Let me start off by saying the views expressed here are solely of my own opinion, and I have tried to avoid offending anyone. I intend this article as a means for constructive conversation among the students here at NCU.
To me, racism is a joke. I have many friends of different races and nationalities, and I have never thought of them as any different than anyone else. To us, racism is something to joke about. The idea of actually treating each other differently due to our skin color is not even a possibility in our minds. I’m glad that the question of race, at least for my generation, is a moot point.
I believe this is due to a generational shift in thinking about race. Our parents grew up in a different time, where inspirational leaders such as Martian Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks were challenging the cultural norms of the day. Schools were being desegregated as the idea of separate but equal was overturned. It was a time of great change for America, and most of it was for the better. My parents grew up in this period of change, and to them issues about race are no joking matter.
Yet today, things are different. I did not experience the volatile changes my parents went through, and to me being friends with those of different origins is a simple fact of life. No need to question it, or even think twice. I, along with my friends, view jokes about race and cultural differences to be okay among friends. Our perception is that only someone truly ignorant would still be a bigot in today’s world.
Yet therein lies the rub. Today’s world, while better than it was, still remains racist. All one has to do is turn on the news and see that people still fear and hate others who are different than them. Recent events, such as the Trayvon Martin case, have highlighted race issues in our country. As for my own views, I believe that geography certainly plays a factor. I have lived, and probably always will live, in the Pacific Northwest. This is not an area that has deep-seated issues with race. Maybe if I grew up in the South, where claims of racism are more widespread, my views would be different.
What does this mean for us as Christians? I believe we have a duty to spread God’s love to everyone we meet, not just those who look similar to us. Jesus told His disciples to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” Mark 16:15 ESV. Clearly this love crosses all boundaries, and is meant for every person on this planet, not just those of a certain race or nation. Christians need to be on the front lines of this war against hatred and oppression, and do our best to promote God’s peace and love to all of mankind. Our generation has the chance to stamp out the weed of racism. I hope that one day, regardless of where they grow up, I will be able to raise my future children in a world devoid of arrogant prejudice.
Please leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts on this hot button topic. Is racism the problem from a previous generation, or is it alive and well? Is racism ok to joke about among friends? What can we do as Christians to combat this hatred of our fellow man (and woman)? Please keep your comments respectful!