Church Girl Blog

Charlottesville (and Other Thoughts on Racism)

by | Jun 23, 2020 | A B&W Life, A HOME Life, A MOM Life | 3 comments

Has it really been THREE YEARS since neo-Nazi white supremacists marched in Charlottesville and a car plowed through a group of anti-protestors, killing one and injuring nineteen? This is what I wrote then, and, though my thoughts haven’t changed much about the hatefulness of racism, I recognize that we are coming to a point in our nation’s history that requires not only prayer, but action as well. 

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
(James 2:26)

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW UNTIL YOU KNOW.
ONCE YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INJUSTICE YOU SEE.
SPEAK UP, DON’T PUT UP.
BE AN ANTI-RACIST.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

(Written August, 2017.) My extended family is an all-inclusive, welcoming, diverse group of people. If you need a place to go for Thanksgiving–it doesn’t even matter if you’re American or not!–we’ll feed and love on you. When my cousin met her Ethiopian roommate in college, she immediately became part of our lives. No one batted an eye–she became a welcomed addition, a brown-eyed, brown-skinned cousin among all of the brunette-sometimes-blond, blue-eyed, pale-skinned Swedish-Germans.

I saw she recently that my “Ethiopia cousin” wrote that as she drives through her city, she wonders if every white man she sees hates blacks. This makes me sick because I know how she feels. I’ve thought similar thoughts as I drive through my own city with my own biracial family.

When events like Charlottesville happen, it makes me go all into protective momma bear mode, like,

Just LOOK at my family funny and
you will FEEL the wrath of my claws…?
and then I think, ?
You poor deluded suckers.☹️
You don’t know no better
‘cuz no one learned you no better. ?

We have had our share of ignorant people use the “N” word in front of us. IMO, only the most uneducated and unenlightened still perpetuate the use of that word today.

My little family has actually encountered and viscerally felt the seething hatred of people as they look at us (three pale, one brown), not in our hometown, but as we travelled further south in a different state. If the looks of those good ‘ole boys could have killed us in that Arby’s, we would have been deader than the roast beef sandwiches we were attempting to choke down. Our daughter was just two years old.

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How could you HATE this child based solely on her skin color?

The “Church Girl” in me wanted to walk over to them and tell them all about how Jesus had called us to adopt her, that they should know the story and then they wouldn’t be so hateful. But sometimes there’s no reasoning with the brainwashed. Thankfully, my husband was wiser than me that day and told me we needed to eat and leave immediately.

Racism is just such a flawed worldview. How can you hate ANYONE summarily without knowing them or knowing anything about them?

Didn’t your momma ever tell you that you shouldn’t use such a word like “hate?” Along with its close cousins, Power and Fear, normally reasonable men are driven to do what is repulsive, shocking, and completely unthinkable.

Consider Rwanda in 1994 when 1 million Tutsis were systematically slaughtered ONE AT A TIME over a period of three months by the Hutu tribe following a government coup. These tribes were neighbors, friends, fellow villagers. Hate, Power and Fear drove them to genocide.

We can talk about White Supremacists, but this includes Tribe Supremacists and Genetic Supremacists–those who advocate the abortion of children who have Down’s Syndrome, or any other genetic anomalies in the name of social cleansing {Fisheye at YOU, Scandinavia}–or any other person/government/group who would destroy or try to put down an entire portion of the population.

And finally, as an aside, why are we so insecure about ourselves we need to put others down instead of trying to find the best in and build up every person? You might just find that your best ally in a conflict or to solve a problem is the one you look at and judge least likely simply because of gender, race, socio-economic status, education, language or religion.

People fear who they don’t understand or cannot control. It’s why they strive so desperately to keep them down.

Every human on this earth is made in God’s image. Jesus came down in bodily form–He was the fullness of the Deity and fully human. (You had to know Jesus would make an entrance into this post, right?) He was born and He taught and He healed and He lived a perfect life on this earth. And then He died on the cross and rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures to give us redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and bring us out of the dominion of darkness, qualifying us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (mashup of Colossians 1:12-14)

Not one person on earth was ever Supreme except Jesus Christ. No thing or ideal is Supreme except God.

I need only to compare myself to Him and when I do, I don’t have time to look at other people and judge them, especially by the color of their skin, because I have a whole lot to work on myself.

So let’s pray for peace. Let’s pray for wisdom. Let’s to pray that we can have forgiveness when people do humanity wrong, when people do our friends wrong, when people do us wrong. Otherwise we become bitter and enraged, owning offenses of others, and that malice grows like a cancer in us, too.

How about we do something really radical: Let’s pray for racists. We don’t have to like that they hate but we can extend love to them through prayer, through standing up for what is right, and through actively educating ourselves about the issues of injustice.


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

 


I would love for you to write your prayers in the COMMENTS below. Be BOLD; BE LOVING. Make a statement of love to people who hate. Be a Difference Maker in this world.

3 Comments

  1. Francine S. Rivers

    Oh, so true, Leigh. Prejudice is a sin problem, and all humanity has been infected with it. Only in Christ do the walls between people come down. We are to strive to “do on earth as it is done in heaven.” Love one another.

    • Leigh Mackenzie

      Amen, Frani. Something that’s been moving through my head often lately: LOVE MORE.

  2. Virginia Scally

    Right on, Leigh!

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