The root of the word question is the word quest, which is defined as “the long and arduous search for something.” In my questioning of the social construct of race, what am I hoping to find? I am hoping to discover more of myself, to go deeper into the spiritual reality that is me, to see myself more fully alive in God and dead to race, to perceive myself more truly through the mind of Christ and a part from the false perceptions of race.
Questioning race has been a liberating journey and while I did not set out with an end in mind when I began writing, I am certainly content with the results of my walking away from race. I have written in previous posts about the spiritual discipline of questioning race. It is no authority and has no authority over my life and its meaning. Race will not interrogate me; I am its superior. Consequently, I find it to be a necessary and daily practice for those who seek to deny their racialized self in order to embrace their new identity and position in Jesus Christ.
Some times, asking a question can prove difficult. Ironically, we don’t ask questions because we don’t want to sound ignorant or be thought of as stupid. We would much rather appear as if we know it all. Sadly, life is no different from the classrooms that we have sat in. But, we can not take this approach when it comes to our identity and purpose. We must raise our hands and in doing so, raise up our lives and say, “I don’t know who I am. Do you?”
But, we must be certain of who the teacher is in the room: God. Race is but a student, a peer. It has the same answers that you have, copied directly from your life. So, go ahead. Raise your hand. Ask the questions of God and of race who pretends to be a god. But, ask the right questions, knowing its position.
I’ll go first. We are very comfortable questioning God so let me show you how to question race.
1. What is the meaning of race?
2. If you created us and we are made in your various images, then what do you, the image of perfection look like? And whether we are this socially colored image of perfection or not, why is the feeling the same? Why do we hate ourselves?
3. What is the meaning and purpose of the racialized life? Did you put us here solely to hate others and to love ourselves, to curse others and to bless ourselves? Why are we so afraid of each other? Will we ever stop fighting to be on top, to be the best socially colored group? How do we know who the winner is? If the fight is fixed and the winner chosen, then why fight at all? How long will we war with each other?
4. Why are human beings socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige? Why are we colored in?
5. What is your meaning and purpose for the social coloring of skin?
6. Why did you place so much meaning, value and purpose in the external being of humanity? Why is this life about appearance?
7. Why is race the answer to the question of who we are? Why is it a part of our identity?
8. How do we know that you exist? What is your purpose for the world and its inhabitants? What is the will of race?
9. Why does race allow, encourage and support our hatred and oppression of others? What kind of god are you?
10. What does race want from us and how do we know for certain?
11. Why is race real, believable, acceptable, true?
12. Why are we so afraid to leave race? Why are we so afraid of not being socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige?
13. Apart from race, who are we?
14. How does our belief in stereotypes assist us in loving ourselves, our neighbor and our God?
15. Why must God be socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige?
16. Who or what is race?
17. Who created stereotypes?
18. Why do we believe in and practice prejudice based on the social coloring of skin?
19. What happens to race when we die? Where does it go?
20. When did race begin?
Who answers these questions? We do. We are its messengers just as we are messengers of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The question is, “What is the inspiration behind our declarations concerning race?”