Tag Archives: post- racial Christian

There is not one race

“From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth…”

~ The Acts of the Apostles 17.26, NRSV

“There is only one race: the human race.”  The thought has been attributed to several people so I deduce that the author is unknown (at least to me).  Still, the sentiment is repeated for reasons as numerous as the persons attributed to the expression.  I guess that its credibility is proven not by who said it but by often it is said.

Partly as a compromise, persons began saying that there is but one race: the human race. Attempting to reduce the number of socially colored categories or race clicks and arguments for cultural supremacy, all of humanity was put into one race.  But, this does not rid us of the idea.

It it an attempt at solving the race problem while maintaining the concept of race.  The statement does not challenge the idea or unpack its meaning.  It just lumps us together without really explaining what “the human race” is.

Why are we one race and what is human about being a race?  If there are no biological or biblical races, then how can we be one race as human beings?  What purpose does this larger and broader category serve?  For me, the statement does not resolve the race questions, solve the race problem or provide any deeper meaning for its continued use.

So, I have my own statement: There are no races, only humans.  Quote me.

P.S. While researching the idea, I discovered a manifesto by anti-racist scientists.

 

If we are to be post- racial

“For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”

~ Ephesians 2.14, NRSV

There are those who say that it is impossible to put race behind us, that there is “No Such Place as ‘Post- Racial’ America”, that we cannot live with each other without pre-judging, discriminating and showing preference to those whose physical appearance we like.  Such a simplistic explanation of our practice of racism points to how simple, superficial and silly it really is.  Race has nothing to do with how we look but it an excuse for treating persons the way that we feel that they deserve to be treated and we will employ anything, human and/ or divine, to make our point.

And so long has the idea been with us that we have made it our identity.  We have become racialized human beings.  We have empowered our skin to rule over us and to be ruled over by others.  Race is apart of who we are and how we live.  It is no wonder why we believe that we cannot live without it, that we cannot imagine a life after race.  But, what about life before it?

As Christians, we are not a people without hope.  We have a Savior, whose power extends to that of race and any other social construct and can even move us beyond it.  Jesus Christ is unique, not only in that he is the image of the invisible God and that he rose from the dead but that he is the embodiment of our peace.  He is also the great Mediator, bringing people who were opposed to each other together.  But, this should come as no surprise because he called us friends though we were once his enemies (Colossians 1.21).

Despite the ways of American society, we are a post- racial people, post- racial Christians because we serve a pre- racial God.  We bear the image of God and it’s not colored (in).  I suppose that this post should have been titled when as opposed to if we are to be post- racial because it is only a matter of time.  Race will not be with us forever.

So, when we become post- racial, we will:

1.  Stop believing in race and start believing in God.

2.  Choose the image of God over the image(s) of race.

3.  Stop practicing/ justifying/ legalizing/ teaching racism.  Don’t pass it on or pass it down.

4.  Take responsibility for our racist beliefs and actively rid ourselves of them.

5. Not be led by stereotypes and instead, be led by the Holy Spirit.

6. Not be counseled by prejudice.  Allow the word of God to be your counselor.

7. End restrictive covenants.  Choose people over profits.

8.  Have more than one socially colored white/ black/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige friend.

9. Stop talking about colors and start talking about people and their cultures.

10.  Stop having more faith in history and begin trusting in the newness and possibility of the future.

Speaking Post- Racially

Christians believe in a God who speaks.  But, God does not repeat what has been said.  God speaks new things because God does new things.  In like manner, God does not repeat people; none of us are a copy of another and despite society’s attempts to collect and categorize us because we “look alike,” none of us are the same.  Each of us is a new and different word spoken by God.

Our God speaks words that did not exist in order to create things that never before existed– people, places, animals, vegetation, bodies of water, worlds, moons and stars: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind of God swept over the face of the waters.  Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1.1-3).  Because God said it, it is and it must be.

Without a blue print, a business meeting, an executive board or a vote, God creates.  God need only open His mouth.  And once God says it, nothing can be said to undo it.

We also do not serve a God who is antisocial, a divine recluse, inaudible or inaccessible.  No, we serve a God who inclines his ear to us, who looks low, who leans down, who listens out for us.  The psalmist says, “I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my supplications.  Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (Psalm 116.1-2).

Well, I believe the Lord is listening to what I say and this is my prayer today: Lord, deliver me from race and its progeny.  Show me how to live outside of its control.  Allow me to see You, myself and others without its prejudicial lens.  In Christ’s name, I submit this prayer.  Amen.

Why don’t you help me to call on God and call this post- racial world into existence.  I am speaking those things that are not as though they were, a new thing, a new people and vision (Romans 4.17).  I will not repeat the words and subsequent lives of others.  I am speaking post- racially.