Main Entry: rac·ism (Webster's Dictionary)
Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
All types of hate (racial/ethnic, sex, gender orientation, class (social/financial background), physical disability, and all types of disrciminatory acts)is what the Bible calls "sin".
(must look at one another through how God would see them; how?, what does He say in the Bible?)
We can hate the sin, but not the sinner! As human beings, we all...I mean all!...do this-no matter how liberal you are! The only "person" that was sinless (not even-Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatman Gandhi, Mother Theresa, or even Mr. Rodgers!) was Jesus, who came down on Earth to really show what it really is-how to love!
Growing up in St.Paul, I (Sal) was exposed to so much racial diversity-not world diversity yet (it wasn't until Morris, where I acutally met people from different nations! I had neighbors from different ethnic backgrounds: Vietnamese, Hispanic, Native-American Indian, Caucasian, and African American.
Race was NOT an issue as a little kid as we were to young to notice the difference. Pretty much everybody was your height and we just wanted to play!
Race started to become an "issue" through my social surrounding as I got older. I remember we had a "mini race riot" in Battle Creek Middle/Junior High School. It was the "rockers" (predominately Caucasians into 80's heavy metal) and the "rappers" (predominately African Americans into 80's rap before hip-hop became really big). There was this place across our school called the "bridge" (now a beautiful paved remodeled park last time I went for a job-summer of 03'), where the "troublemakers" would like to hangout and do their own "thang" (drugs, smoke, sex, etc..). One school day, the "rockers" and "rappers" were supposed to have a "meeting" or a "fight". I was neutral, so I went straight home (only 2 blocks away or over the fence from Battle Creek Middle/Junior High School) and stay away from this. I remember sitting home and watched some folks running past my backyard (we live behind the schools' sports field-just 15 feet from the fence that's between our townhomes and the field)from the "fight". I think he was bleeding and the several or more cops cars had to come to the scene. To this day, I don't really know what really happened; but the racial tension was still present or grew!
During the 3 years of Junior High/Middle School, I couldn't ignore or avoid the racial incidents. It started to become my life! One time, I was entering the main part of the school where all the students meet before school began (they don't want students running around the halls before classes started). I was trying to get inside, but this "white boy" (Caucasian American) would not let me inside. I then suprisingly used whatever muscles (I didn't really start working out yet) I had and slammed the window door against this "white boy's" (Caucasian American)face. He swore at me as I went through the doors past him as I got inside. I was called "gook" again when I was delivering newspapers in my neighborhood, which is by Battle Creek Middle/Junior High School. Then another time during the Persian Gulf War in Iraq, a "friend" teased me on how I "look like the enemy" because of my dark hair and skin complexion of a Middle Eastern. One time I was Beginning to be a "tough guy" became to grow inside of me due to my surroundings.
I was focusssed on my studies, which my peers really knew. This "black guy" (African American) started to pick on me until I gave my homework to him, so he can copy my notes (thought I knew all the answers!). Being a "tough guy", I refused to do so and I let him pushed me around. My close Caucasian American friend helped defended me and stood by my side. As friends, we hanged out and started to share our racial hatred beliefs due to our similar circumstances. I went over to his house many times, and his brother would be repeatedly making racial jokes. Due to peer pressure, I started to believe it and would do the same-like a virus!
During the earlier years of high school, I encountered more racist experiences. I was playing tennis with my sister at a park located nearby in a "high-level crime" neighborhood. As I was serving the tennis ball and moved from my serving area, I heard a glass broke. I look over to my right and notice a 12" inch glass beer bottle smashed on the green tennis court on the exact serving spot! I look around and notice two "white guys" (Caucasian American w/ the 80's heavy metal long hair/partially sides shaved look) running away. I took off myself running after them and went to their front yard. I notice an "adult" painting" the side of the house, which I hesitated going over there "telling on them". I was full of rage and anger, which I was litteraly going to beat them up if I did had a chance to get a hold of them.
