The election season is almost over and we’ve seen more changes than winter, spring, summer and fall combined. We can’t prepare for it. We can’t plan for it. Exhausted by the debates and the news reports that follow, I think that I am experiencing political fatigue. I am counting down the days until it’s over.
But, then I thought, “It won’t be over.” There will be another campaign and another and another. In our capitalistic society, there is always something to buy into and someone else that we believe can speak for us. We will hit the reset button, looking for someone else to live through. Race is no different.
As Christians, there is a daily battle, an inner debate between spirit and flesh. To be sure, it is a contest; winner take soul. The two sides are campaigning for our vote, our pledge of allegiance, our support. Both say that they will work hard for us, that they are on our side, that the stakes are high. “Who we are and will be is on the line. Our children’s futures and the generations to come will be impacted.”
The Flesh Party, shall we say, is represented by the social construct of race. While there are others that compete for our identity, the social construct of race uses all mediums to connect with us. It even makes stops at our family gatherings and churches. It will attempt to pass itself off as another member of the family or worse still, our God, coming in our favorite shade to identify with us.
However, race does not really connect with us. It will not represent us but the interests of white supremacy, which is not a people but a political ideology used to place power and wealth into the hands of those voted most likely to succeed. A rigged system, there is only one color on the ballot and all votes are not counted. No democratic process here; this is not for all the people.
So, before you and I go claiming race, repeating its prejudices and accepting its stereotypes, we should be reminded that race is but a candidate, representing a system of privilege and not people. Yes, peel the sticker off the bumper of your car. Take the sign off your lawn. Stop checking the box. And consider all of your options. Race is just one of them.