Racism, a gigantic issue affecting our country, consists of prejudices, discrimination, and antagonism, and involves one group believing they are superior over another group. Prejudices come from stereotypes – generalizations which may presumably be true in some situations or with certain people, but not true in all situations or for everyone in that group. Since every born human is a descendant from Adam and Eve, there is only one biological race – this is one of at least two reasons to disbelieve “one race is superior over another”. A second reason is that God shows no partiality in the creation of all mankind. In conclusion, instead of practicing discrimination and antagonism, practice unconditional love. Unconditional love is the only foundation that can keep our racially-divided country, united.
Racism can be defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” Prejudice is the negative attitudes, resulting from the perception that “my group is better than yours”; whereas, discrimination is the unjust behaviors that result from having a prejudice. Antagonism is “active hostility or opposition” and describes the overall current nature of the relationship between the groups of blacks and whites. Antagonism results from the discrimination (behaviors, actions performed between races) and prejudices (attitude: my race is superior and has the right to rule over your group).
My belief is that to control racism, you must first tackle the negative attitudes (prejudices) that influence the resulting behaviors among races (discrimination) that produce the resulting conflict, hostility, and opposition (antagonism) among brethren of different races. If you change the attitudes (prejudices) to something better, I believe you would eliminate much of the impetus that influences the resulting behaviors of discrimination, which can help reduce antagonism between the groups. Secondly, if you also replace hateful discrimination with unconditional love, then people will be less antagonistic and hostile toward another. It is about replacing sin-influenced discrimination with Holy Spirit-led unconditional love, to keep our country unified. If we don’t, our country will remain divisive and unstable. The remainder of this article further stresses these points.
But first, what are exactly prejudices?
“Prejudice is an unreasonable dislike of, or preference for, one group of people or thing over another.” To dislike or prefer one group over another, entails first believing there are “inherent differences” between the members of different groups, and that these “differences” enable one party to be either superior or inferior to the other. If you think both groups have no differences among its people, then you would have no reason to believe one party is better than the other. But since people perceive differences do exist, society overall thinks blacks and whites are dissimilar in value.
“Prejudice is the glass through which most things are seen and judged.” (Edward Counsel)
Prejudice involves “prejudging someone based on one or more aspects of his or her appearance or personality.” It entails making a judgment call about someone or something without first “weighing all the available evidence”. A prejudice is an “idea or a negative opinion that is not based on facts or experience.” Prejudices are great timesavers because it allows us to form opinions without taking the time to get all the proofs.
Our prejudices come from our brain’s process of categorizing information and concepts and making generalizations to help us humans make better sense of our world. Categorization is “an activity that consists of putting things (objects, ideas, people) into categories (classes, types, index) based on their similarities or common criteria. It allows humans to organize things, objects, and ideas that exist around them and simply their understanding of the world.” Making generalizations is part of the categorization process.
According to COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary, a generalization is “a statement that seems to be true in most situations or for most people, but that may not be completely true in all cases.” Common examples of generalizations include:
a. Every salesman lies to make more money on a sale.
b. Women all want to have large families.
c. Men are all afraid of commitment.
d. Learning to drive isn’t difficult.
e. Poor people are lazy.
f. Boys don’t enjoy playing with dolls.
g. Your family will always be there for you.
h. Friends are people who will never let you down.
i. Overweight people eat too much.
j. The customer is always right.
Looking at the above generalization examples, note that not in every situation, or for every person in life, would these generalizations be considered true. Generalizations are made to guide future decision making – to maximize happiness, needs, and goals met; to ensure personal safety. They are strictly “general rule of thumbs” of how certain people are. Just as it wouldn’t be wise to always follow these generalizations as strict guidelines to guide our decision making – consequences can occur if you are wrong – it would not be also smart to always firmly follow stereotypes that are part of our prejudice, in our decision-making processes.
Our prejudices come from stereotypes. “In the 1980s and beyond, stereotypes of black men are depicted as being drug dealers, crack victims, the underclass, the homeless, and subway muggers.” These stereotypes are generalizations, and thus, not true in every circumstance or with every person.