During my Taco Bell years (5 +/- on and off years working their pt mostly between another summer job during high school and first 2 years of college), I encountered close to similar junior high racism level experiences. The staff was diverse: Hispanic, Caucasian 80's Heavy Metal long hair/partially shaved people, Asian, African American, Developmetally disabled, etc... However, we got a long as we worked together for a common goal-money and fast food work! We had one instance that almost divided us all as some Neo Nazis (7-10) came into the restaurant to "recruit". They sat in the back of the dinning room with no intention to eat as they didn't even buy any Taco Bell food. I was cleaning the dinning room when they stared me down as they came in. As being "sal da pal", I didn't get bothered! When I went back to the kitchen area, I told all the staff. One by one, they looked out of the back kitchen door window and reacted differently. One Hispanic-American staff, started pounding his fist as he wanted to rumble. My shift manager told us to cool down and ignore them. As we continued to work, the tension grew in our restaurant with the presence of the Neo-Nazis. We as a staff finally were able to do something about them when we told them to leave the dinning room area if they were not going to purchase any food as a fast food restaurant rule! We were all happy, but it didn't last long as they went outside and hanged out in the picnic tables in front. More different staff came in to work and the tension grew! Finally, a customer complained of being harassed by them when one of the Neo Nazis grabbed one of their starter sport jackets, accusing them to be a "wanna be" (80's term of white person trying to be black). We called the cops after they refused to leave and several cop cars came rushing into the parking lot. The Neo Nazis eneded up walking down the commercialized busy street to McDonald, where they continued with their mission. I never heard from them again after that day, but would occasionally hear about Neo Nazis overall in the news.
Cultural "Shock" in Rural College Town
I tell many people about the cultural shock when I went to college in Morris. I now try to help others deal with it by sharing my experiences...(see more).
I've learned that we have to understand why people are the way they are. After living in Morris (9 years now-9/23/04), I've learned to approach people here in a more different way compared to my first time here. I used to get offended when they make a negative/racist comment, which many say it ignorantly (didn't know). I try to be in their shoes-living in a town with a little exposure to "minority" ethnic diversity, except what they see on television (mostly negative stereotype).
Racism was, is, and will be evident in our "sinful" world until Jesus comes back! Until then, we need to continue to live and obey what He commanded us to-"First love our Heavenly Father" (source of love, which we can all get after inviting him into your heart and grow in a personal relationship with Him. Second, "love your neighbor", which isn't easy to do until you get to know them too (not just reading books about them or live in fear of judgement by staying away from them by avoiding them). What helped me is getting involve in as much cultural activities (eg. UMM: RA for a diverse floor, Gateway Mentor to "mionority students", co-establisher of a multiculturally christian student organization-Alpha & Omega, etc..) to get directly exposed. For example, Jesus-He was a Jew who was traditionally known to not interact with Gentiles/Samartians; however, he did with the "Samaritan Women at the Well" story (read John 4).
In conclusion, I will be updating this website for more stories on my experiences with racism as it's going to be on-going in the world we live in today. Till then, keep reading your history of what they did during the Biblical times, so we won't make the same mistakes.
Racism in the Workplace
I wanted to share the issues of racism so far in my work experience. One can easily get frustrated with what you hear or see at work. God has given me peace to deal with a variety of episodes:
-A former co-worker admitted to me that he was a former "White-Supremacist" and was involved with the Neo-Nazis back in the days. He humbly told me that he has Hispanic-American relatives now after a sister married one, which his heart changed overtime. However, he would still jokingly make racist remarks, which I had to tell him up front not to do so. Yes, I could easily complain to my boss and file a suit. However, I try to educated him with love, so he can learn instead of continue to do this in life and hurt other people. I try to understand his background as he has shared some negative experiences with African Americans, which he needs to know NOT to generalize a whole race group because of several or less individual experiences. I have shared about God's love with him and to forgive, which is currently a timely process....
