Conversations about race are almost always done in secret, open for public discussion only when it involves a celebrity or a politician. Old myths rear their heads, our unspoken rules are repeated to members in our cultural group, stories of offense involving race are exchanged and we say, “This is why things are the way that they are.” We resolve that because one person repeats a lie that we will never hear the truth. So, we become the lie and it becomes our coping mechanism.
And the nature of the conversation doesn’t change. There is no reflection on why we do what we do in matters of race. More often than not, we repeat what has been said to us and we do what has been done to us. We have no position of our own when it comes to race. We have never questioned it, never attempted to evaluate it or challenge its perceptions. When we talk about race, we talk about people. We never talk about the real problem.
We never give voice to what race has done to us, discuss the people that have been hurt by race, how race has impacted our social and spiritual lives, how it makes us feel about ourselves and others. We never talk about the lies we lead in order to maintain the social deception of race. Instead, we wear the mask and we have never lived our lives without it. But, how long will this masquerade go on? How long will we pretend that this is the way that things are supposed to be, that we can do nothing about race?
I challenge you to not just talk about race but to think about it. Think about it with your heart not just your head. Whatever is racial and race- driven, whatever is prejudicial and stereotypical, whatever is skin “color” inspired, whatever is hate motivated, whatever we hold to be true about the socially designated “other”, whatever statistical reports and social commentaries that support it, whatever the news reports and other media lead you to believe– think on these things. Don’t just talk about it. Think about it. Think about what you’re saying and what you allow to be said about another human being, created in the image of God. Think about these things.