“For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”
~ Ephesians 2.14, NRSV
There are those who say that it is impossible to put race behind us, that there is “No Such Place as ‘Post- Racial’ America”, that we cannot live with each other without pre-judging, discriminating and showing preference to those whose physical appearance we like. Such a simplistic explanation of our practice of racism points to how simple, superficial and silly it really is. Race has nothing to do with how we look but it an excuse for treating persons the way that we feel that they deserve to be treated and we will employ anything, human and/ or divine, to make our point.
And so long has the idea been with us that we have made it our identity. We have become racialized human beings. We have empowered our skin to rule over us and to be ruled over by others. Race is apart of who we are and how we live. It is no wonder why we believe that we cannot live without it, that we cannot imagine a life after race. But, what about life before it?
As Christians, we are not a people without hope. We have a Savior, whose power extends to that of race and any other social construct and can even move us beyond it. Jesus Christ is unique, not only in that he is the image of the invisible God and that he rose from the dead but that he is the embodiment of our peace. He is also the great Mediator, bringing people who were opposed to each other together. But, this should come as no surprise because he called us friends though we were once his enemies (Colossians 1.21).
Despite the ways of American society, we are a post- racial people, post- racial Christians because we serve a pre- racial God. We bear the image of God and it’s not colored (in). I suppose that this post should have been titled when as opposed to if we are to be post- racial because it is only a matter of time. Race will not be with us forever.
So, when we become post- racial, we will:
1. Stop believing in race and start believing in God.
2. Choose the image of God over the image(s) of race.
3. Stop practicing/ justifying/ legalizing/ teaching racism. Don’t pass it on or pass it down.
4. Take responsibility for our racist beliefs and actively rid ourselves of them.
5. Not be led by stereotypes and instead, be led by the Holy Spirit.
6. Not be counseled by prejudice. Allow the word of God to be your counselor.
7. End restrictive covenants. Choose people over profits.
8. Have more than one socially colored white/ black/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige friend.
9. Stop talking about colors and start talking about people and their cultures.
10. Stop having more faith in history and begin trusting in the newness and possibility of the future.