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Is Everyone A Closet Racist? And, Can We See Eye to Eye, or at Least Try!
By: Toni Tucker
This hubpage was inspired by a Facebook post I made concerning the first speech President Barack Obama made in Ireland in May, 2011. It was a moving speech and hints of emotion were in the Presidents voice and tone as he delivered a message that I said, "gave me goosebumps."
Subsequently, one of my Facebook friends, replied that President Obama did nothing for her but "make her nauseous." I asked her "why" he made her nauseous and the conversation became very revealing and interesting as other comments came in. There was way too much for me to post on Facebook, even in the notes section.
I want to preference this reply by saying, I am not trying to cause any racial "disharmony" nor am I making excuses for writing this. But, in order to proceed as a Nation, as a people, in- particularly as Christians, we must look at the past, the present, and forward to the future, in order to more successfully walk as one in Christ.
This is what came to mind...
It is vitally important for EVERYONE to understand American History. As an African American, I had plenty of African American History Classes, especially in college. Many, have NEVER had to take mandatory African American History classes. Many will never truly understand the history or plight of blacks in America from slavery to Nadir (the lowest point for blacks in America from slavery to the 40's-60's).
History does not lie. And I don't carry any animosity towards my sisters and brothers of other ethnicity's, I love all people. I look at the spirit of a person and base my decisions on that. Not, color. Jeez, I might end up marring a person of another ethnicity. Only God knows.
I just want the Black experience to be understood and appreciated. Then, we can REALLY dialog on a plato that is more unified. The "Race Card" is not a game. It is real and should be taken that way.
I challenge all of my friends of all ethnicity's that it is vitally important for EVERYONE to understand American History.
There are many ideologies and thoughts that all people have on given issues. As Christians, we believe that "fear" is not from or of God. Fear torments the mind. Fear attacks and can suppress progress. Fear, can drive some people crazy. Fear is of the devil.
Fear of Blacks, fear of black men, fear of Black Leadership, fear of the neighborhood changing when a black family moves in, fear of the complexion of our national Leaders and the complexion of too many "others" can cause people to revolt.
We have for so long been inundated with perpetual negative images of Blacks, from Sambos and Mammies, to Pimps and Hoes, to welfare Queens and Dope dealers that, psychologically and philosophically speaking, having a Black Male run it for "Real" and not just in the movies is disturbing for many who have carried and believe the negative images that they have been taught and view via, TV shows, movies, and certain music videos. Playing up these stereotypes that we don't speak well, we are less, that "there goes the neighborhood" when blacks move in still exists in many settings across America.
Hence, the thought that "there goes the country" after President Obama was elected by a majority of white Americans, went into effect and was voiced in large part by "conservative" soon to be, down with Obama, he is the boogie man, the devil incarnate - fear mongers.
Do you see and understand how the negativity transcends into a more "modern day" racism?
I am a "conservative" Christian when it comes to political hot-potato issues that yank at everyone's chain. Not just the "Obama care" health plan, and "Stem Cell" research, but more sensational and polarizing issues like, Civil Unions and Abortion. I am steeped in the rudimentary beliefs of Biblical scripture and sound doctrine. Yet, as an African American woman, I am able to see through the many layers of what is real political objection, to pure - defiance towards that fact that "A Black Man" is the President of our Country!
Many are in denial about this, and can't seem to understand why "The Tea Party" (The negative version, that displays signs of Pres. Obama as a monkey, being hanged with a noose, and the mocking taunting, mutt and Jeff characterizations, are so upsetting and unsettling to the black community at large). While, there are others, who are enlightened, educated, and sensitive to the plight of Blacks in America.
I challenge all of my friends of all ethnicity's to study history!
Since we have been bombarded with negative stereotypes of blacks, in particular black men, there is a tendency for even Republican Christians to be elusive and numb toward the consistent negative demonetization of our first black President. Since the black male has always been beaten down since slavery as chattel and as a breeder like a horse - to the man who will rape, steal, kill, rob, lie, and spew broken English; It's no wonder many have joined the "Tea Party" bandwagon, the segment that displays shamelessly, epithets of Obama, ropes and nooses, and cartoonization of him being a monkey.
