It seems like racism tension erupt with every generation. In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to white people on a bus in Montgomery Alabama. Consequentially she was arrested, and this led to the largest bus boycott in American history. The black community’s bus boycott marked one of the largest and most successful large-scale movements against racial segregation.
In the 1990’s Rodney King was pulled out of his car in L.A. by police who beat him mercilessly and it was all caught on camera. After the three officers were acquitted, the 1992 LA riots took place. Similar events took place after the death of George Floyd last year. Ahmaud Arbury was murdered by three white men who chased him down as he was out jogging in his South Georgia neighborhood. These are only the high-profile racial cases that made the news. Racial tension isn’t just a white on black or black on white issue. Racial tension exists between people of every color and ethnicity. This is not just an American issue either.
Racism is not feeling uncomfortable with people who don’t look like you, speak like you, or act like you. You are not a racist if you inquire about ones’ ethnicity or ask them questions related to their culture. You are not a racist if you don’t know what to say to a person of another ethnicity. You are not a racist if you don’t like Chinese food or Mexican food or spaghetti. You are not a racist if you avoid dangerous neighborhoods. You are not a racist for being proud of your ethnicity.
Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Racism results in hatred, fear, and inhumane treatment toward someone because of the nation they’re from or the color of their skin.
Egyptians, Israelites, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, and Gentiles are all ethnicities mentioned in the bible. Back in biblical times, most ethnicities hated each other. Then came Jesus. Jesus came to seek and save the lost regardless of their social status, skin color, or position. Jesus was most likely around five feet tall with dark skin, dark hair, and brown eyes. He didn’t hold any political office or even have a house of his own. He moved from place to place teaching the Word of God.
The Samaritans were a mixed breed of Jews and pagan foreigners who created a religion for themselves that the Jews considered heresy. To the Jews, a Samaritan was more revolting than a Gentile. That is what makes the parable of the Good Samaritan so powerful. The parable is recorded in Luke 10:30-37. As the parable goes, two men pass a wounded Jewish man who has been beaten by robbers. They do not stop to help. Then a Samaritan man sees the wounded Jewish man and helps him. The Samaritan, who Jews never saw as the hero of any story, was the hero. He stopped to help the injured Jewish man and even paid for his care. Not only was Jesus teaching the significance of helping others, the greater point is that racism is wrong.
What will it take for racism to fade into history? It will take the perfect love of Christ lived out daily in your life. Check your heart for racism and demonstrate the love of Christ always. If you believe that all people are created in the image of God, then treat them with the love of God. You be the Good Samaritan. The Apostle John writes; “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” 1 John 3:23
Hate is not an option for Christians. Don’t just talk about loving others, show it. Live it out. Not just with your people group, but with others you are yet to know.