What is “it”? — Why America Needs a Slavery Museum

It’s an important piece of our cultural puzzle to be reminded why there are racial tensions in our nation, in our communities, in our families; to be reminded that even after generations gone by, the echo of slavery infects our culture. The ones who say this isn’t so are often the very ones who reverence the Confederacy, who declare “heritage, not hatred”. I find this to be so ironic that it’s painful.

Just some thoughts on racism…

Racism is not a faith issue; It is a love issue. The opportunity to push forward in the face of differences becomes imperative as we seek to reveal the goodness of God. Racism robs us of community and sidelines us to minimal interactions. Yes, we will always see color but color does not have to be the determining factor for us to release and accept love from others. My young cousin says vehemently, “Racism is learned.” How man y times have we heard such language? The problem is that if it is learned then is it possible to unlearn it.

Honestly, racism and love mix about as well as oil and water. They can be in the same container but they will never blend. So for a person to say they operate in love but hates a group of people is problematic and at best untrue. Racism automatically places a blinder in front of your eyes…regardless. For many whites, racism is a non-essential but for the majority of blacks it is an everyday reality. Yes, racism is not a faith issue but my faith is surely impacted by racism.

How I see God is deeply impacted by episodes of racism? I may not understand it or may not be able to articulate it but racism is a major participate in our understanding of who God is. James Cone articulates this well in God of the Oppressed, as he shows, that for white people, the impact of racism is not a functional necessity as it is in the life of black people. Because it is such an everyday occurrence, we (black people) must rehearse our responses much the same as one prepares for a play. That may strike some as odd but in my world it is a reality. My father told me what to do when the police stopped me. I told my son what to do if the police stopped him. I told my son what to say when the police stopped him. We rehearsed what to say when those sworn to protect us become the threat or the perceived threat.

It is sad that as Christians we have failed to break through the structure of racism and allotted for our own treehouses in our own backyards –the church. We have exegeted our racism and made it doctrinally permissive. We have made a mockery of the faith and called it denominations.

Thank God that the younger generations have a different perspective of the chaos that we have made of humanity.

The Color of Flood Relief

As I was going from place to place the last week, I realized something interesting — there was very little distinction between who helped whom. I saw neighbors in neighborhoods worrying over every house, people working together in very diverse groups, and people stopping in the street to chat. This wasn’t my realization though. 

My realization is that I really like post -flood Columbia. 

I mean I like it a lot. 

I know soon we’ll get back to our busy lives and largely ignore each other again, but what’s happening right now  is the Columbia I want to live all the time. It kind of feels like the end of A Christmas Carol, and I’m wishing or could be Christmas every day. 
That’s where I am right now. I’m grateful. 

My hope and my prayer for postdiluvian Columbia is that we’ll allow our hearts to remain open, that we’ll continue to see a more cooperative relationship among churches despite race or denomination; that neighbors will continue to stop each other on the street. 

My prayer is that the waters in which we were submerged were a baptismal deluge, and that we’re raised together into new life. Maybe not a perfect life yet, but I’ll take what I can get and celebrate every small victory I can. 
Keep it up my friends, thank God for you all.