Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, and You

By | April 28, 2014

Talk to me like I’m stupid:

So recently some very ignorant people have made some very ignorant, small-minded, and unkind statements about people they apparently know nothing about. For Cliven Bundy, it’s his remarks about “the Negro” who was happier picking cotton. For Donald Sterling, it’s his remarks about not wanting black customers/fans.

Now, I get it that people say these things all the time, and it’s not strictly unusual for these things to be said.

What gets me–and this is where you need to help me–why is it that conservatives are sticking up for these people and defending these truly, astonishingly ignorant and hurtful things? I see people posting a defense of Cliven Bundy because “well, if you listen to the whole tape, he’s really not racist.” Well, I can’t get past the part where he thinks human beings themselves considered they were better off as chattel slaves–a statement of such complete lunacy as to be beyond comprehension. I see people posting a defense of Donald Sterling along the lines of “Well, that tape was illegal,” as if (a) he didn’t say what he said and (b) that he has not said numerous other things and committed numerous other acts that are entirely in line with this most recent statement.

Yes, there are some people who believe Cliven and Donald are speaking the truth, even though what they say is ignorant and hateful.

But you who call yourselves conservative and Christian–why are you defending these statements? Why do you think that what Mr. Bundy says isn’t really racist because he’s making some bigger social statement? Why do you let yourselves be allied with such breathtaking nonsense?

You make yourself look foolish, you make your political views seems petty and narrow, and you utterly defame your faith in Jesus Christ. People listen to your words defending Bundy and Sterling, listen to your words proclaiming your faith in Jesus, and make the entirely logical conclusion that in order to be a Christian you also must accept the racism displayed by these two people (as well as the racism displayed by others who are claimed as Christian or conservative icons).

There is NO ROOM in the body of Christ for racism or racists. There is no reason to accept racists as speaking on behalf of Christ or the Christian faith. I get it that you don’t want to speak out against “your side” because your political beliefs are as important to you as your religious faith, but at least stop posting these nonsense links “proving” that people like Sterling or Bundy aren’t really racist or that the Christian position requires a belief in these lunatics and their politics.

There is no “pure” side in this world. We’re all flawed. We all know people who say stupid, ignorant, petty, and hateful things. But for God’s sake, that means that we need to speak out when this happens, _especially_ when it is “our side.” We can understand that people are weak and fearful, but we don’t have to let that fear and hate drive the discussion.

And ultimately it means that each of _us_ needs to own _our_ words and actions. Failing to speak out is a failure to own our integrity and our soul.