An article from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stereotypes/ reinforces this point: “Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people. Whether a person is facing discrimination based on race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation, stereotypes are false and can lead to prejudices. People begin to assume that all people of a particular group behave in a specific way or look the same. Stereotypes are dangerous to our society because they don’t account for individuality. Each human being has an identity that doesn’t relate exclusively to being a member of a group”.
Prejudices are mental mistakes formed during human’s natural categorization process. Prejudices result from man’s tendency to overcategorize people. Clifford T. Morgan strengthens this concept: “A prejudice is really a strong tendency to overcategorizepeople. It lumps many individuals together on the basis of some common, and largely irrelevant, characteristic. . . . Every member of the group is then regarded as having the same characteristic.”
Prejudices are opinions and not facts. They come from generalizations and overcategorizing. We must critically assess whether or not the prejudices we have our true, before using them to form our negative attitudes about other races.
2 Theological Facts That Disprove The Perception “One Race Is Superior Over Another”
Racism encompasses there are inherent differences between blacks and whites that determine cultural or individual achievement, that the “white race” is superior over the “black race”, and has the right to rule over the blacks. Thus, hatred and conflict exist between blacks and whites, and the “stronger group” (whites) often discriminates, and denies the rights of the other “party” (blacks). I don’t believe this should take place.
Part of the prejudice premise is that “one race is superior over another”. I will give two theological points that contradict this reasoning.
- We all descended from the same parents (Adam and Eve).
“In the biological sense, race does not exist.” ― Abhijit Naskar, We Are All Black: A Treatise on Racism
In the beginning, God created humans. The first humans were Adam and Eve. Every human since then has been an offspring from these two individuals. Thus, only one biological race exists – the human race. In essence, we are all human, regardless of whether or not we are black or white (or whatever). We are all the same. Consequently, we should not prejudice each other.
Humans came from one race and was dispersed as the result of the Tower of Babel, leading to the formation of people groups (Asians, Caucasians, etc.). Man didn’t come from different “ancestral apes” as evolutionists think, or that “human groups were deeply divided by significant variants over tens or hundreds of thousands of years.” During the Tower of Babel, when man thought they could work together to build a tower of Babel to heaven, God confused man by giving them different languages so they couldn’t communicate with each other, thwarting the plan of build a tower to heaven. Some people think that thus, different races are totally different from each other. Dr. Georgia Purdom differs:
“The families that scattered from Babel brought different combinations of genes with them. But their physical differences were trivial. We all have the same basic brown pigment, and we belong to one race—the human race—descended from Adam.”
That brown pigment is called melanin. People with lots of brown melanin pigment are “black” and whites have less brown pigment, making them a whiter complexion of skin. So, no human is actually black or white – there is only color of pigment (brown) in all of us, with either less or more shades of the brown pigment melanin in us.
Researchers believe Adam and Eve were a “middle brown color with both dominant and recessive genes for the pigment melanin in the skin.” Children of Adam and Eve who had the dominant genes would be considered today “black”; those with the recessive genes, “white”; and middle brown in between (those having both dominant and recessive genes).
Even though today our world has different ethnicities, geographies, citizenships, and cultures, humans are genetically nearly identical. There is only a 0.01 % variation in our human genes that accompany variations in physical appearance across all mankind. Racism still exists, and people are judged by the color of their skin, wrongly believe that we are inherently different from each other, giving some people to perceive they are better than others. In fact, the only differences is 0.01 % in our human genes. As Franklin A. Thomas once said: “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”
We are all of one blood, equal in value before our Creator, and we all need to treat every human as being our relative, because in essence, that is what we actually are. According to Dave Willis, “God created our skin tones with beautiful variety, but all of our souls are the same color.”
- Every person is equally valuable to God.
