I pulled up my Facebook homepage yesterday and I saw something that shocked me. My news feed was filled with hundreds (I am not exaggerating!) of videos of my Facebook “friends” pouring buckets of ice-cold water over themselves. I saw friends from college, church leaders I respect, and random strangers indulged in this, what started as a good cause, social media plea for attention (Yes, I said it).

But do you know what I did not see? I did not see videos, articles, or posts about the horrific injustices occurring around our own country. I did not see people dialoguing about what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri. I did not see people changing their profile pictures to support those individuals (i.e. non-whites) who still undergo a systematic persecution in our country, all because of their skin color. I did not see my local pastors (minus those who are not white) discuss this issue. I did not see posts of how we could be praying for those human beings who are made in the image of God who are treated differently all because they are black, hispanic, asian, indian, etc.,

This is sad. This is pathetic.

This post is a rant to hopefully stir up something in our hearts and our churches, to not be blind.

My arrogance

I am a born and raised Coloradan. I grew up in a middle class family. I am white. I went to college. And I am now in grad school. I take these things for granted. I assume they are my rights. I expect them. I do not appreciate them. I was told my whole life I could do anything, and anything I will do. Why? Because I am an American?…

No.

Because I am white. These are privileges I have that many of my non-white friends can not assume for themselves.

You see, in Colorado, the issue of raise and privilege, is not so much a black and white issue (although it certainly is in certain cities!), rather, it is a white and brown issue. We have a large influx of hispanic immigrants. There is a large population of hispanics in our state. And to be honest, I have chosen to be blind and arrogant to my own prejudices.

Every job I have ever had I have been “above” those who were hispanic. When I would speak with my bosses, co-workers, or even teachers as school, they would speak ill of those who were hispanic. In their minds, they were uneducated Mexicans who didn’t have a right to be in “our” country.

How pathetic.

If there is a shooting in a hispanic neighborhood, no one thinks twice. If cops raid a restaurant, the first assumption is that the “Mexicans” are being deported. If a hispanic family walks into a church, the assumption is they are lower-class, won’t tithe, and will be inconsistent in their attendance. If a hispanic is in a management position, the assumption is that they worked from the ground up, (i.e. they had to learn english, get their GED, etc.,). If a hispanic is at the voting booths during election season, the assumption is they are voting for a liberal party member who will provide them more hand-outs and open up the boarders.

This is racism. This is hatred. This is blind bigotry and cannot continue. And many of us, many evangelical Christians, think these ways, and it must stop. We must repent.

Our Silence

We cannot stay silent any more. Pastors, leaders, businesses owners, we must stand up and say something. To my white pastor friends, quit being silent about these issues. Do not arrogantly assume that having a 99% white church in a predominantly hispanic or black community is acceptable. Do not be silent from the pulpit about these issues.

And when our black, hispanic, indian, or asian brothers in sisters who are pastors speak out about these issues, don’t say in your heart, “We’ll of course that’s what they are passionate about.” NO. You should be passionate about it, too. You should care that you are a white pastor who has a white church that has white worship that speaks with white person slang that plays lip service to racial issues. Actions speak louder than words.

We cannot be silent. For the sake of our congregations we cannot be silent. For the sake of our cities we cannot be silent. For the sake of our linking of arms with other pastors who are of a different race than us, we cannot be silent.

Our Ignorance

We cannot be ignorant any more. If you are someone who thinks this is a non-issue for you, your church, your business, your family, you are mistaken.

Mom’s and Dad’s, what if your daughter wanted to marry a black man? Or, a hispanic man?

What if your son befriended a black boy or hispanic boy? Would you be worried they would negatively influence your child?

We cannot be ignorant to our own prejudices and we cannot be ignorant to what is going on in our cities. There are systematic injustices that are negatively affecting people of color every day. They are not getting the opportunities you and I have been afforded. And this must stop. Our ignorance must stop.

Our Role

Fighting for the rights of those who are being oppressed is not an option for us. We must take a stand. We must recognize our own ignorance and prejudices, repent to Christ Jesus, and change.

To my pastor friends, stop acting like this isn’t a big deal. Speak about this injustice from the pulpit. It’s not going to take away from the gospel. It is intrinsicly woven into the fabric of the gospel. All humanity is being reconciled to Christ through his atoning sacrifice. And if we deliberately choose to not act and live as if people of color have an intrinsic worth and value and are worthy of all that God has created them to be, we are shaming the openness of the gospel.

To my fellow believers, look for your own personal prejudices and do something. Stop pouring buckets of water on your head and stand up against a social injustice.

We are so passionate about the conflict in the middle east, abortion, same-sex marriage, etc., why are we not passionate about this? Why is our prejudice and racism acceptable? This is a plank in our eyes that only genuine repentance can remove.

Our sick desire to be blind must stop.

 

Post you should read:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/august/its-time-to-listen-saved-and-silent-will-white-evangelicals.html

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/power-police-and-another-shooting

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2014/08/18/coming-back-to-america-my-one-fear/