Enough already, stop labeling people with whom you disagree. Being a Black American I can tell you I have seen my fair share of racism. I have seen it overtly expressed in words and actions and I have seen it subtly displayed in opportunities given to people who appear to get positions because of who they know not what they are capable of doing. What is getting lost in the continuous claims of racism is that true discrimination goes unnoticed. Racism is a dangerous label to attach to someone. It is impossible to defend and only serves to further divide people. Like all labels, they are the most damaging when they limit a person’s ability to live out their God-given potential.
1. Dispelling some commonly held erroneous facts.
In a recent Pew Research article. Here are some interesting trends in America in relation to Black Americans:
• For the first time in U.S. history, 90% of Americans ages 25 and older have completed high school, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – and the share of blacks who have done so is also at the highest level on record. In 2017, 87% of blacks ages 25 and older had a high school diploma or equivalent. The share of blacks ages 25 and older who have completed four years of college or more has also roughly doubled during that span, from 12% in 1993 to 24% in 2017.
• Immigrants are making up a growing number of the overall U.S. population – but the black immigrant population is growing twice as fast. There were 4.2 million black immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, up from 816,000 in 1980, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. Since 2000 alone, the number of black immigrants in the U.S. has risen 71%.
• The wealth gap increased between middle-income black and white families but shrank between lower-income black and white families from 2007 to 2016. Much of the reduction in the wealth gap among lower-income families was driven by a sharp decrease in wealth for whites.
With all this progress in the black community that old ugly “R” word racism still keeps popping up.
• In 2017, about eight-in-ten blacks (81%) said racism is a big problem in society today, up from 44% eight years prior. By comparison, about half of whites (52%) said racism is a big problem in our society, up from 22% in 2009.
2. When Racism hurts.
An overwhelming majority of blacks (92%) say whites benefit at least a fair amount from advantages that blacks do not have. This includes nearly seven-in-ten blacks (68%) who say whites benefit a great deal. By comparison, 46% of whites say whites benefit at least a fair amount from advantages in society that blacks don’t have, with just 16% saying whites benefit a great deal.
This research revelation is one that hits home. When, because of the color of your skin and not based on your gifts and abilities, you rarely get the chance to be what God created you to be, that destroys the human spirit. At its core, racism is about assigning a value to people using labels. They base those labels on impressions of what they believe a certain race of individuals are lacking. They do not design labels to build up and unite, they are in place to hold people down and limit what God designs. How to end racism? Change the narrative, change how we see people. As Paul says “regard no one according to the flesh.” Instead, see people through the eyes of God.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, , that you may proclaim the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.“ 1 Peter 2:9
Defeat the labels placed on you by the world and remember God left a royal priesthood behind to be a light that shines brightly in the darkness. Be what God has chosen and redeemed you to be.
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