Monday, July 25, 2011

Racism





I first realized that racism was an issue in the world when watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie as a young child. The little boy was not allowed to attend school with Laura, simply because his skin was dark. I remember sobbing uncontrollably and asking my dad why, repeatedly. He was unable to explain this to me and I still find myself asking why. It's incomprehensible.

Last night my husband and I watched an episode of Leverage. The storyline involved a doomed love story between a black man and white woman in 1942, as well as the bigotry present in the military. I found myself in tears once again, my heart broken that although my eyes have been opened to these travesties through story, they have been reality for so many.

I often hear people refer to being "color blind" and I find that quite ridiculous. I don't see the need to be blind to someone's skin color, just as I don't see the need to be blind to someone's hair color or eye color. I am an American woman of Irish heritage. I have red hair (thanks to my hairdresser), green eyes, freckles, and pale skin that refuses to tan. All of this is a part of who I am. It does not make me better or worse than you. It just makes me, ME.

I'd rather see us embrace the fact that we are all unique and yet the same. We all have differences and similarities. We're all human beings created in the image of God and we tend to want to be judged based on who we are and not what we look like.

Racism is wrong. Period. I'm thankful for the power of story to communicate that to those who have not had to live it. I'm thankful that I still ask why and pray my children and my children's children will continue to find it incomprehensible until the day comes that it is no more and is relegated to being a tragic part of our history. I fear that day will never come but I pray the words of a great man will someday prove true;

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." -Martin Luther King Jr.

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