My family roots are from the deep South. And despite the stereotypes of southerners, I learned early that racism is wrong, *and* that it isn’t the sole province of people like me who lack a heavy dose of melanin. Two childhood memories:
1) My father correcting his older brother after the latter used the “n-word” in the presence of my sister and me. He was told in no uncertain terms that word was unacceptable in our house.
2) Watching a 5th grade classmate–a minority girl who’d already been held back a year–physically attack our teacher (a rather small woman) after being corrected on some minor issue. I heard terms that day I’d never heard before in my life, and it took a bit to realize they were the “n-word” equivalents for my own people group. You never quite forget seeing the principal and another adult physically restrain a classmate after she’s let into your teacher.
Supposedly we’ve made great strides in race relations since my childhood. The election of the first (half) African-American president was supposed to signal a major milestone on that road of progress. But racial healing will never come to this country so long as it continues to self-divide socially and politically into competing camps. When a presidential candidate apologizes(!!) for saying what should be obvious –“all lives matter”– to a coalition of activists focused solely on the lives of just one ethnic group, you know we still have a long, long, way to go. But I suppose we should expect the simple truth of “all lives matter” to be lost in a nation where hundreds of thousands of unborn lives are snuffed out each year, and their organs distributed casually like spare parts. It’s worth taking a moment to note the tragic irony that the same liberal groups insisting somehow only “black lives matter” have no problem with abortion, which takes a disproportionate toll on that community… as it was cruelly intended to.
It doesn’t help, either, when the government insists on basing its unconstitutional social engineering projects on racial data, and when so many politicians seek votes based on appealing to real or perceived racial grievances and self-interest.
What concerns me most is that so many of the trends over the last decade have people like me — who harbor no desire to judge anybody solely on their skin color — wondering if we’re now in an era where the shoe will deliberately be put on the other foot. Many groups are eagerly waiting for the day we no longer have any ethnic majority in this nation… and that day is rapidly approaching. Instead of a sense that this means we can move forward as a diverse but mutually respectful team, I detect a distinct tone of “payback’s a *****, whitey” coming from this crowd. To those who think a creaky empire made up of squabbling ethnicities is somehow an ideal utopia of ‘diversity,’ I just have one thing to say: take a look at the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and the history of its successor states. It’s not pretty.
These leftist coalitions need to rethink how they are defining “progress,” because if their goal is merely to put a different group, whether the NAACP or National Council of La Raza at “the top of the heap,” they will be in for a rude awakening. I have taught my children to accept people as they are and to recognize that every person bears the Imago Dei — we are all of equal worth in God’s eyes. But our society increasingly rejects the Christian worldview, which puts that equality at the foot of the cross further out of reach. So I have also taught my children they have a right to defend themselves. And I’m sure I’m not the only one…