The Dark Skin Man Did It
Reflections on Race and Religion
CNN reported this week about the Boston Bombing. Wolf Blitzer and another reporter shared “breaking news” about the suspect.
He was arrested.
He was a man.
He was a “dark skin” man.
Other news agencies jumped on the bandwagon and repeated the same thing, all from credible sources. One problem. It was not confirmed. CNN spent the rest of the afternoon backtracking. Which leads me to my point. Why is it so easy to “go there”? While we have made great progress in race relations, there are still mountains to climb.
What lessons can we learn for our church? Here are three pictures of the church, which depict three very different attitudes. Let’s use a food imagery to convey the message (maybe it’s because today is my 40th day with a no-sugar diet):
1. Different menus.
In many places, different churches are like people going out to eat at different restaurants. Some serve soul food, while others serve tacos, and yet another serves a casserole with potatoes. They believe it’s preferable to have very distinct and specific racial components, and in many places, Sabbath morning continues to be the most segregated time in the week.
2. Melting pot.
Another group believes that the success is becoming a melting pot, where all ingredients lose their individuality and distinctiveness. The code word is uniformity. We all look, think, act and speak alike. Let’s throw them all the pot, and cook them until we have nothing remotely close to what we began with.
3. Salad bowl.
A better way, I believe (and I credit my friend Pr. Allan Machado for this) is a salad bowl approach. In a salad, every ingredient is tossed together, yet each preserves their uniqueness. When combined with the rest on the ingredients, it provides a succulent gastronomic delight.
The best way to confront racism in all its forms is with the gospel. What we don’t confront we condone. What message are you sending people through you lack of confrontation? There is no such thing as an “accidental racist.”
Enjoy your salad.
Thoughts? Share below. Keep comments short, clear and respectful.