Only One Thing Can Heal the Racial Divisions In America Now by Raleigh B. Washington
The mainstream news media proclaim that America is racially divided. The President claims that we are not as divided as it appears. African-Americans say we have always been divided—nothing has changed. Latinos say, of course we are divided. Native Americans: “yes, from the Mayflower until today.” Whites express numerous views, and many are constantly seeking understanding. “Black lives matter!” “Blue lives matter!” “All lives matter!”
Concern for the state of race relations in America is appropriate. However, we are not hearing solutions that will have a significant or long-lasting impact on the heightened racial tension in America.
Some are using this sad moment in American history to criticize the establishment, institutions, government, white male authority and militant protesters, as “the problem.” Cooler heads among politicians, pundits and news anchors are calling for sensible conversations. But conversation without meaningful action is worthless.
Great moments in our nation’s 240 years include The Emancipation Proclamation, The Civil Rights Acts, the National Holiday for MLK and the election of an African-American President. But even those landmark strides have failed miserably in changing the status quo of a prominent racial divide in America.
Let me unpack a few episodes of the past to show you that most of the recommendations being put forth do not vary from most of the tactics already tried. The Emancipation Proclamation and The Civil Rights Acts were powerful documents that brought about measures of positive change. Unfortunately, the changes were short lived as the strategic maneuvering of man seemingly found subtle and discreet ways to ultimately maintain the racial divide. When blacks moved into a suburban neighborhood, the whites moved out. When churches established a gospel choir, white members moved to other churches. When schools were forced to integrate, white parents placed their children in private schools. Affirmative Action forced institutions and businesses to integrate, but the opinion of many in the majority never changed—that Affirmative Action was, and is, a bad thing, unfair and ineffective. Cries of “reverse racism” gave bigotry a fresh start.
Many would point to the fame and fortunes of Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and Denzel Washington as success stories which prove that America has finally changed its ways and accomplished equal opportunity. Look a little deeper.
Michael Jordan’s success and finances did not prevent him from being denied membership in an exclusive white country club. Denzel Washington’s success in the movie industry has not balanced the scales for actors of color because of a predominantly white academy. (Could anyone miss the pain of Hollywood’s actors of color literally being shunned two years in a row?) There are countless other illustrations that validate the point that we are racially divided despite individual successes, Civil Rights Acts, Affirmative Action and numerous high level conversations on race. Depending on where you sit, you can see them every day.
So far, the results of virtually all of the actions to integrate the races seem relatively short-lived. One step forward—two steps back to a racially divided America.
Simply put, these actions comprise the wisdom of man, our best ideas and our most vigorous effort, all of which the Bible describes as “earthly, natural, demonic, resulting in jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil thing.” It’s time for help from above, a kind of divine intervention. What we need is the wisdom of God, which the Bible describes as, “pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, unwavering and without hypocrisy.”
There is an answer drawn from the wisdom of God that is so profound and so simplistic that virtually all of the aforementioned persons and factions have completely missed it. If applied, this solution can solve the racial divide and the divide between the police and the communities of color. I have even seen this solution close the perennial divide that exists between Democrats and Republicans. The answer for a divided America is wrapped up in one simple word: relationship.
We must define and explain the authentic relationships that will cure racial division. Relationships must be genuine as opposed to superficial; permanent as opposed to temporary; and intimate as opposed to casual. A good phrase to help understand this definition of intimacy is: “into-me-see.” The Bible describes this kind of relationship in the book of Proverbs as “a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Simply put, this is a relationship where divorce is simply not an option. In this kind of relationship, the only course of action is to remain committed to resolving the inevitable conflicts that arise in cross-racial or cross-cultural relationships. Some will say, “This is too hard.” All genuine relationships, even marriage, requires hard work to succeed.
Dr. Tony Evans (and many other preachers) have said, “We may have come to this land on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Who would rather drown than stay in the ship?
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SOURCE: Charisma News
Dr. Raleigh B. Washington