Have you ever seen a mall trash bin? Every time I work, I walk outside at the end of my shift, and I smell the thing before I can even get out of the “employees only” door. It’s awful. There’s old grease flowing into a grate by the bin and chunks of who-knows-what piled on the concrete. Dozens of trash bags end up lining the side of the slimy, blue dumpster, and it smells something like a sewer.
You know what’s more disgusting than those awful piles of refuse? I’ll give you a hint – it’s racism.
The past couple of years have brought racial tensions to the forefront of American culture. From the murder of Trayvon Martin to the atrocious chants of an University of Oklahoma fraternity, it’s become more apparent than ever that the sentiment of “not liking people who are different than you” lives on within the United States.
And that’s not okay. As long as racism’s alive and well, we will never be okay.
It’s simply awful that people, even Christians, are standing against their fellow human beings here, throwing around the most disgusting slurs, viewing other people breathed by God as inferior for some reason or another. It’s even more disturbing that the reality of racism exists in a real way through jokes, comments and assumptions made by the people we come into contact with everyday. You know what I’m talking about.
It’s got to stop. The solution starts with us.
The prejudices present in the United States and the church are antithetical to the purpose of both institutions. So, what do we do?
Well, we start by recognizing the problem. A structure of intolerance has crept into our institutions and survived leaps toward progress within our culture. That’s dangerous. It’s wrong. No if’s, and’s or but’s.
So, we have to stand in solidarity with those being oppressed. We have to say “no” to the sickening jokes, the assumptions made about someone that looks different than you.
The church, for one, should take a stronger stance against racism. Christ accepts everyone, so, how can anyone under the banner of Christianity reject another human being because of some trivial difference or another? At the end of the day, we are all human beings, and we have to rally together, stand as one against the structures engrained into our society that reinforce the sentiment of division and oppression.
We have no business denying others the love that Christ offers us. We have no business ignoring the reality of oppression of others in our society. We have no business staying silent when others are being oppressed through institutions and individuals on a daily basis. If we stand under Christ, we stand for those that are different than us. We live to help those that can’t always help themselves. We don’t blame them. We don’t stop loving them.
What would Jesus do?