A Map Marred with Hate

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 
-Galatians 3:28


This may seem like a weird, uncomfortable, controversial topic.
....and you would be right.

But I can't get this off my heart, off my mind. I just can't let this issue go. In writing this, I am well aware that most people will not agree with me. People may dismiss what I have to say because I am a middle class white girl. People may dismiss it because we have, after all, moved past slavery. We have revoked laws that have historically separated races, namely Caucasians and African Americans. It is becoming more common to date and marry outside of our race (less than 1% of marriages in America, but hey, progress is progress). And most people nowadays would say that they don't hold racist ideologies, and that we have moved past this dark part of our history. Stop beating the dead horse. Talking about racism only keeps it alive...when in fact, its become quite irrelevant. Younger generations do not show these racist tendencies. In the past, I would have agreed with this statement.

Now, I'm not so sure. 

In order to love completely and fully with the love of Christ- we must recognize our biases. Our tendency to show partiality, something that James 2 goes to lengths to warn us about. To recognize struggles of those we might no longer consider oppressed. And most importantly, to put ourselves in check. To realize how we contribute to the age of "new racism." To be aware of our actions, the stereotypical images presented in the media (ex. the "Bachelor" as the representation of white dating, "Flavor of Love" as the representation of AA dating), of the jokes we make, of our ways of thinking. 

It's not wrong to recognize color, to recognize our differences. Those differences are beautiful. They make us unique. It would be rather silly to claim that we are "color-blind," when clearly we don't all look the same. But when we start categorizing people, referring to people by their race, or as a "them," or saying things like "you know how (insert race here) people are." How crazy is it to assume that every individual in a group of people is the same? We rebel against being stereotyped, generalized, grouped.... and yet we do it to people all the time. I hear it out of the mouths of people I know to be people with good hearts, who would never intentionally treat someone differently because of their race. I have also heard people speak in a way that's intentionally degrading to someone with a different skin color. Regardless-whether subtle or blatant- with our words, and our thinking, we keep racism alive. Even when were "just kidding." Refusing to talk about it does not make it go away. And when you really examine the history of slavery and racism in America, the images that were intentionally perpetuated to separate the races, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how these play out today.

This article gives a reality check about "white privilege" in America. It gives a list of things that in a white world, we completely take for granted. It lists things that we never have to consider or worry about- things that never occurred to me until I read this. It's by no means a guilt trip....but definitely a dose of reality.

This is another site I highly encourage every person to look at. When I saw this about a year ago, it shook me. This map details all the different racist hate groups that are still alive in our nation today- from the KKK to neo-nazis to self appointed minute men dedicated to "taking care" of "those" people trying to cross the border- even to the point of murder.Yes, these groups still exist. When I saw this map, I was floored. There is a group in my own hometown. Groups formed solely on a foundation of hatred...

a HATE map. A nation- an advanced, industrialized, jim crow law and slavery free land- marred by hate. This should not be. 

Racism is not dead.