“For God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:11)
By definition, favoritism is “the act of showing partiality, bias, or preference towards one person over another with equal claims.” Since God is perfect, can do all things, and shows no favoritism, one may assume that each time God creates a human being, He will create him or her with the intention of showing no partiality in comparison to His other human creations. Every person He decides to create would, thus, be of equal value to Him, and He would design each person that way. In short, if God showed no favoritism, He would not create races of unequal values.
Please read the following paragraph, found in https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-inequality.html: “God established the equal value of all human beings with these words: ‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them’ (Genesis 1:27). By creating human beings in His own image, God set our value based upon our likeness to Him. Every human being has a naturally occurring equality with every other human being because no one has been created more or less like God than any other. When God sent His only begotten Son into the world to take the punishment for our sin (John 3:16–18), He forever confirmed our value (2 Corinthians 5:21). For this reason alone, every human being has infinite and equal value in the sight of God.”
“God shows no partiality”. Thus, when He creates every human, He views them equally valuable, because if He made them unequal, God would be showing favoritism toward one person over another, and thus, would be considered a liar, and not perfect.
God shows His impartiality in other ways. After Adam and Eve sinned, God declared “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means that “all races are equally sinful before God and in equal need of a Savior”. God gave man equal freedom to choose – which includes equal opportunity to experience the benefits of what Jesus did, in love for us, by dying on the cross. To those whose free will chooses to become a Christian, the cross exalts every Christian equally in equal standing with God, right after they accept Christ as their Savior. All Christians, regardless of race, are equally forgiven, equally adopted, and equally saved for all eternity. In this entire process, there is no reason to believe that one party or group is more superior than another. There is no place for prejudice or superiority in God’s kingdom.
Prejudice among Jews, Gentiles, and Samaritan were widespread in Jesus’s day. However, when Jesus died, according to Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” The cross made people of different races unified into a new race: Christian.
Likewise, We Should Not Show Favoritism
The Bible instructs us not to show favoritism toward one another. Proverbs 24:23 says, “These also are saying of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.” John 7:24 states: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” What does this mean?
In Samuel 16:7, after God gave Samuel the task of appointing a new king for Israel (in which God eventually would lead Samuel to David), the Lord provided Samuel with the following advice: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
If you are going to judge a person of a different race, judge them by the content of the character, not by the color of their skin (outward appearance). Wayne Dyer once said, “Judgments prevent us from the seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” The color of skin – outward appearances – God doesn’t look at, nor should we. It is our character that determines our worthiness.
“If not as a true human, let me tell you as a Biologist, color of the skin does not define an individual’s intelligence – it does not define an individual’s ambitions – it does not define an individual’s dreams – and above all, it does not define an individual’s character.” ― Abhijit Naskar, We Are All Black: A Treatise on Racism
Judging by the color of skin is a part of prejudice, and its’s wrong. It is something that we should all strive not to do. Nina Simone portrays what it feels likes to be a victim of prejudice: “You feel the shame, humiliation, and anger at being just another victim of prejudice, and at the same time, there’s the nagging worry that maybe … you’re just no good.”
Two Quotes to Consider:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Luke 6:37-38 – “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”
10 Reasons why Racism is a sin and offensive to God
In Kevin Deyoung’s article, “10 Reasons Racism Is Offensive to God”, found online at https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/10-reasons-racism-is-offensive-to-god/, Kevin writes about how God views all forms of racism as offensive and sinful. Here are his ten reasons:
- We are all made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27).
- We are all sinners corrupted by the fall (Rom. 3:10-20; 5:12-21)
- We are all, if believers in Jesus, one in Christ (Gal. 3:28).
- Separating peoples was a curse from Babel (Gen. 11:7-9); bringing peoples together was a gift from Pentecost (Acts 2:5-11).
- Partiality is a sin (James 2:1).
- Real love loves as we hope to be loved (Matt. 22:39-40).
- Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15).
- Love rejoices in what is true and looks for what is best (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
- Christ came to tear down walls between peoples not build them up (Eph. 2:14).
- Heaven has no room for racism (Rev. 5:9-10; 7:9-12; 22:1-5).
