If we love persons according to race, if our love is racially prescribed and motivated, a love that is demonstrated according to the social coloring of skin, then we do not love as God loves. We do not love with the love of Christ. I would go so far as to say that we do not love at all for God is love and the doctrines of race are a supreme expression of hatred. If you love persons according to the social construct of race, then the love of God is not in you. If you must hate someone else in order to love yourself then your self- love and with it, your self- understanding are forfeited. Hate is neither the source nor the progenitor of love.
“For God so loved the world that He gave” (John 3.16). This love is for all of the world. It is not separated or categorized but God’s gives each of us God’s undivided love. God’s love gives to us what we need, delivers us before we even know what ensnares us, catches us before we are even aware that we are falling. And we all need this love for it is a love that is expressed because of the good that God desires for all of humanity to experience. It is given because God knows that it is the best love for us. This love does not take away our self- esteem in order to promote itself but wanting the very best for us, gives of itself. God’s Son was given, a part of God’s self sacrificed so that we might have the opportunity to live in fellowship with God.
God’s love is unconditional. There are no stipulations to discern, no fine print to read, no contracts to sign as this is a love covenant. We are loved by God before we know that we are to love God. Thus, we cannot do anything to earn it or to gain more of it. Besides, our love for God does not begin with us but is in response to as we love God because God first loved us (I John 4.19).
But, this is not how race loves us. The love of race is hierarchical, divisive, unjust, self- serving, self- promoting and biased. Race need not know us to judge whether or not we are to be loved; race need only look at the social coloring of our skin. And the love of race is predetermined. It only loves those who are socially colored white. It does not love all of the world’s inhabitants. Consequently, gaining the love of race makes us proud and likewise, arrogant as we begin to think of ourselves more highly than we should (Romans 12.3).
The love of race is also not without conditions as you must look, sound, act and believe this way or that. In order to be loved by race, you must be socially colored white. Race loves us based on the texture of our hair, the size of our nose and lips, the shape of our eyes and the sound of our voice. The love that race has for socially colored white people is non- transferrable to other socially colored groups so socially colored white people cannot be the friends or neighbors or spouses of socially colored brown/ black/ red/ yellow/ beige people. We cannot be compassionate or empathetic or undertanding toward one another. This is just the way that the racialized life goes.
The love of race is not comparable to or synonymous with the love of God. For race so loves socially colored white people that race gives social privileges and favors to them only. Race sacrifices the presence of other people groups for one social color. The love of race does not give but take away. It is for this reason that the love of race does not bring us together but drives us a part as race has an obvious favorite; however, there is no favoritism with God (Romans 2.11).
Sadly, the prize that we strive for is whiteness; this is the high calling (cp. Philippians 3.12-14). And if we are drawn to this, then we have become infatuated with or perhaps, have fallen in love with race. Today, I ask God to give us the courage to walk away from race, the strength to sever our relationship despite its social benefits. I ask that God would overwhelm us with the presence of God’s love in order that we might draw others into this love relationship with God. Amen.