Tag Archives: Racism

It Might Be Time for a Course Correction

My Facebook news feed has been flooded the past few weeks with articles trying to explain how evangelical Christians can support Donald Trump. It seems that people are struggling to understand how people of faith can stand with a candidate who spouts anger and hatred, one who has no understanding of the Christian faith, in spite of his claims to the contrary.

I confess the notion perplexes me as well. Just today, the well-known pastor or a large inner-city Baptist church in Dallas (you can no doubt figure out his identity) stood beside Trump at a large rally and sang his praises. This pastor’s endorsement is far outside everything I have ever been taught about Christianity. course correction

There is no need for me to delve into all the reasons why Trump should not be the candidate of Christians, just listen to him yourself for five minutes. But he has become just that, the candidate of choice in the Republican Party for Christians. He is even trouncing the candidate who has built his entire campaign around the notion that he is a Christian. Go figure.

Why are we surprised? Trump is simply spouting the same hateful rhetoric many have been throwing out there for the past eight years. When you criticize everything about the government for years, and you vilify the President for every move he makes, and you spew hate toward everyone who disagrees with you, don’t be surprised that the one who criticizes, vilifies, and spews the best suddenly becomes the one to lead the party.

I haven’t heard Trump say one thing that Christians haven’t already posted on Facebook in the past few years. The Republican Party is simply following the natural progression they have been on for years. Christians, yes even Evangelical Christians, have led the charge and now they claim not to understand. What is there to understand? This is where the party has been headed for years. Trump simply came along and sped up the process.

It’s really a shame. The candidate that I could most easily support is being trampled in the rush toward anger and hate. He professes to be a believer in Christ, holds reasonable positions on the issues, but his biggest problem is that he is not angry enough. There is no way anybody could secure the party nomination without being angry and hateful.

There is no way Trump could understand that Evangelical Christians might be opposed to him. After all, it is what many have been advocating for years. At least that is the inevitable conclusion from their Facebook posts and Tweets the past few years. That’s why Trump continually claims to be loved by Evangelicals. He’s not lying; he’s simply responding to what he has seen the last few years. If you still don’t understand, take some time and review the stuff some of your Evangelical Christian friends have been posting.

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Racism from the Perspective of a White Man

I frequently hear white people claim that we do not have a race problem in this country, and to prove their point they say they like black people, even to the point of having a few black friends. Even though they are aware of the existence of some openly racist organizations, they personally have never knowingly discriminated against a black person. They are quick to add that if black people would simply take control of their lives and make good choices then they would get ahead and enjoy the same privileges as white people. It is available to them. It is easy to point out enough successful black people to prove their case.

But, they are mistaken. I’m a sixty-five year old white man, raised in the very white suburbs, educated with several degrees, and I think I better understand racism than most white people. I have spent time with black people. My first real job was at a radio station in Denver that played what we called then, “Soul Music.” It would probably be akin to a “Hip Hop” music station today, only more black. I was one of only two white employees at the station. Currently I’m a book publisher and a high percentage of books I have published have been written by black authors. I have ghost written several books for black leaders.Racism

But, my experiences in the workplace are not the reason I understand racism. I understand racism because all my life I have experienced something very similar.

For those who don’t know me personally I will offer some background. I was born as a healthy baby with a father who was a college student right at the end of the war and the world was about to explode with opportunities. However, a year later I came down with polio and my world changed. Without going into all the details, what you need to know is that I had to use a wheelchair until I was 11, then I walked on crutches and used a wheelchair occasionally until my mid-50’s, and then returned to using the wheelchair full time.

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The Tenacity of Racism

When we elected an African-American President I anticipated changes for the good in race relations. It has not happened. It seems that race relations are now worse. Why is that?

I haven’t done any kind of study, but it seems there are more racially caused riots, crimes with a racial component, and a greater number of racial comments in social media. Having a black President has not brought us closer together.

I think the problem is that having a black President has revealed a rampant racism that many of us thought had ceased to exist, yet it is still there. Let me explain this by telling about my own experience from many years ago.Monkey

I grew up in Denver and went to High School in the north part of the city. The school was located in an industrial area, and the student body was an eclectic mix of numerous races and ethnic backgrounds. The junior college I attended was just down the road, and it was no different. That was my world. I thought racial prejudice had ended after the work of Martin L. King, Jr. I was pretty naïve.

The college I graduated from was in West Texas where there was only one race so it did nothing to change my perception. However, I then went to seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Big change! To be honest, I was shocked to learn that churches still did not allow blacks to attend, or that schools, in spite of laws, were still segregated. I told you I was naïve.

Nearly four decades later we elect a black man to be President, and once again I thought we had made progress, but we haven’t.

Racism is the only way I can explain the anger, hatred, and vitriol people have toward the President. I completely understand political differences of opinion. I am even on board with passionate arguments in support of your beliefs and opinions. It is great when we have opposing viewpoints; that is how we experience creativity. But what I see and hear directed toward the President goes far beyond differences of opinion. Continue reading

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