For the sake of brevity, I just listed the ten reasons. I strongly recommend you go to the above website and read further about why God views racism as an offensive sin against Him.
“The difference between a conviction and a prejudice is that you can explain a conviction without getting angry.” Gregory Benford, Deeper than the Darkness
Prejudices are negative attitudes. Why is there so much hostility among brethren of different races over plain generalizations? Rather than being discriminatory, what can we do instead that will work?
Kenneth Clark once stated that “Racial prejudices are indication of a disturbed and potentially unstable society.” Our country today struggles with racism because the heart of racism is a sin problem.
Mark 7:21-23 says: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Tryon Edwards once said: “He that is possessed with a prejudice is possessed with a devil, and one of the worst kinds of devils, for it shuts out the truth, and often leads to ruinous error.”
“Sin distorts the way we view and treat people who are different than us and it causes us to build up walls of division around us. It causes distortions that lead to divisions” (Jeremy A. McKeen). Sin leads us to see everything from our own selfish perspective, to simultaneously view ourselves lifted up with pride while bringing people down, to injure another for personal gain, to develop perceptions of hatred toward other people, to be hostile, to be closed-minded with views, to name a few.
“Racism and injustice and violence sweep our world, bringing a tragic harvest of heartache and death”. (Rev. Billy Graham)
Look at the impact the murder of George Floyd has recently upon society. Or the evil ills of slavery of blacks until the mid-nineteenth century in this country. Sin has led to evil practices, which has led to hatred, hostility, antagonism, distrust, discrimination, and mistreatment of one another.
“Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart”. (Marguerite Gardiner). Until we fully realize that racism is a sin problem and not just a social issue, we will never overcome the devils of our sinful natures.
Clint Eastwood once said: “The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.” And the reason why people are insecure is because of their sinful natures taking root and control in their lives.
Only when sinners become Christians and thus have a heart of God’s love in them can this world be changed. Only when Christians surrender their lives daily to God can the Spirit better take control of their words and actions. Only when love takes control of hate and selfishness can new foundations be built. Only when prejudices get challenged and get replaced with theological truths can “little black boys and girls be holding the hands of little white boys and girls”.
For the sake of freedom, the Church has a role in being a light toward tearing up and restructuring the moral foundation of our country. Laws also should bring back prayer in schools so the future leaders and Americans of our country should be retaught personal responsibility, importance of living a moral life, impact of religion upon American heritage, and most importance: the need for every American to follow the principles of faith, love, and hope.
“Unconditional Love will have the final word in reality.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
You probably know the underlying theme of the story of relationships in this world today. One group injures another. Low self-esteem, hopelessness, distrust of the other party, as desires for retribution occurs. Bad blood, including hatred, between the two groups exist and worsen as injuring another and subsequent retribution follows. More distrust, hatred, injuring another, and retribution occurs. Casualties and hopelessness of society members become common place again. This process will endlessly continue until old habits and the cycle both gets changed.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”: those were the wise words of Martin Luther King, Jr. In our country today, retribution is not the answer to our racial problems. Choosing to love and teaching others to do the same is.
The greatest way to change the world is to be a carrier of God’s love. Retribution, hatred, selfishness, survival of the fittest, and violence aren’t. The Church needs to spread the message of God’s love do this darkened world before it is too late! Every Christian has been bestowed by God with a purpose to fulfill. The lost cannot practice Spirit-led unconditional love because the Holy Spirit cannot enter the soul of the unsaved until he or she becomes a Christian, so we need to lead the lost to Christ. We must all encourage other Christians to do what they are meant to do. We must all daily surrender to the unique purpose He has given to us. Then we must let the Holy Spirit empower us to do it. And we must have the Holy Spirit control our words and actions that we express to others, in the process, especially those that are different than us.
God’s two greatest commands are to “love God with all thine heart” and “love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
“Loving God with all thine heart” involves doing what you are meant to do in life: that is, (1) to please God by living a life, reflective of the character God wants us to live, towards the people who are around us; and (2) seeking to achieve all the God-given goals and or purposes He has for your life.
