The Race Card

Let's Stop

Ever since I first moved to PA, I have encountered racism and prejudice. I have been stared at as if I were from another planet, I have experienced "shopping while black"-- being followed around a store upon entry due to the fact that the workers considered me as suspicious looking and as if I was going to steal something based on my skin's pigmentation-- I have been called a nigger behind my back by former co workers... I could go on. Something that I absolutely hate and refuse to remain silent about is when someone uses the term "the race card". I am not saying that there are not some people who may use the color of their skin as the reason for everything wrong in their lives. Sometimes bad things just happen regardless of what we look like. However, when a brown person experiences prejudice or a disadvantage and the reason is obviously racially motivated, please don't attribute it to, "Oh, they're just playing the race card."

If someone has a family history of MS and they started experiencing symptoms which they felt may be those of the disease, the doctor examining them wouldn't say, "Oh, you're just playing the MS card. Stop whining." No, they would take their patients concerns into serious consideration and investigate the signs to detect any possible traces of the disease or to rule it out. So where am I going with this? The way it is totally acceptable for someone with a family history of a certain disease to be concerned when they start experiencing possible symptoms, is the same way a person with brown skin should be received when we bring legitimate concerns of "symptoms" of racism experienced on our jobs or schools or general day to day interactions. I'm not saying that racism is a literal disease-- everything nowadays is a "disease" and some use that term as an excuse to consistently behave badly towards others. What I am saying, for the sake of this analogy, is to put it in the perspective of a disease. Racism runs through our (people with brown or tinted skin) "family" so if and when we experience symptoms of it, we should not be dismissed for analyzing the situation to either rule out or confirm the "disease".

This subject is heavy on my heart especially in light of what's been happening lately in our world surrounding racism. I really hope I was able to articulate in a way that's easy to understand what I've been feeling. Racism is real and staying silent about it is not going to put an end to it. Racism is about hate and choices and a superiority complex, amidst other things. The simple cure for it is to love the way Jesus loves. He spent time with the lepers and prostitutes and outcasts when He was on this earth. He is God and He didn't consider Himself too good for us mere mortals. He experienced life with us and was open to and understanding of our hardships. Why don't we do that for others? Why does one race have to be better than another? We are all people and we all have this thing called skin which is designed to perform the exact same function no matter its color.

Is a pink bike better than a blue bike just because of its color? To me, yes! Because my favorite color is pink. And that's fine because a bike is not a human. Are my brown shaded friends better than my peach shaded (no one is literally the colors white or black, not that I've ever seen anyway) ones just because of their skin differences? Hell no! Humans are not bikes and when we start to treat each other like our favorite colored riding contraption, then we leave no room for kindness and respect. We begin to see each other only as things for our individual use. We lose compassion and replace it with apathy.

I appreciate my things because of what they can do for me... because that is all they offer. They have no feelings, they do not experience anything. Humans have feelings, we go through things be they good or bad. And we are worth more than what we look like. If Jesus can take time to live in our broken world and be among and care for the humans who pay Him no regard, the humans whom He created, why don't we? We are all made by the same Potter, He just used different clay to mold us.


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