Jesus makes it pretty clear in the Bible that we are to love one another. And this means people of all colors, genders, etc. We believe racism is wrong, but what do we do about it? Here are a few steps to help fight racism.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23-24) Furthermore, in Matthew 6, Jesus says that “the eye is the lamp of the body, if your eye is healthy then your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.” The first step is to look deep and admit there is a problem. Whether we like it or not, all of our eyes are unhealthy in some way or another. We’ve all grown up with different biases, prejudices, and assumptions about different races. It’s time to examine those and ask forgiveness from God for seeing His people as less than exactly that, His people. Then, we need to face white privilege. Yes, it’s a thing and, yes, all white people have it. However, priviledge can be used in a good way just as much as it can in destructive ways. Use your priviledged voice to share God’s love for ALL people.
Listen to Others.
We need to listen to the voices of those in it. We need to educate ourselves and listen to people of color before we assume we know who they are and what they experience as people. As it says in Proverbs 18:15, “ The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” Listen to what they say. Listen with empathy and listen without assumptions. Maybe even take it a step further, or a step beyond what you are normally comfortable with, and follow anti-racism activists on social media, or read books and blogs from authors who are of different race, culture, perspective, or nationality from your own. You don’t have to agree with everything that everyone says, but the objective is getting another point of view and seeing not just current issues, but other people in a brand new way. It is amazing what you can see when you see it in another way that you never have before.
This is the tough one but you can start small. Get up and get involved. Speak up when you see or hear something racist. Don’t laugh at racist jokes. Sign a petition, make a phone call, or write a letter to local or national representatives when something is unjust. Learn about other people and their cultures. Attend a rally, march, vigil, event, parade, protest, or program. Donate to an organization fighting racism in affective and Christ-like ways. Lobby for government policies that place value on racial equality. Be a proactive parent by teaching your children to love everyone. Celebrate differences rather than being “color blind”. Jesus has taught us to love our neighbor and to speak up for the oppressed. “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) So when you take a stand against racism you take a stand for Jesus. And before any reconcilation takes place, a stand must be taken first.
These three things boil a complex issue down to one simply truth: love God and love people. ALL people.