I want to be a clone…pt 2. We don’t need no colour code!

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I want to be a clone…pt 2. We don’t need no colour code!

“Well I think you guys know what this next song is about, it just makes the point that it doesn’t matter if it is a so called Christian college in the United States or segregated churches in down in South Africa Racism in the name of Christianity can never be tolerated.

Steve Taylor.

I am many things – selfish (yes), impatient (definately), short tempered (sometimes), but racist (no).

A few years ago I was accused of being racist by someone who didn’t even know me and thought they could gain an advantage over me by saying I was treating them differently because of the colour of their skin. Now as I have said I am many things but a racist is not one of them. It is something I cannot understand and cannot abide – I don’t see how anyone is different from anyone else because their skin has different pigmentation. I went to school with Indian and Chinese guys and a very beautiful Somalian girl  in the same class as me and we were all friends. I went to Uni with loads of different nationalities, and was best friends with a guy from Ghana who is, in his own words, “Very black.” (Columbus if you are reading this my email address has not changed – have you forgotten how to write?) I have worked with people from all over the world and that is just what they are – people – who cares what pigmentation their skin has?

Apparently lots of people.

When I heard the song “We don’t need no colour code” I had, of course, heard of Apartheid and the slave trade and the civil rights movement in America but I was an innocent as to how prevelent racism was (and unfortunately still is). I was a white boy from a small town in North Wales, sheltered and innocent, untouched by the festering claws of racism. I heard this song and it made me think about things in a different way. Before I say anymore let’s hear the song…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUTh5UGoUp0&w=420&h=315]

Here are the lyrics…

Down Carolina way
Lived a man name o’ Big B.J.
B.J. went and got a school
Founded on caucasian rule
Bumper sticker on his Ford
Says “Honkies If You Love The Lord”

We don’t need no colour code
Take your rules and hit the road
Judgment Day is goin’ down
Better burn your cap and gown

White man speak with forked tongue
White supremists eat their young
Bigotry is on the loose
Ignorance is no excuse
I know Jesus loves that man
Even with a Greenville tan

We don’t need no colour code
Take your rules and hit the road
Judgment Day is goin’ down
Better burn your cap and gown

Marching to Pretoria
Colour codes in churches, huh?
Following a fascist creed
Whose translation do you read?
True believers won’t be snowed
We don’t need no colour code

We don’t need no colour code
Take your rules and hit the road
Judgment Day is goin’ down

We don’t need no colour code
We don’t need no colour code
Take your rules and hit the road

We don’t need no colour code
We ain’t playing dead this time
This is where we draw the line

By 2012 some parts of this song are, thank God, outdated but its overall message is still frighteningly relevant. But why? I looked around our church last Sunday morning and  half of the people there were not from Australia – I was one of them as was my Godson. I only took notice because I was thinking about this blog. Most weeks they are just God’s people.

When I was in Uni we went on a trip to play soccer in Birmingham. We, somehow, made it through the first game on the Saturday (we weren’t expected to) and so we stayed for the final game on the Sunday afternoon ( we lost, in case you are interested, 8-0). The Sunday morning two of us went to the church closest to our hotel. We only had our sports kit, tracksuit and trainers and we found a little Methodist church. We sat at the back and maybe three or four other people were there. Just before the service was about to start an old man cam up to us and whispered that we would have to leave as we, “Were not dressed for church.” They had two young people in their church and four others over 70 by the looks of things, and they asked us to leave. We were a little upset, was this how people should be treated in church?

Just down the road was a small baptist church, we crept in the back as the service had already started. It was packed, mainly with Africans, all dressed in their colourful clothes, who were singing and clapping and praising God. We weren’t the only white faces there but there weren’t many others. We tried to sit quietly but the pastor saw us and announced to the entire congregation that they had visitors. He asked us if we would be happy to come up to the front and tell everyone about ourselves. Well two trainee ministers never pass up a chance to talk about themselves! They made us so welcome. It didn’t matter that we were in tracksuits, they didn’t care that we were youngsters or that we were white. We were just more of God’s people. (One of our Professors wrote to the Methodist church, on Theological College headed paper, and told them why they only had four people in their congregation.)

Racism has NO place in Christianity. God does not care what colour your skin is or what gender you are, or where you come from, or how much money you have in the bank. He does not care if you wear your best suit to church or if you wear the only clothes you have, if you’re married or not and he does not care to whom.

If he doesn’t, why should we?

Here’s a good website for a bit more reading.


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