I wasn't always passionate about racial issues. In fact for three years, I, being Caucasian, dated a full-blooded Navaho Indian and did not realize that I was racist against him.
There were signs that I was racist, but I did not truly see it as being racist, but simply as a couple of issues that bothered me. I remember we both would always correct people when they thought he was Mexican. It wasn't done as informative to let the person know what he was. It was done more as, "Please don't label him a Mexican."
I remember being bothered by the fact that if we eventually got married and had children, that our children would be dark skinned, and I would have to explain to everyone their ethnicity. I didn't realize until later in life I was racist against the very person I was in love with.
A few years ago I started an anti-racism corporation, it was then I discovered through talking to people that we all have pockets of racism in us that need to be rooted out. One of the issues we can have is that we don't want our children to marry outside of their own race or even have cross racial friendships. When we are limiting our children to hang out with children like themselves, we have racism inside of us that needs to be removed. When we impose these thoughts and pass them along to our children we are creating racial tendencies and not extending love to all people, all nations, all cultures and all races.
I remember growing up hearing people say, "Why are those people coming to our country and becoming doctors?" I would hear people complaining that all the good surgeons were of another race. People would state it like it was a bad thing. The truth is they were racist and judgmental. Instead of being jealous and racist, we should be thanking them for the medical work they do to save our lives and fix what is wrong with our bodies.
Another common statement is, "If they are going to come to our country, then they should speak our language." We should be thankful we live in a country that gives people freedom and is multicultural, instead of judging that they can't speak our language.
I heard this again recently. There were people speaking Spanish in a store and when another customer walked out he looked at us and said, "They should speak English." That is a racial remark that we need to help prevent and eliminate.
What about being a woman on an elevator and an African-American or Hispanic man steps on the elevator and you clutch your purse tighter? Do you clutch your purse tighter if a man of the same race as you would step on the elevator? We make racial acts without even knowing what we are doing.
We develop similar tendencies by being parked at a traffic light and a person of a different ethnicity is on the sidewalk and we reach over to lock our door. What about when you see a group of young number of a different race walking together in the city or mall; what are your reactions and thoughts that start plaguing your mind?
Racism can exist when you were treated badly by a person of another race. When a person is raped, stolen from, has a doctor or business transaction that goes bad, the next person they deal with from the same race could be treated unfairly. When we are offended by a person of another race, we could have difficulties entering into a relationship with a person of that same race.
What happens is that the person in that same race as the person that offended us could remind us of the bad experience we had by outward appearance, mannerism or language. When this happens, we could avoid a person of that race, because they remind us of the person, which is racism.
In order to be love and serve Christ and people we need to self-examine. Spend time in the presence of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal and bring to your mind any racist tendencies you need to change. As these things are revealed, repentance is the first step we should take. Asking our heavenly Father to forgive us for these thoughts and actions.
As we recognize where we have racist areas in our lives, we can root them out and start being love to all people. Jesus loves all races. We have Jesus living inside of us; therefore, we are capable of the same love He gave. Will you put yourself aside and any past confrontations you had with a person of another race to truly be love?
Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries, a ministry releasing the love and power of God. She is also the founder of Change Into Colorless, an anti-racism corporation. She travels hosting conferences, teaching schools and evangelistic love tours. Kathy enjoys writing and is the author of several books that educate, empower and equip people, including A Worship Woven Life and Flesh, Satan or God. Connect with Kathy at degrawministries.org.
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