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Racism

Yes, I said it. We are going to tackle the most critical, most misunderstood, and most visual issue of the day, without getting personal or negative. In this narrative I will not mention names of individuals or groups, or ever get into the “I” or “you” or “they” mode. This will be difficult, but is imperative for all Americans to understand now. Why now? If we do not research, process, and implement a realistic method of dealing with racism in America, our society will never be able to function as it was designed to by the Founders. They escaped to the New Word to get away from the cultures of racism and bigotry that dominated life in Europe at the time. The Founders emphatically assured an environment of tolerance by all who subscribed to the tenants of the U.S. Constitution. Americans must re-visit those tenants if there is any hope of racial reconciliation and ultimate American peace within.

There can be no eradication of racism by edict, by law, by mandate, or by strife or hate. The necessary process to do away with racism is not complicated. But it is very difficult to accept and adopt by most Americans. But if racism is to ever be put away in our culture, this process is necessary. What is it? Follow along with me:

  • We must be personally willing to give up the right to feel wronged. Feeling wronged and/or taken advantage of by others brings with it a spirit of entitlement that prevents any possibility of reconciliation with whoever perpetrated an act that initiated that feeling. When anyone feels entitled to any specifics that pertain to interaction with someone else, simple because we are all human and therefore prone to mess up, when we do, that “entitled” person almost always gets hurt feelings from being wronged. Adopting a fundamental default mindset that has no piece in it of ownership or right directly or indirectly attached to any action of another keeps the air clear and that person genuinely does not feel wronged.
  • We must adopt a default position of blanket acceptance of others. That is impossible unless we consciously commit to look past the mistakes and errors that others make from just being humans. We must expect that association with those will naturally include human traits and actions that are by their actual foundation flawed and mistake driven. If we enter a relationship at any level with the expectation of human nature showing up, when that shows up we merely express our love and support for others and let the “chips fall where they may.” Making mistakes in life are commonplace and a certainty.
  • We must resist the everyday temptations of assessing blame. How best to do that: accept that others by nature will do us wrong and by nature we will do others wrong. That acceptance will take blame out of the environment of relationships and never color the way we interact with others. That will keep the air clear instead of being constantly full of wonder and anger and mistrust that are the products of blame.
  • Forgiveness MUST be fundamental in our lives. There are three types of forgiveness we must adopt and accept: forgiveness of ourselves, forgiveness of others, forgiveness from God. Admit it: we are all flawed, make mistakes, and have hurt others. If we are unwilling or unable to admit that and find a way to forgive ourselves for mistakes and/or choices made based simply on our built in propensities to screw up, how can we ever hope to forgive anyone else? When we accept the fact that it is human to be flawed, that we make mistakes and we are sorry for those and commit to not repeat them, we can then transfer that process to our relationships with others. In those — because we have accepted our flaws and forgiven ourselves — we have learned how to offer that same process to those who have in their humanity made mistakes just like we have. That will initiate forgiveness for them. Finally, we all should know that God wants to forgive us for our boo boo’s. Often we refuse to accept His forgiveness feeling we are not good enough. Here is an important fact to remember: forgiveness is not ever deserved or earned. Forgiveness is given. God gave forgiveness to us. It is foolish to not be willing to accept it and make it part of our life. That would be a tremendous waste! In doing so, we show others that there is life after forgiveness without the staggering guilt that comes with un-forgiveness of all kinds.
  • We must find a way to put others in our lives first: ALL the time. There is only one way to do that. We must find a way to honestly love those who we do not know. Wow! How is that even possible? First, we must accept that love is not a feeling. Love is an action that we choose to take that must be truly selfless and without conditions. And it must be for someone else with total abandonment of any predisposition we may have for that person or that person’s circumstances. Love is actually the act of giving to someone expecting nothing in return. Unless we can achieve that mind and heart set, we can never truly love others. We all have been guilty of using the word love in selfish and self serving ways, hoping to achieve some action from another by telling them we love them. True love means exactly the opposite: “I love you,” period — no expectation of anything for giving that love away. Think about this: in a racist environment the atmosphere is charged with distrust, hate, selfishness, and fear. Even in that environment if we find a way to show acts of true love, we can actually see fear disappear. The Bible says “True love dispels all fear.” Without fear, racism melts away, and love is what remains.
  • To make this change, we must be honest with each other AND ourselves. Telling and/or living lies only serves to exacerbate the already intolerable atmosphere between us. Think how much easier it would be to work through all this together if we did not have to ask “What did he REALLY mean?” when someone tells us something. It would be refreshing to be able to simply believe what we hear and move forward. Believe it or not, doing this will probably be the hardest thing many will do in this process. Why? We have processed the trait of accepting lies — those we say to ourselves and those we say to others — as O.K. Example: When someone we don’t want to talk to calls us and our wife answers the phone in the kitchen, we whisper to our wives, “Tell him I’m not here.” When our son or daughter who sees the whole thing says, “Daddy, you told a lie!” Our response is, “I really WASN’T right there by the phone. I was across the room, so it really wasn’t a lie.” We somehow find a way to make that lie OK. By the way: there is no such thing as a “little white lie.” A lie is a lie. “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
  • We must learn how to “know” those people in our lives, not just know “about” them: there’s a huge difference. I know “about” many people — I know where they live, the car they drive, how they dress, where they work, where their kids go to school, their political party affiliation. That is knowing “about” them. To know them is to know WHY they live where they live, WHY they drive THAT car and dress THAT way and work at THAT job, etc. If I know someone I know when and why they hurt, how they feel about all sorts of things in their life, and they know the same things about me. Too often in this racism charged world we look at people and simply assume because we “see” them we “know” them.
  • We must stop making decisions based solely on what we see and hear from others — especially in the Media. A large percentage of political decisions Americans make today are based on perceptions they make based on things others — including the Media — state as truth or given as factual “news” information. We have become lazy, primarily because we are media driven and busy. It is much easier to turn on the radio, skim the newspaper headlines, or watch nighttime news or late night monologues to use as the foundation for our decisions. We owe it to ourselves and our families to make educated decisions and choices, especially those involving those closest to us. I urge you to spend time reading and studying various sources of information — especially when you see or hear things that are so important as to initiate specific decisions in your life. Not knowing something for certain doesn’t mean one is stupid. Not knowing something for certain and not getting a factual answer by choice IS stupid. Life is too important to change for ourselves and others based on incorrect or inaccurate or false information.