God created us to love one another and not hate. He desires for us not to be prejudiced and racist. Like the Good Samaritan who helped a racially different man he found on a trip out of love (Luke 10:33), we must be willing to love and help those in need, regardless of how different and bad we may feel they may perceive them to be. To all this, we need the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and power to love in us. We need to daily ask the Holy Spirit to control our actions and words and to guide every decision we make in life. The tongue can do great damage in the relations among men, especially in these days of racism. Every day ask God to fill you with His wisdom and spirit of love. Be willing to surrender your life to God and let God guide you in your purposes, whatever it may be. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Love should govern ever decision and action made, and every word spoken. Love also involves loving God wholeheartedly, which means “living the life and accomplishing the goals God has both helped us to set.” “Loving thy neighbor as thyself” entails following the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Do you want to be treated by others by how you treat others? Examine yourself and be mindful of how you behave to those around you, especially to those of different color.
It doesn’t matter what you accomplish in life or whatever your intentions toward societal change may be, if it isn’t done in love, then it is, according to 1 Corinthians 13, futile and worthless:
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (The Message)
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
The Problem of Racism in U.S. Today
Our country is today in dire straits with our racism problem. Its foundations are very unstable and weak because of hatred, prejudices, discrimination, and antagonism. According to Luke 6:46-49, in order for our house called America can remain firm and be on solid foundation in spite of the floodwaters of life, we must listen and follow Jesus’ teachings:
46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
In Matthew 22:37-39, it reveals the teachings that we must listen to and then follow: “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’”.
Love should be the solid foundation to base our lives, our society, and our country upon. If we don’t listen and follow this teaching, according to Luke 6:46-49, sooner or later, all of the constant retribution, discrimination, antagonism, and prejudices of racism (aka floodwaters in verses 46-49) will continue and continue to beat upon our houses (our country, our lives) until the foundation weakens to the point, that our nation will “crumble into a heap of ruins”. If you don’t believe that, look at the impact of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, black-killing cops, slavery, riots, tearing down statues, injustices, has all had on our country lately. Over time, if we don’t love, at the rate of the occurrence of chaos in society, including relations among blacks and whites, have already happened because of antagonism and discrimination, what will happen to the fate of our country, ten, thirty, fifty, a hundred, or two hundred years from now? Love must govern every action and word we make.
Love and not retribution must be the foundation of our country. Romans 12:17-21 says: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the LORD. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In the future days of America, Americans should not only live a life of being filled with God’s love – that is the only way true love can exist in the hearts of sinful men – but also live a lifestyle of faith and hope. Have faith and hope in God that things will turn around for the better in this sinful, racism-filled country as you pray for a miracle. “With man, this is impossible; but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).
Don’t let the troubles of this world overcome you, but again have faith and hope in God. According to Luke 6:46-49, if you daily listen and follow all of Jesus’ teachings, it doesn’t matter how hard your house (your life, your family) gets beat upon the floodwaters of racism, your house will remain firm and strong, because it is built upon a solid foundation. Obedience to God, including His love commands, is the secret to building your house (your life, America) that won’t crumble in spite of all the trials that racism, etc. in this world may ever bring upon you.
“At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation, and prejudice”.
GORE VIDAL, “Sex and the Law”, Homage to Daniel Shays
“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts”. E. B. White
“Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.” Albert Einstein
“Racial prejudice is of ignorance. There is no place for it”. Spencer W. Kimball
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong”. Muhammad Ali
“O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand”. William Penn
“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible”. Maya Angelou
“The closer the people of all races get to Christ and His cross, the closer they will get to one another”. Billy Graham
“If you judge people you have no time to love them”. Mother Teresa
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls”. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is Love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
“It is never too late to give up our prejudices”. Henry David Thoreau
“Prejudice is learned. What will you teach others through your actions and words?” DaShanne Stokes
“Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics”. Alex Haley
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action”. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“Unconditional Love will have the final word in reality.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” Matthew 19:26