When we do not face an issue, it can fester and grow.
Last week, I continued to witness the violent results that come from ignoring racism and White supremacy within a nation.
During days 113-119 of my year-long Biblical sabbatical, I thought about how ignoring these issues can be synonymous with denying Christ.
Recently, bombs were mailed to prominent public figures who have been outspoken against the President of the United States.
Two Black people were killed at a grocery store in an “alleged” hate crime.
Eleven Jewish individuals were killed at Tree of Life synagogue in another “alleged” hate crime.
Prior to writing this post, I read about a group of high school students who physically attacked a White student for wearing attire displaying the Confederate flag to school.
Even our youth struggled to deal with the hate without retaliating in violence. I think part of the reason lies in our (adults) refusal to face the issue of White supremacy.
At this point, if we say anything along the lines of “Stop seeing race and it will go away,” we contribute to this keeping the hate going.
Ignoring people and their history does not make the hate go away.
Trying to live as a good person does not make the hate go away.
As I still feel the heaviness of it all, I see Christ in healing a nation, not doing things to keep it wounded.
Some of us forget that this extremism stems from a much more normalized messages of White supremacy.
The normalized and invisible forms of White supremacy that a lot of U.S. Christians live out and ignore provides the soil, water, sun, seeds, and fertilizer to that grows the extremism.
You know what?
There is something I do not see, after all.
I do not see how following Christ involves unquestioningly following any political agenda.
Where is Christ in ignoring these issues in order to hold onto political power for religious influence?
What different Christians fail to realize that every person killed in last week’s heinous attacks represented Christ.
I believe numerous Christians fail to see Christ within the ones society attempts to marginalize, including race and ethnicity.
Whenever we ignore the rhetoric and everyday invisible workings of race that keeps a racist society intact so much so that people are killed to maintain it, we deny Christ.
When we choose feeling comfortable and self-righteousness over facing an issue that impacts the lives of countless people, we are denying Christ.
Christ is not in preserving the feelings of Good White Christians and People of Color who claim to be colorblind.
Christ is not found in any of the ways we ignore dealing with this long-standing issue.
When we refuse to see, we keep hate alive.
Good people keep it alive because we would rather choose comfort Instead of repenting from a lengthy history of maintaining White supremacy, different U.S. Churches continue mask our contemporary role in continuing the legacy, using the rhetoric of “focusing on souls.”
If we focused on facing the issues and dealing with the discomfort that comes with it, then we would revisit our complicity in the systems and narratives that lead to the killing of souls.
Oh, that the Church would have ears to hear beyond the pastors who tell our itching ears what we want to hear.
To truly turn from a problem and transcend it, we must face it.
Christ is found in the seeing, hearing, and knowing.
Help me to have eyes to see.
Help me to have ears to hear.
Help me to have a willingness to know.