Like a great deal of my fellow Americans, my heart simply aches over the recent events that have taken place in Charlottesville VA. It’s a national disgrace and I’m struggling to see a United front in and for “We The People”. Leadership has also delivered a stance a day or two late leaving me wondering if the good for us all is truly a non-biased priority.
My personal experience and view points regarding the topic of racism runs painfully deep. I was once grossly affected by the matter especially as a youth.
Like yesterday I can clearly recall walking to elementary school with my cousins and needing to run through several blocks to safety or risk getting jagged edged rocks slammed in the back of my head. I eventually mastered dodging the blows but only after being wounded on multiple occasions. This was a daily sprint and no way around the confrontation generated simply because of the color of my skin.
In middle school, a boy spat in my face and called me an ugly nigger. I tried to chase him down in flip flops but never caught up to him. I was left feeling like dirt on the ground as his warm thick saliva oozed over my eye and down my cheek. To this day, I believe spitting on another human beings is one of the worst forms of insult imaginable.
Not long after that another approached me and asked me to perform a disgraceful sexual act on him. I remember feeling so frightened for it took him repeating it several times before I understood what he was asking. He was seriously vulgar and I was just about 9 years old.
Several more instances happened thereafter which I won’t disclose but I remember developing the learned behavior of prejudice by the time I was in high school. All of my insults came from caucasian males and I grew a racist distaste over the very site of them. I put them all in the same category and couldn’t fathom any good at all. As an extended result, I didn’t socialize, befriend or seek to get to know anyone that didn’t look like me. I made the assumption that any race outside of my own automatically hates me and I them.
By the time I was approaching 20, a life changing event occurred that melted away a very deep form of racist hate that had been growing in my heart for years. I had rededicated my life to Christ after hitting some tough places and moved to a neighborhood where most residents did not match my skin complexion. I was overwhelmed by how I was embraced but still had guards up looking for hidden agendas. The acceptance just couldn’t be true as I considered my previous encounters.
Not long after that I befriended a beautiful Korean girl who had a Jewish boyfriend with the biggest heart I’d ever met. Truly the sweetest in my life up to that point. I genuinely grew to love them both and was blessed for these friendships.
I made a point thereafter to not classify everyone simply because of the ignorance of a few. God healed my heart of the deepest form of hate and I purposely sought out opportunities to get to know all kinds of people who were also willing to get to know me.
Today my heart is completely open and longs for diversity in my relationships. I no longer find contentment in surrounding myself with only African Americans. In fact I prefer to worship with a congregation with a healthy mix of all kinds of people. My current church fulfills that beyond description and I have sisterly/brotherly like bonds that far exceed color lines. Our bond is spiritual by the DNA we share through the sacrifice of our common father, Jesus Christ.
It’s a beautiful experience and I would have it no other way. Adding God’s revelation to my adolescent ignorance as I matured showed me the true definition of love. Had I remained stuck on my initial experiences I would have missed out on rapport with some wonderful people. That would have been my loss for certain if I had chosen to remain oblivious.
I pray for our country and won’t give up hope that we can put our racial differences aside, bond together as humans and demonstrate respect instead of hate. Globally, those with a racists agenda are truly the minority and can remain as such if the majority commit to condemn their behavior as completely unacceptable!
This may not come to pass in my life time but at least I’m living proof that with God’s love, even a powerful stance of racial animosity can be healed and conquered in Him. I’m living proof, He’s able.