Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Outward Appearance

Last night, on Instagram, I came across 2 photos that my (African-American) friends posted.  Here is one...

The other had some offensive language and I can't seem to find it anywhere but Instagram. It was like a screen shot of a Google search. Typed in the search box was "little white b**ch" and under the search box it said "did you mean Mitt Romney?" Well, needless to say, I was immediately on a roll.

Why am I posting about this? Because I think racism as America knew it decades ago is dead, but racism itself is still very much alive. Check out this article on Yahoo! News. I read that and could not believe my eyes. I am shocked that people have openly said they were voting for President Obama because of his skin color. Imagine if someone said, "I'm voting for Romney because he's white." Outrage would've broken out (and rightly so)!!

I have posted some of my views on Twitter and Instagram recently. I commented on the "My President is Black" photo my friend posted and said, "would you be less proud if he was white? #RacismIsAProblem" and the responses I received were that I am ignorant. On Twitter, I posted, "Vote for a candidate based on their stance & record and your beliefs & research, not their appearance. #RacismIsAProblem" which was reposted by one of my dearest friends, who is African-American.

But I want to move beyond the political and more into the issue I see at hand with racism. 

I was never taught to look at someone differently because of their skin color. All my life I have had friends from varying cultures and backgrounds, and with different skin colors. In pre-school one of my best friends was Jewish, in kindergarten one of my best friends was African-American, later in elementary school I had a close friend who was Native American, in high school I had a close friend who has Downs Syndrome, in college I had a roommate who was Jewish, post college I have been privileged enough to work with some of the most diverse people on the planet! My husband and I have even discussed adopting a child of another race! 

But it is extremely common for people to practice some form of racism. Maybe they discriminate against people from a specific country, religion, or culture for a specific reason... or maybe there's no reason at all. Maybe they believe their race is at a disadvantage. Maybe they believe their race is superior above them all. Or, perhaps they believe their race has suffered long enough and it's time to prove themselves, as a race, valuable. Anyway you swing it, racism is racism. And I am disheartened to see what has been brought to light during the election this year. 

One thing I am grateful for is that God does not look at ones skin color or culture! The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7 that, "For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Thank goodness! In a disillusioned world where people focus so much on skin color, and economic and cultural background, we can all stand before a Holy God without fear of rejection based on any of those things. Our heart is what God sees, and what God tests. 

If only we humans could look passed the exterior and into one another's hearts. I personally want to seek to love, understand, embrace, and accept others -- who are different from me in how they look, worship, love, and live -- and challenge you to do the same. Heaven and hell won't be full of one race. We're all going to spend eternity together. Let's start supporting each other and living together peacefully, now!

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