Summary

I hate racism. I don’t care in what form it exists, it in every instance illustrates a disdain for others based solely on skin color or moral superiority that is not real but perceived. Racism cannot exist in a vacuum void of hatred and fear. Those two drive the narrative of racism. To do away with the 21st Century plague, we must rid our lives of these and replace them with at least those things above in this discussion. I am certain there are others that we need to consider. I want us to do that. Please do not just read this and blow it off. I do not care what you think of me. As I have said many times, just because I think something is so doesn’t make it so. I love to hear diversity in thoughts and ideas and want to read yours.

Please take a few moments and below share your comments and suggestions. I want to start today a serious conversation from all who wish to weigh in with ideas to make a course correction before it is too late. Name calling, the blame game, guilt, fear, hatred, elitism, political correctness, all must go away in this conversation. We are adults. And we care about this generation and its issues. We all want it to survive and thrive so that the next will have a great foundation on which to make our nation better.

I am NOT linking this to my Facebook page. This will only be viewable here unless you share it somewhere else. (feel free to do so if you like) My feelings about involvement in this very important discussion are simple: The more the merrier. There are a lot of people who view this site. (Yesterday 94,146 read yesterday’s post) But few take the time to comment or discuss. I encourage your input. Not trying to sell anything to anyone. I am honestly hungry to make this world a better place for my 6 grandchildren and for yours.

Thanks for joining in.

