“If you can judge a wise man but the colour of his skin,
Then mister you’re a better man than I.”
Are you a casual racist?
I am. I don’t mean to be but I am.
I came across these pictures the other day and they made me think…. (click on them and read them) (I found them here.)
I’ve said some of these things…I didn’t mean to be racist but I’ve said them: I’m sorry.
The words of the sign (a reference from the Aerosmith song ‘Livin’ on the edge) have always made me think and I heard them in my head a few weeks ago.
Writing the blog I posted this morning (church IS people) I was reminded of another, very similar experience. I must say here, before you read any more, that I don’t go out of my way to talk to people, believe it or not I’m actually quite shy. Sometimes it just happens that I fall into conversations. I will talk to anybody. I’m not as good at it as Jim or Bubba but I can do it. It does make me sad that these two (almost identical) conversations happened in a few short months, on opposite sides of the world. What does that say about us as the human race?
I had been sitting talking to a guy for a few minutes about this and that, passing time as we just both happened to be on the same bench at the same time – when he said, “You’re the first white fella in a long time to just sit and talk to me. you know, like I’m human.”
That shocked me; I really felt for Marcus (that is his name); he’s an Indigenous man from outside Alice Springs who has a fantastic sense of humour and real wisdom but many people don’t see past the colour of his skin. The wise man underneath is lost to them. His colour blinds them to his mind.
Lucky for us Western Christians that Jesus was a white man then.
Are you kidding?
Jesus was a Jew from the Middle East who would have looked a lot more like this…
And it really shouldn’t matter what he looked like – because if you can judge a wise man but the colour of his skin, then mister you’re a better man than I.
Does it make any difference what colour Jesus was? Does being whiter mean being wiser? Of course not! With that logic if Jesus was white he have said even more wise things. (I’ve actually read that in a sermon from a church in the Southern United States.) What rubbish.
Why should it matter what colour our skin is or where we come from or what language we speak? We are all human beings – all children of God – all equally loved.
We may not understand other cultures and we may have trouble with other languages but I pray that we will see the person before the colour; see the child of God no matter where they come from or who they are.
So if I have ever hurt you by a casual racist comment please forgive me – just as the brown skinned saviour from Palestine does.