The many directions of racism
Editor: In all the discussion of what is happening among the races, not just in the United States but around the world, I have yet to hear anyone address the directions of racism. What I am referring to is the fact that there are several “races,” all of whom are subject to discrimination in one way or another. Think of a traffic circle such as we have at Arnos Vale. Traffic from several directions meets at one point with each driver trying to go his own direction. As vehicles mingle in the circle, some must give way to others; otherwise a crash will occur. With racism, people refuse to yield without controversy and now we are seeing wave after wave of crashing taking place.
The problem is not the color of one’s skin but the direction in which one’s heart is looking. When one is looking always to the past – your people did this to my people or you as an individual did this to me – there will always be resentment and hatred and a failure to move forward, because as long as one is looking backward, he cannot see to go forward. When one is always looking to himself – I want to be treated this way and I want to have this freedom to do what I want to do – there will never be any progress in any direction, because the self-centered person or race or culture or society can see nothing outside of itself. When one is always looking forward and refusing to look at the past and from where a person, culture, or society has emerged and developed, he cannot see the mistakes he is repeating from the past; he refuses to receive guidance from the mistakes of others, whether individuals or collectives; and he is doomed to repeat the destructive actions of those who have gone before.
If one is not to look to the past, himself, or the future, where is one to look? Up. We must stop looking at what has been done to me and mine and holding on to the grudges from the past; we must stop looking only to our own wants; we must stop focusing on the direction we insist we must now go, because we have determined that is where we must go. Instead, we must look to the God Who created us all and see what He wants for our lives. When we do that, we can have a better understanding of the past to learn from it without holding on to the bitterness and hatred created by living in the past. When we look to God for direction, we come out of our own selfish wants and needs and can see the hurts and needs of others that are greater than ours, and we can reach out to meet those needs. When we do that, we will find that our own wants and needs are being met incidentally, and we will have greater peace and contentment with what we have and where we are. And when we look to God for direction for the future, we will see that we are to serve one another, not our selves, and to show the love of God to one another, not bitterness and hatred, revenge and punishment. God in heaven is the only answer to racism and every other problem in the world.
But something we might include in our understanding in the meantime is that, just as traffic flows in many directions, so does racism. Whites discriminate against blacks when they judge them because of the color of their skin. Blacks discriminate against whites when they put whites down just for being white. Arabs are discriminated against because they “look like” terrorists. Hispanics are discriminated against because of where they come from and what their ancestors have done or what their culture is doing now. Whether in the USA or SVG or any other country in the world, when anyone looks at another person for what “his people” have done, for the color of his skin, for the religion associated with his “race,” or for anything other than the quality of his heart, injustice and discrimination will always occur.
If we look deep within ourselves, we will find that we all discriminate in one way or another against someone. The only solution is to look at each individual person and situation with the heart and eyes of God. Let us give up protesting for
anything or against anything, and begin serving one another with the heart of God. That is when change will begin to take place. Only then will we see peace among the races, the nations, the cultures, and the individuals.