In general, most people agree that America has come a long way since the Civil Rights Movement. We’ve had a black president for goodness sakes. For that reason, many of our white brothers and sisters don’t think racism exists anymore. But black people face some form of racism on a daily basis. Now, you may wonder, what does the ‘heart of man’ have to do with racism in America? Well, the ‘heart of man,’ correlates with one’s beliefs about other ethnicities and cultures. But first, let’s look at the definition of racism so that we are all on the same page.
What is racism
According to Merriam-Webster, racism is racial prejudice or discrimination. Dictionary.com defines racism as follows. It is a policy and/or system of government. And sadly, hatred and intolerance of other races is the driving force behind racism. Therefore, a racist believes the ideology that one’s own racial group is superior to others. Those definitions are
For instance, if a man thinks he is superior to another person based on his skin color–then he is a racist. So, after seeing what racism is, self-reflection is so important. Because when most people know better, they aim to do better. But that all depends upon a person’s heart.
I really like what the Holy Bible says about race in Acts 17:26 New King James Version. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,”
The heart of man
So then why does racism [hate and intolerance] exist? The Holy Bible well answers that question. Genesis 6:5 New International Version says, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”
Mark 7:21-23 New Living Translation says, “21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
Now from those two scriptures, we can see why racism is easy for some people. Hence, the title and discussion of this podcast episode; The Heart of Man—Racism in America.
The world at a standstill revealed the truth about racism in America
In the wake of COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic forced the world to be still. During that time, people around the world were home on their devices. Thus, when the video of the arrest and murder of George Floyd posted, it sent shockwaves around the world. Because a racist white police officer pressed his knee in Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The world saw the life leave George Floyd as he and by-standers begged for his life.
Truth is, the murders of black people by racist police officers are not a shock to the black community. That’s why for black people the police invoke feelings of fear and anxiety. Whereas for white people, police invoke feelings of safety and protection.
You see, the Presumption of Innocence does not apply to black people when faced with a racist officer.
Black Lives Matter—a point of contention
When some people hear or see the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ it is a point of contention. The phrase deeply offends them. And they reply to it with the phrase ‘All Lives Matter.’ Well, that is a really good sentiment. But truth is, all lives do not matter to all people.
Put very simply, when hate and intolerance fills the heart of man, black people get a front row seat to racism in America.
So, to my non-black brothers and sisters who believe all lives matter–I offer this litmus test. If tomorrow you woke up a black person, how would you feel? In other words, if you had to live the rest of your life as a black person in America–would you be okay with that? Or would you become overwhelmed with fear? If your answer is the latter–you realize that to be black in America could become a death sentence. Especially in the presence of a racist police officer.
Liberty and justice for all
Black Lives Matter is not to the exclusion of others but a clarion call that black lives matter too. Hence, the Black Lives Matter peaceful protests are happening to seek justice. We live in the land of Liberty and Justice for All. Thus, it is only right that black people receive the same respect and opportunities as our white brothers and sisters.
Isaiah 1:17 New International Version says, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
Micah 6:8 New Living Translation says, “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
I took those scriptures to mean that God requires us to seek justice, defend the oppressed, and do what is right.
1 John 4:7-8 New Living Translation takes it a bit farther, “7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. 8 Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Well, that definitely leaves no room for racism.
If you would like to learn more, then this podcast episode is for you. Join Lady V and me in our informative discussion about The Heart of Man–Racism in America.
Show love, compassion, and empathy to all.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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