Tag Archives: racial supremacy

Short-Circuiting Black And White Power

“God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs unto God.” ~Psalm 62.11, KJV

“If we choose, we can live in world of comforting illusion.” ~Noam Chomsky

Power, at least as supreme when relating to human beings, is an illusion. No matter how comforting, this consolation is a self- sustaining ruse. Supreme power cannot be contained in a culture, totally or absolutely possessed by a government or its leader, passed between color- coded groups, exchanged on a market or consumed no matter the product it is packaged in. This supreme power cannot be possesed and energy is wasted in our strivings for it. Supremacy cannot be taught or explained. One cannot be trained to be supreme. And there is but One example of such power and God does not offer lessons.

Instead, the power that we feel is an agreed upon power, both as an individual and as a member of the group. We or I or you agree to a position and the group agrees to submit to the authority of this position in support of an agreed upon goal or position.This agreed upon power is circumstancial and is determined only by those who agree to submit to it. We apply for positions of power and are elected to influence. But, it is a power that can be voted out or that we can choose to leave behind when the rulership is no longer worth our time or talents. It is the power of will.

But, even our wills are not supreme. We believe that because we were able to wake up this morning, get dressed and go to work that we are somehow self- sufficient. Only God has that designation. Our ability to look at a clock and tell the time we arose does not mean that we have any knowledge of how we get up from day to day; neither does it suggest that we will know the day or the hour when when we will not rise. We simply do not determine our uprising and downsitting. Luke is right: “In Him, we live, move and have our being” (Acts of the Apostles 17.28). No matter our position, regardless of our possession, we don’t live a part from God, take no action without His knowing and cannot move outside of His strength.

Black Power and its counterpart White Power, the belief that one socially defined racial group is supreme and the ruler of all, is a comforting illusion. But, we can stop our chanting, lower our fists and take off our costumes and end this masquerade of social purity and omnipotence. Power is not the solution to oppression and no socially colored group is the definition of power. Though Public Enemy sang “Fight the Power,” a rhythmic social critique to white supremacist ideas, the racial formation that pervaded American culture and the need to fight these powers of persuasion, the power is only in our heads.

And we  make a social tug of war spiritual, assigning designations of black and white devils, black and white Gods, black and white Christs. All the while, our words undo us as we script God and His Son into our narrative. We make the Divine a mere character, a social puppet that we string to our issues and agendas. We fight against God’s power in suggesting that we need to be supreme in order to right the wrongs of the world.

Power is not the problem. The problem is the illusion that we can do anything a part from God and God’s ability. The problem is that we feel that we are truly independent of God. But, this is our reality: “power belongs to God.” It is not reality if not founded upon this truth.

The Oxymorons of Race

I  have read the multifarious meanings of race and believe that I have an acceptable understanding of its progeny.  Having traced the beginnings of race to travel writings and other stories that attempted to figure out why human beings are different in appearance and ability, I know, as do many others, that race is a social construct that is practiced personally and systematically.  I recognize that we are asked to become a part of the circle or to join the box, to be contained each time we are asked our race or ethnicity.  This is the way that American society defines its citizens.  But, what I cannot comprehend is our remaking of race into something good or the use of race in any form as a goal.

An oxymoron is a ” figure of speech by which a locution (or expression) produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in ‘cruel kindness.’ ”  An oxymoron is created when contradictory terms are used together.  Here are just a few examples of terms that I have trouble with given the purpose and historical use of race and its progeny.  Perhaps, they have been confusing for you as well.

Racial Justice: There is no justice in race.  This color- coded system was not created to enact or ensure justice but to service inequality. There is no middle ground or middle of the road, no compromise to be reached.  For race, Lady Justice is not blind; she is simply not invited.  Race is not “handicap accessible” in this regard.  Race sees clearly who it wants to have and have not.

Racial Equality:  The idea of race was based on a hierarchical system; it’s a ladder. The only way that fairness can be established is to remove the ladder.  Shaking the ladder or pushing people off of it will only change the order and repeat the cycle of oppression.

Racial Progress:  Race was never about movement.  It was created to keep persons in their social places and positions.  Race is not a leader but a line that is drawn around each of us.  We will not move so long as it is a part of us.

Racial Supremacy:  “I’m better than you.”  What problem does this statement solve?  All cultures or people groups can’t be supreme so inevitably someone will be designated as less than, inferior or the minority.  And no one is really supreme as race subjects us all and uses us all.

Racial Pride:  How can we take pride in colors or a system that was created to elevate one by oppressing another, that uses the individual against her or himself? What pride can be found in hating some one in order to love yourself more?  We must stop trying to make white alright and give black a comeback.  The words are poisonous and cannot be used to inoculate persons against the disease of racism.  Joining race in order to fight it just never made any sense to me.  For me, that’s a way of living that is an oxymoron.

Race’s Model Prayer

Our Race which is great upon the earth.
Your skin be the only one; your will be done
on earth as it is in our minds.
Give us today our daily privileges
and forgive us for not always withholding them from others
as we forgive those who have allowed others to be considered equal.
And lead us not to be tempted to love and accept other races but deliver us from color- blindness and tolerance.
For yours is the best, most beautiful and strongest forever. Amen.