What inspires our belief in race? Why do we have so much faith in this social construct? Is it because we built it that we take pride in it, that we cannot let it go?
For me and I suppose so many others, race creates more questions than answers. In fact, the more that I study race, the more curious I become as to how it has maintained our interest and dominated our understanding of self, neighbor and God. A most pressing question for me now is, “What is the inspiration behind our declarations of race and what motivates us to continue to share this social belief system?”
We know that race is not biologically real and has been scientifically disproven; still, we believe in it. For all of our “progress” as post- modern people, we can’t seem to move beyond race. We know that race was not created in order for us to better understand ourselves, our purpose and inherent worth. We can trace it back to a person: Johann Friedrich Blumenbach; yet, we continue to allow race to inform our theology and the practice of our faith.
It is our willful ignorance of this truth that propels the identity forward to each generation. We lack the motivation and the interest in discovering our true selves. We’ve heard the message of race before but it continues to inspire us because it elevates and empowers our flesh.
The fact is that we want to be so far removed from God and God’s sovereignty that we are willing to accept race and its social conditions despite its injustices, inconveniences and inconsistencies. The prickly truth is we would rather live the lie than accept the truth that we are made in God’s image. We would rather worship the creature than the Creator (Romans 1.25). It is the possibility of divinity a part from God that inspires us to live as racial beings, practicing segregation, singing stereotypes, praising prejudice.