Isn't it befitting, after all, that's what American has come to expect based on the stereotyping of blacks. So what makes Obama better? So, he is half white, but when you see him, he looks black. That's criminal alone, right? Forget that he is a well educated man that has ascended to the highest office in our Nation. A Graduate of Columbia University, and Harvard Law School, Magna Cum Laude! Yet, he shouldn't be trusted, he's the devil incarnate, evil, the cursed one. At least according to fear mongers.
What have we been taught from childhood about "others?"
Why do we think about others the way we do? What have we been taught since childhood in our homes about others? What was said by our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about, "others?"
Have you ever done any of these things when around others? Especially, if they are not often seen in your area? In a parking lot, i.e. grocery store, bank, library, etc., when you see a person of a different ethnicity "fumbling" around in a car, do you "look twice" and if you just got out of your car, proudly, defiantly, and intentionally, hit your "alarm" to show that your car is protected - just in case?
Or, better yet, do you immediately hit the car lock button, if you see an "other" walking near your car, for them to only, get into the car "next' to you that you were admiring? Maybe it was a Benz, or BMW that this Docter, Lawyer, Principal, or CEO of color drove off in.
Or, if you live in a rural setting where it's predominately populated with people of your color, do you - immediately think about or actually call the police when you see an "other" going through the mailbox on the street, or fidgeting with a door knob to a house? To only learn later, that the "other" actually "lives" there?"
Do you find yourself patting your back pocket when an "other" passes by you in a crowded situation, just to "make sure" that your wallet in still in tact? Or, do you hold your purse, "with a death grip" when you notice an "other" or a few "others" about to approach you from the opposite direction on a street, only to pass you by without incident? Or do you hold on to that pocket book for dear life, when on an elevator and an "other" gets on with you? We are all probably guilty of participating in some form of this mostly "unwarranted" behavior at times or all the time.
If it was up to the images that we are inculcated with from the 10:00 o'clock news, we find some "justification" in our reactions.
But, we have to be a judge of character too! Not all people have it out for us, we can't paint everyone with a broad stroke-brush and put them in a "predilective" category either. That's goes for all sides.
Have you ever met someone who is of a different heritage, and spoke in "slang" that you "otherwise" never speak, thinking you can "relate" to this person, only to hear him or her speak back with an British accent, or "really clear" and "articulate?" Did it "throw you" for a loop? Hahaha...
Congratulations, my friend, you have passed the racial stereotyping test!
I am not saying that there are not some truths, which sometimes validate our precautions and reactions. My advice, is to just be normal, and not freak out like a bigoted Archie Bunker, or an "over-sensitive" race card playing complainer!
Yes, statistically speaking, black men disproportionately fill most of our nations jails, due to crimes that often they have committed. But we must have an honest dialogue as to 'why' this is happening. What can we do to change this accepted image and vicious cycle?
How can the Body of Christ effectively tackle the cycle of crime that traps black young men? Not just black men, but men of all ethnicity's? We must recognize that there are some legitimate fears that people have, but why do they exist in the first place? The prevailing fear is a "spirit" that the church must recognize and put on the top of its' list to come against. Ethno-centrism, fear, hatred, bigotry, sins of the fathers, evil, and manipulation. All strongholds that are demonic, that we must pull down in prayer! The church has the power and the word to merge and show the world that, we are one in Christ!
Thinking back to the mid 90's quote from Rodney King, "Can we all just get along?"
God must really laugh at us sometimes...
Why is President Obama demonized by many white Christians? Is this demonetization of him based on the bigotry that was passed down and secretly shared in the family setting? What's wrong with a REAL black man running the most powerful nation in the world? Why did he have to prove he was a natural citizen? No one else was challenged to that degree? And is it difficult for some to accept him as capable of being able to run this Nation and Lead with respect?
Besides, where were the Tea Partier's and ultra conservative Christians when Clinton was getting blow jobs by Monica Lewinsky in the in the White House in the Oval office? Where was the outright public outrage by the many Tea Partiers? Where were the cries of him in mass, being labeled as the Antichrist? It seems to me, to be ladened with hypocrisy to the max!
Why does this segment of objectors in the form of the Tea Party try to legitimately base their argument that they are "paying taxes without representation?" They spew their let's "take back" our Nation dogma as if President Obama is not "their Leader." He's immoral, because all ultra-conservative, right-winged Christians, NEVER sin or make mistakes.
