By Kenneth Justice
~ Does racism still exist around the world? Sadly…..it does.
Today in the United States we are celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” that he delivered in Washington D.C. so many years ago.
King was a civil rights activist, champion and now in the 21st century he is a legend.
King was a proponent of non-violence. He did not believe the answer to solving societal ills was through violence, murder or killing of any sorts………I wish the people fighting in Syria right now could adopt King’s views.
More than a generation after King gave his famous speech, race relations in various parts of the world are still not where they should be. In the United States, even though we have elected an African American President, there are still a lot of black-white race relations problems (coming from both sides of the aisle)
One of the things I really enjoyed about visiting Europe was the almost total non-existence of racism between whites and blacks. It was refreshing to go throughout the British Isles and observe a seamless unity in race relations.
This is not to say that Europe is some kind of Utopia when it comes to social issues; far from it. After all, it was only a few years ago that the Protestants and Catholics stopped killing each other in Ireland, and just last month I read a BBC article about growing tensions between those two groups even still!
I’ve long held the opinion that the reasons blacks and whites enjoy a greater love and respect for each other in Great Britain is because they didn’t fight a bloody civil war over the issue….am I wrong?
Slavery in the United States was ugly, evil, awful, and morally corrupt. What the whites did to the slaves is absolutely unthinkable and I’ve often thought of those white slave owners as being sub-human barbarians. They were evil.
Unfortunately, the bloody civil war, although it ended slavery……it didn’t end racism.
I look toward my English brothers and sisters in Great Britain with great respect in the way they outlawed the evil practice of slavery and were able to do it without a bloody civil war and without creating bad race relations for hundreds of years to come.
How did Great Britain do it?
I am something of an aberration in the United States, although I have the means to live in most any community I would want; I intentionally chose to live in a lower income and diverse area. I didn’t want to live in upper middle class community which is cut off from reality; cut off from diversity.
On my street I have Chaldean’s, Muslim’s who speak no English, African Americans, and Asian families who have recently immigrated to the United States.
I live in a very diverse community and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I don’t say this to ‘toot my horn’ but merely to point out that if I’m going to be consistent with what I preach; ‘that racism needs to end’, then I need to align my actions with my beliefs.
I’m sure if you analyzed my life in great depth you would find areas of inconsistency and hypocrisy……none of us are perfect.
But as someone committed to the community then I believe it is important for me to ‘practice what I preach’.
Racism needs to end.
Racism needs to end because it is something that God frowns upon.
Racism needs to end because it is morally wrong.
Racism needs to end because it is destructive to a culture.
Racism needs to end because there is a better path.
Racism will only end when everyone in a society commits their lives to ending it.
Lots of thoughts this morning as I sip my coffee……..