Racism, Oppression and the Hope of the Gospel

Racism, Oppression and the Hope of the Gospel September 29, 2014

A few months ago, I sat in church with tears streaming down my face like waterfalls. Just days before, I had been utterly disappointed and hurt by someone who I considered an ally simply because they said they were committed to racial reconciliation (that was my first mistake). Though I had experienced similar situations before. the familiarity of this injustice did not minimize the pain – in fact, its strange familiarity intensified the feelings of hopelessness that threatened to swallow me whole. I began to ask myself what was the point in fighting so hard if things wouldn’t change? What was the point in striving, pushing so hard against the elephant of racism if at the end of the day the elephant remained?

As I reflected on my own experience, I likewise mediated on the words from the day’s passage in Ecclesiastes 4:1-5 where the preacher speaks about the realities oppression. In this passage the preacher, assumed to be King Solomon, offers a candid picture of oppression and the lack of hope that many feel as a result of their situation. The repeated censoring, marginalization, and exploitation of the poor, women, and people of color, leaves many feeling overwhelmed with the pain that they encounter on a daily basis. In this country, much of the oppression exists along racial lines and those of color most often the victimized. From being turned down for a job, to being profiled and harassed by a police officer, we as people of color so often get the snot kicked out of us. We try, God knows we try hard, to move the elephant of racism that is literally killing us left and right. Every once in a while, he moves – the elephant actually shifts a little. Policies are passed that offer new promises of opportunity. White people start to listen and pay attention to our stories without centering themselves in it. A pastor recognizes and repents of his/her own role in maintaining racism and commits to the work of diversity and reconciliation. Finally! We are making progress.

But then the elephant shifts right back to where he was before. Or maybe we were delusional and the elephant never really ever moved in the first place. Damn!

Read the rest here

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3 responses to “Racism, Oppression and the Hope of the Gospel”

  1. The thing that I like about your blog was how you address the social issues of the day by meeting the challenges with scripture. Some of things that are happening now may not changed, but it is they are just a reminder of our Black past problems with racism. It is the same old soup warmed over again. If you have been around for awhile, you would recognize,the wolf, in the sheeps coating. What we are experiencing in America is more about power to control a people, than color or one's skin. One of the major tools of racism has been in the past was economic. To one class of people, economics is God. Because of these differences, which are only surface problem, we are having the problem of racism. I love your conclusion, God will fix it all, in the end. The old folks would say it, "God sits high, but looks low." That is what I'm counting on to, God will take care of this for us!

  2. The thing that I like about your blog was how you address the social issues of the day by meeting the challenges with scripture. Some of things that are happening now may not changed, but it is they are just a reminder of our Black past problems with racism. It is the same old soup warmed over again. If you have been around for awhile, you would recognize,the wolf, in the sheeps coating. What we are experiencing in America is more about power to control a people, than color or one's skin. One of the major tools of racism has been in the past was economic. To one class of people, economics is God. Because of these differences, which are only surface problem, we are having the problem of racism. I love your conclusion, God will fix it all, in the end. The old folks would say it, "God sits high, but looks low." That is what I'm counting on to, God will take care of this for us!

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