Let’s be honest. We don’t always understand why a significant number of people of one race believe one thing; while members of another race seem to believe something entirely different when evaluating the same information. This difference of perspective is contrary to what society has come to call “common sense”.
I know that to have common sense doesn’t mean complete concurrence on all things by everyone in a community, but shouldn’t there be more concurrence on things of mutual importance than we currently have? And does the lack of common sense about racial issues contribute to the disharmony and fear we see in our communities?
Maybe sense is not as common as we would like it to be and we should do more things to help promote its creation.
I’m Not Without Hope
I have come to believe and know that Jesus is the Christ and this belief gives me hope that improvement is possible among Christians and through Christians. Since we have Christ in common we then have the Spirit in common and therefore we are equipped to move toward a community that is racially diverse and mutually respectful. This has been demonstrated for us in the Abolitionist movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the testimony of faithful men and women throughout history.
It’s my goal that this blog will show examples that demonstrate the parity and disparity in perception among races in the workplace, marketplace, casual-place and church-place. It’s my desire that this effort will move all of us – Christian and non-Christian – toward a better understanding, and a better tomorrow… together.
An Example from History
A major tenant of first century Christianity was that of community among men and women who believed in Jesus Christ. A shared existence. A common understanding of how life should be lived out together. A shared experience.
By the time the colonist in the New World decided to create the United States of America and declare that “all men were created equal” you must remember that a “man” was deemed a “man” only if his country of origin and the color of his skin was acceptable; therefore those who were not men didn’t receive the benefit of the community.
Being black and from Africa assured you a non-man status and in America if you were black and African you were livestock, slave, colored, n-word, freed slave, boy or all of the above. Because in their mind the “savages” from Africa weren’t equal to the “civilized” white men of England or Europe
White theologians of the time wrongly justified this view with the Bible and declared the enslavement of black Africans was consistent with the divine order of things. Black equals Slave. White equals Master.
Needless to say…. black folks sensed this as wrong while many white folks sensed it as right. There was no “common sense” among the races on this issue.
Eventually there was the civil war and emancipation for the slaves. White folks were confronted with the demise of the plantation system, a painful victory for the union, a debilitating loss for the confederacy and shifting economic fortunes. It’s not often that millions of dollars property is allowed to just walk away. Nothing was the same.
Black folks coming out of slavery were confronted with the question, “What next?” Ultimately the broken promises of the Reconstruction period, gave way to Jim Crow laws and the need for the Civil Rights Movement. The nation was splintered – blacks and whites. Again – post civil war, there was no “common sense” among black folks and white folks on how to move forward.
My questions are simple. Weren’t some of these folks Christians? Wasn’t the Holy Spirit present? How did we end up in where we are today? What are we going to do to improve things? What am I going to do to improve things?
Sense Is Not Common, but I look forward to contributing to, and participating in the journey to improve that.
P.S. — To those who read my previous blog post last summer in response to the Charleston shooting. I’m officially angry… in a good way. If you haven’t read it you can find it here: I’m Troubled: I Have Sons & Attend a Black Church