Deconstructing race, tearing down the linguistic, legal and living structures that support the defacing of the imago Dei in all human beings is hard work. So is keeping a racialized group propped up to look down their noses at others not chosen to be white.
It is easier to simply rinse and repeat after race, its prejudices and stereotypes than to act on and act out our baptismal identity. Dead with Christ, we rise to transcend all categories (Galatians 3.27-28, Colossians 3.11).
Because it is not enough to say that Jesus’ good news is raceless, which is not synonymous with being color- blind. Pretending that we don’t see that persons are treated differently due to the social coloring of skin does not help. Neither does declaring that we are post- racial because we are far from it– though I can see a “kin- dom” coming.
No, you and I must do the work of demonstrating it. By stepping out of, not ordering and packing cultural groups in the boxes that race comes in.
This work begins with us. We give race a language. We make marginalization and minoritization legal. We created race and it lives because we won’t let it die. So, we must question it faithfully until we have absolutely no faith in race.
So, who are we hating now? Who are we picking on, bullying and mocking now? For the usual reasons or has it changed? Which places are we not permitting access? What are we keeping to and for ourselves?
Let me go and get my signs. No _______ allowed.
Hatred is monotonous. More of the same old, same old, it seems to never go out of style and is sized to fit every generation. But I don’t want to live with it. I want to live a life of spontaneous, unstructured and unpredictable love.
Because hating other people is such a drab, routine and flat way to live. It is so predictable, so overdone. I view it as life lived as a re-run. I’ve seen this all before. This has been done before.
And I want action, new action in our lives that shows how we deconstructed and then defied a four- hundred- year- old lie. Because we are raceless. Let’s find and feature our deepest meanings, the truths of our souls. Let race and its progeny be called a lie.
Because hating each other and our true ourselves is a flat line. A racialized life is no life at all. Espousing colonizing identities like black and white ensure that we see and say nothing new and nothing more than I hate you.
3 thoughts on “The Monotony of Hatred: Race has nothing new to say”
I continue to appreciate your work and your views.
Permit me to offer a compliment and to ask a question, to which I would appreciate if you could offer insight.
First the compliment. As a writing style, thank you for handling words “black” and “white” equally when describing the immutable characteristic of skin color. Styles and opinions vary on this point of style, and I don’t have an opinion either way, other than both descriptors should be handled the same as a way for the writer to indicate they come from a perspective of neutrality or equality. In my view, to capitalize one without capitalizing the other shows a bias that undercuts the writers’ message (whichever word is capitalized when the other is not and for whatever reason). Again, thanks, I think your consistent handling of those descriptors is a nuance that further supports your creditability.
On to my question. While participating in a small group conversation with other seminary trained and ordained ministers, I took the position that I view and acknowledge another professing Christians first as followers of Christ and then by whatever characteristics may be necessary or handy or desired (in the context of this discussion, that characteristic being skin color). Another minister took the position that he and others like him should be first viewed and acknowledged as a black man, and then as a follower of Christ. I am loath to present an either/or question but do you have a suggestion which is the better position regarding a Christian’s approach to other Christian? Or is there perhaps a both/and solution here that this other minister and I missed?
So that I don’t miss your response, please feel free to email directly in addition to any public reply. Thanks!
Yes, I have no intentions of capitalizing either black or white. It does not help me in my work of clarifying and deconstructing race and its progeny.
Also, such a good question. Regardless of my views on the sociopolitical construct of race and my lifelong commitment to undermine its credibility in describing our human being and belonging, I respect the way persons want to be addressed and/ or identified. However, I am aware that not wanting to be identified as African American but rather choosing to identify as black is an ongoing discussion for this community. The lingering effects of American slavery and African Americans’ cultural/ personal/ social/ spiritual disconnect is a truly sad story. I identify as African American, choosing nationality over race, of course.
In addition, I lean heavily on Galatians 3.27-28 as well as Colossians 3.11 in terms of my identity as a Christian and which identity comes first. It is my position that one’s Christian identity should submerge all others as an expression of unity with Christ. I am presently working on my dissertation, which centers our baptismal identity and look forward to sharing more of my findings.
Thanks for the reply, which is helpful. I look forward to reading more, perhaps your dissertation when it’s complete.