“Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.”
Proverbs 24:12 NLT
Okay, it’s official. We can no longer excuse racism as, “They don’t know.” Ignorance is no longer bliss. Our president continues to disrespect the lives of women and minorities while conservatives make excuses for his vile behavior. From telling police officers to rough up people they arrest, to calling African American football players SOB’s, referring to the mayor of Puerto Rico as “that woman,” or minimizing the pain and suffering of Puerto Rico by saying it’s not a real catastrophe; enough is enough.
“He’s just being candid. That’s just the way he talks. He’s not racist… he just doesn’t know any better.” No more excuses!
On the eve of his assassination, right after his home had been firebombed in New York, Malcolm X spoke in Detroit on his frustration of the government’s initiative to do anything about the racist action of the Klan in the south and the passiveness of black Christians in the south.
He said, “And you sit there when they’re putting the rope around your neck saying, ‘Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do.’ As long as they’ve been doing it, they’re experts at it, they know what they’re doing!”
Malcolm had a point. For 400 years America has had practice in the art of racism and the atrocities against people of color. Many white Americans might be shocked to discover that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1967, “I am sorry to have to say that the vast majority of white Americans are racist, either consciously or unconsciously.” Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
To my white brothers and sisters whom I love dearly… no more excuses. This behavior is not Christ-like and it is racist.
Racism is when you operate from a position of superiority and try to use your power to suppress another group of people.
- Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “We don’t know.” A well-known white evangelical First Lady of a church in the south apologized for saying, “Kneeling down during the anthem isn’t going to solve racism… duh, only Jesus can do that.” She apologized by saying, “I didn’t know… I didn’t mean to hurt my black church family… I didn’t know that there was a bigger picture.” Many white people don’t know there’s a bigger picture to injustice because they don’t have to know. They are insulated by white privilege. We hide behind this sterile version of Christianity and promote patriotism over liberation theology that says that God is the God of the oppressed. Jesus cares about the poor and marginalized. He came to preach good news to the poor and set the incarcerated free! He took a knee before he went to Calvary!
- He who guards your soul knows you knew. When millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust it wasn’t so much the racist Germans who were so effective in this horrific act, but it was the silence of Christians who watched it happen but didn’t say anything. We need white Christians to speak up against racism and injustice. 59 people were massacred by a white gunman in Vegas. But instead of talking about white rage and the need for gun control we talk about the need for law and order to control blacks, browns, and immigrants.
- God will repay all people as their actions deserve. God is the great equalizer. When we stand before God’s judgment he’s not going to ask what color we are. He’s not going to ask what is our national flag. He’s going to ask did you love me with all your heart, mind, and soul? Did you love your neighbor as yourself? Some of us will feign ignorance and ask who was my neighbor? And God will say whoever was in need regardless of race, sex, or class. Did you love them? “I don’t know” won’t work at judgment and it’s not working now.
Read this article for more perspective: Opinion: America has silently accepted the rage of white men
Our world is in a mess because we don’t know how to treat each other as we would want to be treated. Father, you destroyed the world the first time because it was full of violence. Now your kingdom suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Help us to show the world a more excellent way by erasing racism. For those of us who have experienced the grace of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, we know better. When we know better help us to do better. Help us to use the grace card and not the race card.
In Jesus’ Name