential candidate and his grandchildren, including a black child who had been adopted by one of Romney’s sons.

Notice anything different about this picture? Nope, me neither.
Why should it matter what color that child’s skin is? The child was adopted and given the opportunity to live with an incredible family. What’s to mock in that? If skin color really doesn’t matter, than a Christmas card with 21(!) grandkids should be something to marvel at, not mock.

Does real racism exist? Absolutely. There are despicable people who immediately classify anyone with different pigmentation as inferior. Such people are a loathsome lot. Those true racists are the ones who need to be mocked; not a loving, caring family. Life is too short to worry about petty stuff like skin color. We are all human. We all have inherent dignity as children of God. We ought to be judged by the outward signs of our character – what we do – rather than the outward signs of our bodily appearance. Politics aside, I have to give credit to the Romneys for adopting and accepting a black child into their family, along with the shameful mockery that apparently comes with it.

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