Racism Thrives on a Lack of Genuine Relationships with People of Color

Photo: Noxio (Found on Pinterest)

Proximity & intentional relating can help heal a racist viewpoint.

I studied chemical engineering. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I love math, science, physics, and my highest grades were in math. I even took more math classes than needed. I digress. My first roommate at college had never seen a “colored” person before. She assumed because we chatted on the phone that I was white (it is a false stereotype that all people of color use broken English). Her mom thought I was the first person from my family to go to college and I was a charity case. My mother corrected her and let her know she had 5 college degrees. That was an awkward moment. The mother believed a stereotype that all people of color are charity cases, unlearned/uneducated.

My roommate’s prejudice was amplified over the first few months. She would say things that were racist and be corrected. She tried to boss me around like I was her live in servant, this too was not tolerated. It was taxing to keep educating her on how to treat people. It was also challenging for her to unlearn all the garbage she had learned about non white people.

One of her biggest fears was I would steal from her. Another stereotype is people of color are poor or steal. I told her I was not poor, did not want her stuff.

Over time her views began to shift some. She stopped acting like I wanted to steal from her. She did say, “You are okay, I just do not want any of ‘those people,’ alone with my stuff.” She was referring to my black and hispanic friends. Many of them had more money than she did. She was corrected.

What I learned from Jane (not her real name) is that it is easy to be ignorant in a bubble. If you have no real connections with people not like you, it’s easy to believe the lies of the media and culturally passed down stereotypes. If anyone should have been afraid in that situation, it should have been me. Historically racists have killed and persecuted more people of color than the reverse. A recent story popped up of a black woman poisoned by her white roommate.

I have encouraged my Bible study to GO connect with people not like you. Try to get to know them. Listen to their stories. Learn about their culture. Read. Study. Learn. Reach out. Listen to understand, not debate.

Did Jane walk away with less prejudice? I think so. I also noted there were ideas of superiority that she refused to let go. We parted ways unamicably. Instead of being able to just focus on study I was teaching my roommate how not to be racist. ChemE is challenging even if you love math, chemistry, etc…I spent a portion of my freshman year dealing with racism and bringing truth to stereotypes.

It changed me a bit. I grew up in a family where everyone was welcome and we did not do the racial stuff. I had experienced racism when we moved to another city and when my mom enrolled me in a school for the gifted. I hated that school. There was plenty of racism at that school. Yet now I was living with someone who had been raised in an environment of racism, bigotry, and white superiority. I learned racism is taught. It can be unlearned.

Though Jane and her parents may have thought she (they) were superior based on race, Jane flunked a year and I am not sure if she graduated.
Ethnic background has nothing to do with value, worth, intellect. We all were created in the image of God and have divine potential.

My encouragement is get to know people and understand every person in the man made groups is not identical. I cannot speak for every person who looks like me. Nor can you. People are people. We all come with our own stories, experiences, etc…invest some time in getting to know people.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Founder & CEO

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Empoweredandfreemerch.com

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God Created One Race, Human 

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Morning Devotion: God created one race, human. Cleansing from the sin of racism. 

In Genesis it does not say, “Then God created asian people, latino people, jewish people, native people, white people, and black people.” It said God created Adam and Eve. We humans came up with different races of people. God created one human race that has different expressions of His beauty and creativity. 

It amuses me how people cling to labels that were created to promote division and racism. Part of the US census was to keep “white” people from mingling with anyone with brown DNA. Brown DNA, especially African DNA is dominant. 

All of life began on the continent of Africa. Science has proven African is the oldest DNA. If you combine African, Asian, Native, etc…DNA with non brown DNA it is prone to be dominant. There was also a belief that those with brown skin were inferior and their culture was a threat to all things “white”. 

Boxes and labels were created to keep people segregated due to fear, pride, insecurity, and in many cases greed. If you want someone’s land or to exploit them, to ease your conscious you make them less than you. If your neighbor is not human, or an inferior human it does not feel as bad to kill them, rape them, steal their land, or abuse/enslave them. 

The Jews thrown in concentration camps were not considered human. The Africans enslaved were not human, or less than. The Natives raped, killed, and forced off their land were considered savages. The other brown people groups bombed, killed were considered less than. 

The point I am trying to make is racism is sin. It is a sin that greatly grieves the heart of God. It is void of agape love, God love. Those who do not love, do not know God because God is love (1 John 4:8). 

God created one race of people, humans. The labels we cling to were created by humans to promote division. White people are not really white (void of all pigment). White is a crayon color; It is not a people group. Africans can have pink/pale children with blond hair and blue eyes. Black is a crayon color, it does not encompass all the different ethnic groups that emerged from the continent (Africa is not a country, it is a continent) of Africa. There are people all over the world with brown to dark brown skin. 

The pride people take in things that have zero relevance to God astounds me. He sees people He loves. He’s not in heaven taking a census, “Oh wait, did you check the box latino for this one. Great. I need to make sure heaven is diverse, we meet our quota.” 

Father God is not like us, our ethnic group of choice. He is Spirit. Those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He is not our preferred ethnic group. He also created both male and female in His image. Every human being was God’s idea. God is not like an earthly male. Females were made in His image as well. I will touch on gender and sexism in a different post. 

When He sent His Son He sent Him through the lineage of the Jews; He made a covenant with Abraham. The Jews in the times of Jesus were olive skinned to brown/dark brown, had wool like/curly hair. Jesus would not be welcome today in many churches that claim Him. He would not be considered European or “white”. The portraits of Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes are artists reflections. Some of the earliest paintings of Him and Mary they were both brown. 

My prayer is we examine the labels we cling to. We examine how humanity birthed racism out of sin. The root being insecurity and pride, “Someone must be inferior to feel superior.” 

Racism is also a fruit of fractured identity and a soul void of God love. When we know our value in the eyes of God we can love and appreciate others. There are no inferior people groups in God’s eyes. We humans came up with putting others down to feel good about ourselves. 

Lord forgive us for the sins of insecurity, pride, and racism. You created one race, human. You love every single person on this planet. Oh how you love us. Help us to strip off labels given by man and be clothed in the labels given by You. Help us to view others from Your perspective. Help us to receive Your love and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Break the bondages of pride, insecurity, and fractured identity off our country and world. Heal fractured identities and souls. The world needs Your agape love. Come Lord Jesus! Eradicate the deep roots of fear, insecurity, pride, racism, and sexism in our world. Please forgive our country and our world for our sins. Cleanse us of our iniquity. Heal our land. Let heaven come here. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.