-One time a co-worker of mine remarked about an Asian American doctor in town. She was criticizing about how this particular doctor handled one of our consumer's health accident. Then she went on to say that "he's probably use to doing this in his country back home where it's very unsanitary". Oh, my blood heated up and I wanted to yell back! Being that quiet sometimes passive guy, I calmed down and just stayed quiet. I did wish I could've explained to her about cultural sensitivity. However, I use my actions and prayer to see God change her through love.
Be Understanding with Love
Being angry can take a lot of worthless energy out of you. What helps me is to understand this particular individual and many others that make ignorant comments like these. People in this rural predominately "white-Caucasian" community haven't been around people from different cultural backgrounds. In fact the only understanding the get is mostly from the media (t.v.), which majority portrays a negative stereotype. Jesus said "love your neighbors", which is the best counteract against racism.
What Color is Jesus Christ?
Written by Ron T. aka Get Wizdom
Jesus Christ, the Son of God has been depicted in many different cultures over the centuries. The host culture who shows a physical image of him usually makes him out to look like themselves. But it seems like the most prevailing image of Christ in the world these days is a blond hair, blue-eyed European Jesus. This image of Christ is rejected by most people of color.
What Jesus really wrote in the sand when he was dealing with the Pharisees in John 8:3-11. (Comic courtesy of Reverend Fun.)
Skin color is a hot issue in the U.S. because of the legacy of racism & misinformation that was put forth by powerful white individuals who had influence in church & government. And it still lingers today. During slavery some white churches propagated the Cursed Ham Theory. This Theory is based on Genesis 9:20-25 where Noah condemns Ham's son, Canaan into slavery (Jdg. 1:28, 1 Ki 9:20-21) because of Hams failure to do right by his father. Africans are supoosedly descendants of Ham, therefore, African Americans are supposedly cursed. However, in-depth Biblical study shows that this curse was fulfilled during the time of Joshua and his successors and ceased to be applicable since the Canaanites assimilated into other peoples. Also If this theory was true, Jesus would have never acted on the behalf of a Canaanite in Matthew 15:21-28. So this theory IS false. And the irony of it is that it is a theory. Theories are not facts (just like evolution) but some people propagate them like it is the Gospel. Sadly, some churches still believe in this theory today.
It is amazing what great lengths some people will go to because of their insecurities about skin color. None of us specifically knows what Christ's skin color was because we were not alive during his lifetime. But the Bible does gives us a clue: his genealogy.
First of all, His lineage specifically tells us he is Jewish. After all he is called The King of the Jews.
"Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him,2Are you the king of the Jews?2 3Yes, it is as you say,2 Jesus replied. Matthew 27:11"
In Jewish culture, the genealogy is traced through the father. Even though Joseph biologically was not Jesus1s father, he became his father when he married Mary. It is Joseph's line that traces all the way back to Abraham (Matt. 1:2).
Even before Abraham, the world1s ancestry is traced back to Noah's three sons: Shem, Ham and Japeth.
1.Shemitic peoples generally represent Jewish and some
Mediterranean ethnic groups.
2.Hamitic peoples generally represent southwestern Asian and northeast African ethnic groups.
3.Japethic peoples generally represent European ethnic groups.
These three groups do not represent specific ethnic groups today but God sent them out to populate the world (Gen. 9:19). Throughout world history, ethnic groups and/or individuals have intermarried & created new ethnic groups.
Secondly, even though Jesus was Jewish, his genealogy has a mixture of other ethnic groups in his background. Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David was a Moabite. Israel & Moab were two nations who had a bitter rivalry experiencing times of peace & times of war in the Old Testament. Also Rahab the prostitute is in his lineage. She helped the spies & became a convert to Israel (Jos. 2 :1-14). She is also spoken well of in the Book of Hebrews because of her faith.
Examples of mixed ancestry in the New Testament are the Samaritans. They are a mixture of Jewish & Assyrian ancestry. Their nation was avoided and looked down upon by other Jews who did not see them as pure Jewish stock (John 4:9). In spite of this, Jesus, a Jew still went through Samaria. What a testimony! Also Luke (writer of the 3rd Gospel) was a Gentile who was well educated in Greek culture. Timothy was a hybrid of Jewish/Greek ancestry and Apostle Paul still embraced him! What does that tell you about the issue of skin color and culture?
