Tag Archives: teaching race-lessness

Ten Power Thoughts for the Race-less Life

If you want to change how you see yourself, you have to change how you say yourself.  I am…  It is easy to say who you are (or at least who you think or hope yourself to be); but, it takes courage to say who you are not.  It takes power.  It is my life’s task to assist others in thinking without the social construct of race as it is not a source of spiritual support but a crutch of carnal dependency.

Saying that you are not a racial being, that you are not socially colored black/brown/ beige/ red/ yellow/ white takes courage but it also takes strength.  I draw mine from God.  I believe that God has given me these thoughts concerning race and they are why I feel powerful and not powerless when it comes to race.

They are not in any order as one is not more important than the other; in fact, they build upon and support one another.  I pray that these thoughts might give you the courage to walk away from race and trust in our Creator’s power to identify us fully and truly.

1.  Forget about race. It never thinks about you as an individual, just in stereotypes.

2.  Claiming a racial identity is not proof of self- acceptance but evidence of self- denial.

3.  Don’t fight for race. It does not defend who you are.

4.  Race is not a new beginning but an old start.

5.  I am a witness to God’s creative power not race’s.

6.  I am from the earth, made of the earth.  There is no place on earth where I don’t belong.

7.  We are called to copy Christ’s actions not his appearance.

8.  Race questions your identity.  God answers the question.

9.  As Christians, the only leader of “our ” people is Christ. We are people of God only.

10.  Race says you are loved, accepted and valuable because of how you look.  God says you are loved because He made you in His image.

I could certainly give you ten more.  But, this is a very good start.  May our God strengthen your mind with these power thoughts.

 

 

 

 

Questioning Race (Part Three)

The root of the word question is the word quest, which is defined as “the long and arduous search for something.”  In my questioning of the social construct of race, what am I hoping to find?  I am hoping to discover more of myself, to go deeper into the spiritual reality that is me, to see myself more fully alive in God and dead to race, to perceive myself more truly through the mind of Christ and a part from the false perceptions of race.

Questioning race has been a liberating journey and while I did not set out with an end in mind when I began writing, I am certainly content with the results of my walking away from race.  I have written in previous posts about the spiritual discipline of questioning race.  It is no authority and has no authority over my life and its meaning.  Race will not interrogate me; I am its superior.  Consequently, I find it to be a necessary and daily practice for those who seek to deny their racialized self in order to embrace their new identity and position in Jesus Christ.

Some times, asking a question can prove difficult.  Ironically, we don’t ask questions because we don’t want to sound ignorant or be thought of as stupid.  We would much rather appear as if we know it all.  Sadly, life is no different from the classrooms that we have sat in.  But, we can not take this approach when it comes to our identity and purpose.  We must raise our hands and in doing so, raise up our lives and say, “I don’t know who I am.  Do you?”

But, we must be certain of who the teacher is in the room: God.  Race is but a student, a peer.  It has the same answers that you have, copied directly from your life.  So, go ahead.  Raise your hand.  Ask the questions of God and of race who pretends to be a god.  But, ask the right questions, knowing its position.

I’ll go first.  We are very comfortable questioning God so let me show you how to question race.

1.  What is the meaning of race?

2.  If you created us and we are made in your various images, then what do you, the image of perfection look like?  And whether we are this socially colored image of perfection or not, why is the feeling the same?  Why do we hate ourselves?

3.  What is the meaning and purpose of the racialized life?  Did you put us here solely to hate others and to love ourselves, to curse others and to bless ourselves?  Why are we so afraid of each other?  Will we ever stop fighting to be on top, to be the best socially colored group?  How do we know who the winner is?  If the fight is fixed and the winner chosen, then why fight at all?  How long will we war with each other?

4.  Why are human beings socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige?  Why are we colored in?

5.  What is your meaning and purpose for the social coloring of skin?

6.  Why did you place so much meaning, value and purpose in the external being of humanity?  Why is this life about appearance?

7.  Why is race the answer to the question of who we are?  Why is it a part of our identity?

8.  How do we know that you exist?  What is your purpose for the world and its inhabitants?  What is the will of race?

9.  Why does race allow, encourage and support our hatred and oppression of others? What kind of god are you?

10.  What does race want from us and how do we know for certain?

11.  Why is race real, believable, acceptable, true?

12.  Why are we so afraid to leave race?  Why are we so afraid of not being socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige?

13.  Apart from race, who are we?

14.  How does our belief in stereotypes assist us in loving ourselves, our neighbor and our God?

15.  Why must God be socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige?

16.  Who or what is race?

17.  Who created stereotypes?

18.  Why do we believe in and practice prejudice based on the social coloring of skin?

19.  What happens to race when we die?  Where does it go?

20.  When did race begin?

Who answers these questions?  We do.  We are its messengers just as we are messengers of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The question is, “What is the inspiration behind our declarations concerning race?”

Racism: A History

Additional Resources

Christopher Alan Bayly, The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947

Encyclopedia Britannica, The Black War

Thomas Carlyle, “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question,” 1849.

Sir Francis Galton, Essays in Eugenics, The Eugenics Education Society, 1909.

Sir Francis Galton, Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope and Aims, The American Journal of Sociology, (Vol.10 No. 10), July 1904.

Jane Elliot’s Brown Eye- Blue Eye Experiment

Jane Elliot simulates an apartheid regime in a London warehouse with thirty brown and blue eyed volunteers.  A challenging and provocative video that shows the painful wrestling that takes place when persons tackle the privileges and social favoritism that our belief in race elicits.  Jane Elliot’s brown eye- blue eye experiment demonstrates the ridiculous nature of our belief in externals to determine the worth of other human beings.

Additional Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgxKfjijWGc&list=PL14235D26F10F8FD3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfeaiBvnaVQ&list=PL14235D26F10F8FD3

The Blues of Blackness

“Death and life and in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

~ Proverb 18.21, NRSV

I am always last but never first,

always down and out, never up and over,

always angry– it comes with being black,

always defending but never safe.

I am born to follow orders but never to give them,

the obvious problem but never the solution,

the question that is impossible to answer.

“Why am I even here?”

I am the renter never the owner,

the borrower never the lender,

‘the help’ who is never assisted,

the victim always needing salvation and a hero.

I am always ugly and never beautiful,

flawed and failing,

not quite right and in need of correction,

the enemy, the beast, the monster– the stuff of nightmares,

check under your beds and in the closet.

I am dirty, unclean,

untouchable, an objectionable thing,

full of disease and empty of cures.

And there is no cure for being black.

I am always present but never seen except in cases of criminality;

then, I look like him and her, fitting the description

or was bound to do something wrong anyway.

I am arrested in so many ways.

I am the lawless never the law,

the bad apple, rotten fruit, spoiled humanity,

always guilty and never innocent.

I am the anathema of creation;

my God doesn’t even like me.

He doesn’t talk to me or answer my prayers.

And I suppose that He won’t like this song… because it is the blues.

We must be mindful of the confessions that we make about our lives; how many of us have sang the blues when it comes to our existence and as a result, have eaten its fruit?