How Do I Fight White Racism Myself?

By | June 19, 2015

I have friends who ask me “But what can I do as a white person to fight racism?”

I will answer with a story and then a question.

First, the story.

I’m raised and discipled as a Christian, so my stories come from the life of Jesus.

Seems there was this time that a rich young ruler came to Jesus to ask him how he (the rich guy) could be saved.

Jesus asked him if he knew the laws and kept them, and of course the guy said “I’ve kept them from my youth.”

You know, a righteous guy, and a really good candidate for conversion, and a definite plus for the kingdom. God may own the cattle on a thousand hills, but this guy had access to ready cash without having to pull coin from the mouth of a fish.

But Jesus, always on the lookout to make his band of merry followers a smaller band, made a condition:

“You want to be saved, to be a child of the kingdom? Sell all you have and follow me.”

The rich young ruler turned away. Which is entirely logical and appropriate.

Seems the rich young ruler liked being rich, liked being a ruler, and maybe even liked being young–you know how old you can start to look when you can’t afford emollients and oils for your skin and hair.

Well, Jesus was sad, because he knew the reason why. The rich young ruler wanted his things and his safety and his place in society more than he wanted to follow Jesus.

So Jesus got to the heart of the matter, which is simply you can’t follow Jesus if you have more important things than Jesus.

End of the story.

Now to the question.

You want to do something to fight against the terrible violence that is a result of systemic white racism, white supremacy?

You want to become someone who hears the voice of the poor and the cries of the marginalized, someone who stands with the people who have fallen, someone who will bear the burdens of others when they are too weak to bear their burdens themselves?

In other words, you want to go where Jesus goes, where Jesus is?

Then here is the condition:

Turn of FOX News. Stop reading DRUDGE and Breitbart and Redstate and all the rest. Stop listening to Rush and Sean and Michael and Hugh and all the rest of the radio jocks that foment rage and white anger and, yes, systemic white racism and white supremacy.

Stop listening to the voices that tell you to be cruel and heartless and self-satisfied.

OK.

Now that you’ve read that, your response is probably “But that’s impossible. Those voices, those sources inform me! They are virtuous, patriotic, Christian. They are reliable sources for a god-fearing, Bible-believing, sanctified saint of God.”

OK.

Now you get it.

Now you see what Jesus saw in the rich young ruler.

The rich young ruler needed his riches and his authority (and his youth). They were non-negotiable. They were things that helped define him, shape him.

And for you — you are equally bound by your right-wing media which keeps you attached to a set of beliefs and actions.

You can’t stray from them because to do so would be “socialist” and “liberal” and “unChristian.”

I can understand.

I don’t blame you.

It’s hard to accept.

But you asked.

And I told you.

And now you will need to go find another answer, one easier to swallow & that requires less severe actions on your part.

I can accept it.

The band of merry followers will go on.