There is no description in the Bible that says that Jesus was white with blond hair & blue eyes. But there is also none that says he was dark skin either. Some use Revelation 1:14 where it describes Jesus' hair as being like wool to indicate his African roots. But what is overlooked is the Book of Revelation's symbolic imagery in describing Jesus. A lot of the metaphors go beyond human understanding. Most of the descriptions of Jesus are symbolic of his glory, honor & power (Rev. 1:17-18).
I have read articles suggesting that Jesus is Black using the one-drop rule as its validation. Presently, the only nations in the world that use the one-drop rule (unofficially) is the United States and South Africa. The one-drop rule is racist in its assumption (Hitler used a similar ideology to support his idea of an Aryan Race). It is meant to communicate a disdain for anything not white. The result of this rule in the U.S. has created a climate of indifference toward interracial couples and people of color. Some Blacks and Whites see the one-drop rule as a conspiracy to eliminate their particular group. Those who support this view see race mixing as "selling out." "Passing" became a norm for some African Americans who looked white in post-slavery America. But if the one-drop rule is the standard, then the majority of the world would be Black. The one-drop rule does not acknowledge boundaries that may have developed through unique cultural, spiritual, geographical, economic, political and/or social circumstances. It insists only in separating people based on skin color. Sadly, some African Americans have embraced this ideology believing that they are thinking outside of the box. In reality, they are supporting a racist ideology. Separation of peoples because of skin color is absent in the Bible. In the Old Testament, intermarriage is avoided not solely based on ethnicity, but on religious grounds. (Genesis 28:1; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; Ezra 9:1-2; Ezra 9:14). God called Israel to be a separate and distinct people when he made the covenant with Moses (Exodus 34:15-16). This should tell you that racism as an ideology is a fairly recent invention.
Lastly, it is the location of Christ's genealogy (Middle East) that suggest that humanly he could have been a person of color. His home was Nazareth which is located in modern day Israel. If you watch T.V. reports on the Middle east, you will see a diverse range of skin colors. Jewish people can range from extreme white skin to dark skin just as African Americans, Asians & Latinos do.
In conclusion, whether Jesus is black or white should not be an issue. But Biblical history must be corrected if we are to move beyond this dilemma. Some people worship the image of Christ but not Christ himself. So for some, Jesus can only be white. For some he can only be black. Jesus Christ1s ministry extended beyond ethnicity & culture. This is such a simple and true statement yet we bypass it. To worship the skin color of Christ is idolatry(Duet. 4:15-19). Yet that is what some Christians do everyday. As a t-shirt designer this is exactly why I am afraid to depict Jesus Christ on my t-shirts. Depicting Christ on t-shirts is big business but at who's expense?
Some of you might say to me it is not an issue for you. Well my response to you is, if you had a choice between a white Jesus & a black Jesus on your t-shirt, which would you pick?
"You are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you were baptized with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams seed, & heirs according to the promise. Galatians 4:26-29"
This verse does not say you are sons of God through skin color. It says through faith which is the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Christ came for us all. AMEN!
So what do you think?
Let me know!
Stories of Racism Second-Hand
A young teenager innocently-ignorantly calls an African American friend of mine the "n-word" after meeting him.
A UMM Asian-Hmong American student gets his tire slash
Two UMM Int'l-African students walking through a neighborhood. They see kids hiding in the corner as the 2 students walk by their toys. As they pass by the toys, the kids mention "she didn't take it!"
"Everytime I walk around town, people just stare at me as I've done something (e.g. stold something) or as they've never seen anyone that look like me (e.g. alien) before."
.....more at Morris: Racial Diversity
-Hmong Called "Gook" by Wisoconsin Hunter(s)
Michael Jackson-"Black or White"
"DC Talk - "Colored People"
Organizations to Watch Out For
Note: Maybe not all followers believe this, but it is taught in some form
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