5 thoughts on “Racism”

  1. Love, Forgiveness and acceptance are key. We have to learn to love, forgive and accept OURSELVES before we can attempt this in the public square. I do not see how any racist thought can survive Love, Forgiveness and Acceptance! For me and my house, we are going to work on these three things in hopes that our actions will speak louder than words and our love, forgiveness and acceptance of ourselves and others will begin the healing process in our city.

  2. There is such a thing as Identity and when we allow God to strip us down to who we really are, this is where we begin to find it. Without the recognition as you stated that we are all lost, sinful and are without hope and without God, we do not have a level field. Once we realize that we all have been created by One God who gave everyone of us a unique, special and different destiny in life that can only be discovered through reconciliation by the blood of Christ. We must all first be reconciled to God thru His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Once that happens a relationship begins and we start to discover our true identity. The next place of reconciliation begins with one another. The cross has 2 parts, Vertically with God and horizontally with each other. This reconciliation because of the fallen Place we find ourselves in, takes time and understanding which many like myself do not have much experience. Because I am white in America, I was never on the receiving end of rejection through predjuice & racism of what my black brothers have had to face. I must listen twice as much as I speak. Once repentance forgiveness and restoration can be released between the ethnicities our identity can be established at the highest level. Because Belonging and Acceptance are the next brothers to come into the relationship with Identity healing takes over and God reigns over His creation. We have all come from one man, we all bleed the same as Dr Ben Carson stated, and we all need each other. This conversation is painful and difficult for us but if we go first to the cross we can begin to see clearly to connect to those He put in our lives to fulfill our destinies together. Racism is a pernicious evil that can be washed away but by one One agent, the Blood of Christ.

  3. Hi Dan, grandchildren certainly add a layer of conservation to the thought processes, they can put the legacy of a person into the mix of present attitude faster than Dorothy can click her heels. Like what you wrote, believe you have most of the components down pat, of course, being a realist, and a person of faith, my take isn’t quite like yours, but very similar. The only problem I have with “isms,” is the violent stance, which might sound pretty lazy, but it’s not the ideas which I fear- because my sense is, take Christ”s teachings, put them up against any thinking, and they win, they win every time, and as Jerry Clower says, “Christianity works.” For many years in the U.S. Army I was a race relations N.C.O. which meant, my job was to try and keep the peace in a unity assigned a military mission, and fight racism in the trenches of the same? Jane Elliot in her famous experiment between blue eyes ad brown eyes…showed how quickly things can get out of hand. John B. Calhoun illustrated that within the framework of too many occupying too little, there existed the seeds of demise. Maybe you’re right, maybe information can make a difference in this mess, my time in fighting racism in this life has shown that on occasion someone gets it, so best to you sir, and keep up the great writing. Seldom do we agree, but so what, you’re right to say what you believe and my right to disagree with it are what make us stronger not weaker!

  4. First I agree with your thought process. I hate racism and it is eroding the very foundation of our great country. All men are created equal! Adding to that all men are created in Gods image. The bible does not say all white men, or black men, etc. The bible also says love one another as we love ourselves. Pretty simple we are create in the image of our maker and we need to love each other. It is a choice not a feeling. As a white man I cannot fully understand what my black friends, and business partners have to go thru on a daily basis, but I do know it is not the same as me and that is sad. I have never been pulled over and asked ” Whose car is this?” of course assuming it could not be their car. I personally don’t see race, but I know that is rare. I pray our country and reconcile the current state of hate running rampant and pushed by the media. The golden rule is a good place to start. ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

  5. First off, great read and keep up the good efforts. In my opinion, “We must find a way to put others in our lives first: ALL the time” should be referenced through reading and action more often. All I knew about God were that some people believed in him, others did not and he created the earth in six days then rested on the seventh. I did not hate or love god, I just did not know God.
    At first, putting others first, taught me to be less selfish and self-centered. Then came a genuine care and concern for other people and taught me to treat others like I would like to be treated. Then I was able to believe God could and that he did forgive me. If God forgave me then surely I could forgive others.

    Putting others first is how I went from knowing a little ABOUT God to KNOWING God.

    So yes, “We must find a way to put others in our lives first: ALL the time”

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