Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Racism in America

The media coverage of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida was non-stop.  Everyone it seemed had an opinion.  A few minutes before the verdict was read Kim asked me what I thought it would be.  "Guilty," I said.  So I was surprised when the "not guilty" verdict was prounounced.

My guess is that a vast majority of Americans, especially African-Americans, were not surprised, but angered by the verdict.  Here is another example of laws that appear to benefit the majority to the detriment of the minority.

I have been listening to the national debate about racial profiling and stand your ground laws.  What I hear, especially from our president, is that I have no idea what it feels like to be pre-judged based only on the color of my skin.  So I have tried to get a sense what it must feel like to have brown skin and walk into an elevator and notice a white woman clutching her purse more tightly.  I try to imagine the experience of people avoiding walking
too closely to me on a sidewalk.

Listen to black America and they are telling their stories of being profiled.  Parents feel the need to tell their children the subtleties of how to get along in this country as African-Americans with a long history of oppression by European-Americans.

As people of faith God calls us to work for justice which is nothing more than removing  barriers that keep people unequal and undervalued.  God's love is given in equal measure to all of us.  I encourage those who have experienced the privileges that come with being part of the majority to walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has not.  Now is the time for compassion and understanding.  Listen to your African-American friends, neighbors, and coworkers as well as other ethnic groups.  One of the greatest gifts we can offer is the ability to truly listen to the heart of another.  May their stories be told in ways that lead us to witness the glory of God's kingdom coming on earth!

Grace Always,

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