Tag Archives: aracial Chrisitianity

Race is not a body language

Race is not a body language.

It is not a form of nonverbal communication as one’s physical features do not actually communicate physical behaviors.  Because there must be a bad connection as the calls are all the same.  Black is bad, can’t be half bad but must be all bad, a bad apple that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, gives you bad vibes and is bad sign.  And bad news travels fast.  On the other hand, white is good, good to go, as good as gold and it is always good talking to you.  Yet, some have never had it so good.

Though many persons perceive it and employ it as such, race should not be coupled with facial expressions or the body’s movements.  More so, we cannot accurately read a person’s body language using the sociopolitical construct of race because it employs stereotypes, wrong and self- interested perceptions made right.  And they are ingrained, ground in, rubbed in.  They blend in well, so that we cannot tell that this is not our voice but the voice of an oppressor from hundreds of years past.

Oppressor and oppressed, we start to all sound alike.  Our words run together.  Evil travels in packs.  These conversations are circular, cyclical.  We never go anywhere and always end up where we started.  America has never left the plantation.

We think we know so much based solely on the so- called or better still, the social coloring of skin.  Based on light- skin, supposed white skin and the hides we have colored in beige, brown, red, yellow and black (Because I’ve never seen that, these colored people walking around anywhere.), we claim to know what a person is all about.  But I declare that you know nothing about me.

These racialized identities spout hearsay, group singular stories and bind them up as my own, pass them along as the gospel.  I have never liked playing the game telephone.  Human beings did not speak me into existence and they certainly cannot pass my identity along.  I cannot be repeated, captured by human lips, summed up by a single word, the totality of my existence expressed in flesh.  No, because I am a living soul and I will leave this skin behind along with old earth.

“Your kingdom come.”  We pray but still don’t get the message.  We still confuse the message, decline and don’t pick up on the message.  Forget the words you have made flesh and substitute them with our best guesses: beige, brown, black, red, yellow, white.

And these people on the telephone don’t know my message, why I am here on this day or any other.  If you say that I am black, then you have never heard me—because I would never say that.  And we have never had a proper introduction.  Because I am not a color.  I am God’s creation.  I am not a single characteristic or an adjective pretending to be a noun.

Instead, I am a complete sentence and “I am black or a black person” is not and never will be one.

Segregated Sundays: Conversations on Diversity, Hypocrisy, Race and Reconciliation

Image result for segregation and the churchFor the next few weeks, I will feature videos that discuss the plight of the Church in North America, which remains segregated– unlike the military, retail stores, hospitals and cemeteries, restaurants and movie theaters, bathrooms and water fountains, libraries, schools, buses and other modes of transportation.  While there are enclaves, it is illegal to discriminate and prevent persons from moving into a neighborhood based on the social construct of race.

So, why is the faith community not challenged, not held to the same standard?  Why didn’t we, as believers, integrate like the rest of American society?  Where are the protestors and the chants of “Hey, Hey/ Ho/ Ho/ Segregated churches have got to go”?  Why don’t we sit- in or boycott or march or write letters to our pastors and other spiritual leaders?

Worse still, many Christians don’t feel the need to change.  They sit comfortably on their pew, not discerning or discussing the need to challenge the assumptions of race in the practice of worship, in our demonstrations of leadership, in our understanding of discipleship, in our expressions of fellowship.  And they are not having the tough conversations about changing communities and demographics– at least not the courageous ones that matter, that challenge long- held positions of power and confront the loopholes in our nationalistic pride.

Segregated Sundays?  Jesus came from heaven to earth to save us but we will leave our church if the cultural or ethnic representation of the neighborhood changes.  Jesus stretched out his hands on a cross to die for us but we won’t stretch out of our hand to greet one another because we belong to a different culture.  What of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment?

“For God so loved the world” but we will have separate ourselves “in Jesus’ name.”  How is it that we can work together during the week but will not worship together on Sunday morning?  What of our faith makes this practice acceptable, agreeable, just, practical and right?  How can we be anything but hypocrites if we subject our relationships to the conditions of the social construct of race while proclaiming security in the unconditional love of God?

Defining Race-less

Race- less, Adj.

1.  Used to describe persons who choose not to identify with or by a socioculturally constructed race, here being black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige; used to describe a person not willing to be defined by the social coloring of skin, biased beliefs regarding physical attributes or stereotypes associated with a cultural group based on the sociocultural construct of race;  used to describe the life that persons lead who choose not to employ the lens of race when looking at themselves, others and God and practice the traditions of racism with themselves, others and God 2. not of or pertaining to a post- racial society but pointing back to the first and true image of humanity: God’s  (Gen. 1.26-27).  God is pre, post and supra- racial;

Noun

3. the belief that human beings are not physically but socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige and thereby categorized for the self- preservation and elevation, economic advancement and geographic rule of the socially favored group, here being white; and,

4.  a definitive attribute of the message of Jesus Christ, the identity of His disciples and a liberating truth of the ministry of reconciliation: The gospel of Jesus Christ is race-less (Galatians 3.28; Colossians 3.11).

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