How race makes us bitter

bitterness_by_hearthy-d5dpjgt“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and through it many become defiled.”

~ Hebrews 12.15, NRSV

Race gives us permission to think and do and be a lot of things, whether they are healthy or not, Christlike or not.  It is a special pass, an acceptable excuse because we all understand.  “It’s a race thing.”

You had to do it.  Race made you do it.  What else did we expect given the future outlook, the present predicament, the history of our relationship with “those people,” right?

Bitterness is one such result of our relationship with persons of other cultures for which race is an issue and/or plays a major role in our interactions and interpretations of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.  Bitterness is the consequence of years of unresolved conflict, unheard arguments and centuries of the silent treatment.  We have gone to bed angry too many days.

Bitterness is the result of a meeting between anger, disappointment and resentment.  Any time these three feelings are together, bitterness will result.  And race causes these feelings to be present more often than not.  In fact, they come together so often that it is more like a family gathering, an unhealthy reunion of sorts.

Race makes us bitter because the social construct was founded upon injustice, inequality and self- serving comparisons.  It was created not to make us content but competitive, to say that these people are the winner and these were created to be losers.

But we all lose when we cultivate the fruit of bitterness, when we grow it, market it, sell it wholesale.  It has defiled us all; all of our souls are dirty, rooted in this rottenness.

Race makes us bitter; let God makes us better through His grace. Let go of race and its bitterness.  This is my prayer.  Amen.

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5 thoughts on “How race makes us bitter

      1. I have heard a number of times on NPR a host talk mention the ‘problem of race’. Every time, I think – if they were being forthright they would say the ‘problem of racism’. When they say the ‘problem of race’ I feel they are trying to blame humans for being born into different phenotypes, rather than blaming humans for bias, prejudice, xenophobia and racism.

      2. There are many anthropologists who agree with you that there are no races – only clines.

        However, the 1964 civil rights act believes there are races, the census believes there are races, college applications believe there are races and racists believe there are races. That’s a lot of people to sway their opinion.

        I think trying to convince people there are no races is like trying to convince people that paper money is only worth the paper it’s printed on. The believe in the value of money is what makes it real.

        We know people are discriminated against based on how they look, so whatever we call it – the discrimination is real – and what meets the eye is something that should be defined in order to discuss the issue, and in order to stop the discrimination and abuse.

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