Every so often, a story appears in the news and splashes even larger onto the national scene that cries out about the evils of racism and racial inequality. The latest instance is the story of Trayvon Martin in Florida. This is certainly a tragedy as a young man is dead. But another problem is now growing out of this tragedy. Scores of people are taking sides and starting a war over the races of those involved. In an effort to make it a white/black scuffle, I even saw one media story refer to the man who shot Martin as a “white Hispanic.” Seriously, this kind of thing is not helpful. As more news trickles out, it becomes less and less believable that this is a blindly racist incident.
Frankly, racist gets tossed around so much in places where it doesn’t even apply that it will become like the boy that cried wolf at some point. Does it exist? YES! Is it under every rock and tree and responsible for every bad thing that happens to someone who happens to be in a minority group? NO!
I think we have proved as a human race that skin color is always going to be an issue for some, a source of contention for others and a focus of animosity for still others. I wish it weren’t so. In my own personal life, I have friends and loved ones of every skin tone I can think of. Red and yellow, black and white, doesn’t matter in my sight. I know that some people hate even using those color designations and I get it, I am more of a peach tone myself, but if you let that become your focus then you are missing the point already. I know that ignoring skin tone isn’t the case for everyone, but I would hope that it might some day become so. A friend over at SBC Voices did a piece on audacious prayers today and that would be one of my most audacious prayers of all time. God please help us to see people for something beyond the tone of their skin.