And, after all, this is their Nation, not President Obama's or anyone like him. They question the Salvation of anyone who voted for him. "I can't see how any Christian voted for Obama!" As if they are God's only chosen and love God more than anyone else.
Thank God that he is the one who will ultimately welcome us into Heaven. Bigots, racists, and the prejudice, don't have Carte blanche into heaven.
Isaiah 64:In all of our righteousness we are as filthy rags; note to self-righteous tea partiers ensconced in this ideology.
Go back even further, to the former Jim Crow laws and the grandfather taxes unjustly imposed on blacks in America.
Where were are the ultra-conservative, right-winged Christians back then? Why didn't the grandparents come to help us out who called themselves lovers of Jesus back in the day? What's up with this insipid modern day racism? It's still exist today in a clever new way! We need deliverance like mad in the body of Christ across the Nation!
It is true, there are no scared cows, from the Political arena to the Pulpit. Men stumble and are found out all the time. But where is the love of Christ for Obama, at least the true prayers for him, even if you believe he is the anti-Christ? He's not the Antichrist. I personally don't ascribe to all of his policies, abortions, homosexual marriages are the most prominent issues that turn me off. But, as a black woman, understanding our history, I was proud to see him elected as the First Black President of the United States of America! There's no shame in my game there.
I wentz at mentioning the name of Rush Limbaugh, but, I remember when I really listened to him while he made me "nauseous" (ha) and how he proudly boasted on how Anglo Saxons "took" what they wanted when it came to slavery, other islands, conquering and pillaging the women, and killing the old men, how they swindled the Native Americans of their land, and killed whomever they deemed unnecessary. He went on a rampage about how "brilliant" and "masterful" they were when it came to Manifest Destiny. And his ego went on and on, in arrogance and bigotry, and ethno-centristic pride (white pride). Limbaugh justified it all as being more sophisticated and smarter than all "others".
It seemed that we were making some sort of progress in our otherwise still deeply divided nation, along political and racial lines. Just check out the complexion of many churches across the nation at 11 am on Sunday! There have been some great strides to cross over and worship together in Christ. Yet, for the large part, we are yet, as far apart as the East is from the West! Thank God for the few church's that have been able to bridge gaps. However, there are still issues even within these few successes. How many blacks head the trustee boards at mostly all white church's? And vice versa? Where's the trust factor when you nuance the "mixed church's?"
It is my contention that we must work harder, even if it hurts. Even if you don't want to hear it, or face it, or think about it, or talk about it. The "Race Card" must be played to fully understand when it's being abused, misused, or right on the bull's eye!
Understanding the underpinnings of society and how it has shaped our perceptions of others is a step in the right direction. Knowing the systemic reasons as to why we behave as we behave, helps clear the air. Riding ourselves from ethno-centristic pride is what is required of us as Christians. For we are no longer, Jews nor Gentiles, but ONE in the Spirit!
We as Christians must be the salt of the earth, we must be able to know intellectually and spiritually the hurts and pains of one another! How can we effectively merge and withstand the evil world if we don't get this fundamental understanding down packed? The world will laugh at us as hypocrites as they already do. We must be honest first to move forward as one in Christ. No, as blacks we are not monolithic in our ideologies, nor are all whites, Hispanics, Asians, or aliens.
Is everyone a closet racist? Are you?
Can we see eye to eye, or at least try?
Here's some appropriate scriptures to dwell on!
Romans 12:1-2 tells us that the way we are "transformed," the way we learn to live Christ's Life, is by the renewing of our minds - putting off our own negative and corrupt thinking and putting on God's Thoughts. As we continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds , we want two important questions to be answered. 1) What is "mind renewal?" and, 2) Why is "mind renewal" so important?
Ephesians 4:22-24 exhorts us to "... put off concerning the former conversation (behavior) the old man (old self), which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind ; and that ye put on the new man (the new self), which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
A "renewed mind," then, is one that has done two things: It has "put off" any sin (any hurt, doubt, fear, rebellion, self-centeredness, lust, bitterness, etc.), any corrupt thinking, or any barrier that would quench God's Spirit and has "put on" the Mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).