Racist Old White Dudes and Their Black Girlfriends

Donald-Sterling

By now most people have heard of the drama regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his racist comments.

We should be outraged, but we’re being outraged by the wrong thing.

We shouldn’t be outraged by his racist remarks. His racist attitude wasn’t a secret. People have known about it. Racism isn’t new to this country, and it certainly isn’t going to disappear any time soon.

In fact, the whole idea of freedom in this country is that people are allowed to believe and speak what they believe without fear of punishment. That means you can believe any idiocy you want to believe. You can share that idiocy with others, and you won’t have action taken against you.

Is Sterling an idiot? Clearly. He has a fight with his 1/2 Latina 1/2 African American girlfriend about his negative feelings towards minorities. As the owner of an NBA team he doesn’t want his girlfriend to be advertising that she hangs out with brown-skinned people. Yes, this man is an imbecile.

But that’s his right!

Stop calling for his team to be taken away from him. He owns it. You can respond by not buying Clippers merchandise. You can refuse to attend games. But don’t threaten punitive action for someone’s personal (even though idiotic) beliefs. It opens the door for action against faith groups – it’s a dangerous road to walk.

That’s not what we should be outraged about.

What we SHOULD be outraged about is a married man who has a girlfriend on the side. But nobody is saying a word about this. Why are we not upset about this man flagrantly living an adulterous life?

We seem to have selective morality here. We’ll ignore the girlfriend part but, WHAT’S THIS! HE MADE RACIST COMMENTS?!? CRUCIFY HIM!

As a white man married to a brown-skinned woman, I found his racist comments to be disgusting. I couldn’t even listen to the whole audio clip. But I’m not gonna change the opinion of a racist old white dude. His opinions are his to own. That’s his right.

I just wish we would get outraged about the right things.

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I Love Being White!!!

blazing saddles klan 2

Hooray, I’m White! I wish all of you could be white, too. It’s pretty awesome. I don’t randomly get pulled over by the police when I’m driving. I have a fairly easy time making my way through airport security checkpoints. I get left alone by clerks when I’m shopping and perusing. Heck – I can even wander aimlessly and still not be eyeballed by nosy employees. I’m fairly certain that everyone would choose to be a white guy like me if they knew how many perks and benefits I get.

Yes, being a clean-cut white male is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life…

I hope you are intelligent enough to know that I’m being facetious. As Boromir might say:

Boromir on Racism
Yet we cannot deny that there is unfair treatment towards people of different ethnic groups and different skin tones. Racism is a problem that we will be combating for a long time.

I recently came upon a picture on Facebook that talked about fairness to the gist of: If Black people have Black Pride, why is it wrong for us to have White Pride? The basic sentiment was that these people thought it was unfair for Blacks to have scholarship funds, Pride, and everything else yet it would be racist and politically incorrect to have any of these things for Whites.

The basic flaw with their position is that, as I mentioned earlier, it’s already pretty great being White. Most of American society is geared towards me. Movies, Television, College…and on and on. Heck, when this nation was founded people like me were considered 5/5 of a human. I’m whole! Yay, me!

Not so much for minorities. Most of American society has not been geared towards real equality. When only 3/5 of the Black population was counted for purposes of government representation our founding fathers (you know, those great Christian men who birthed this great Christian nation) created an inherent inequality.

In order to maintain any kind of community cohesion, there has been a necessity for Blacks to pursue avenues like the NAACP, UNCF, and the like. These organizations strive to see Black individuals validated. I have never had to fight for validity – I’m White.

In a perfect world it would not matter what anyone looked like. Jesus was commended for his authenticity and his ability to be real no matter who he was talking to. One time the Pharisees complimented him and said:

“We know you are true and that it doesn’t matter to you who anyone is, for you don’t look at men’s faces.” (Mark 12:14)

We do that – we see who we’re talking to before we act. Not Jesus – he was real no matter who was standing before him. That ought to be our goal. In the meantime, why do we have a problem with organizations that seek to give people a sense of validity?

Those who were complaining were saying, “If we can’t do it then you shouldn’t be able to either.” This is a worldly perspective on fairness and justice. It’s the law of reciprocity. Jesus tries to move us beyond that. If someone insults us by slapping our face – turn the other cheek. If someone imposes on us and forces us to go one mile, choose to go two. If someone asks to borrow from you, don’t be stingy but give generously.

We have a choice – we can perpetuate racist animosity or we can choose to join the cause to seek validation for ALL ethnic groups. So there are groups that exist to help minorities – the Church (and the Christians of the Church) should support such causes. Rather than begrudge people a stepstool, why not help people who are not as fortunate as I am to have picked a White family to be born into? 😛

Many kids in church grow up singing:

Red and Yellow, Black and White – they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.

So should we….

So…What Exactly Are You?

So this week a friend send me this video to watch. I was laughing so hard I nearly died laughing. Seriously, it was pretty bad. Fortunately my wife was able to revive me. Then I watched it again.

Have at it:

While it’s incredibly funny, the video highlights an all-too-true reality:

We judge people based on external qualities and then form opinions based on those judgments.

I know what you’re thinking: “Oh boy – here we go again. Another post on race.”

Well…yes.

While some deny it or try to trivialize it, the truth is that this is a common experience in the world. As husband to a mixed-race woman I’ve been there and have heard people ask:

“So…what are you?”

“Where are you from originally?”

Here’s a true story – Years ago we were interviewing for a church position. We had sent in a resume, photograph, sermon sample, etc. The search committee called me to conduct a phone interview. Over the phone one of the deacons asked, “What ethnicity is your wife?”

My response? “Um, why does it matter?”

We did not end up going to that church.

Our problem is that, in these questions we pretend that we’re not racist. But we are. If we weren’t racist why would we even need to ask the question?

I know, know. You’re just curious. You just want information.

Baloney. That’s the kind of question you ask when you have a real relationship with and you end up having a conversation about family trees. It’s not something you ask someone superficially.

The Apostle Paul tried to address the way we view each other and the ways those views play out in behavior. He said that there is no class distinction in Christianity. There is not race distinction in Christianity. There is no gender distinction in Christianity. In Jesus the playing field is leveled.

We are no longer this or that. We simply are.

When you ask a person what he is and where he comes from you are taking away his ability simply to be. That’s not Christian. Well, I suppose it too often IS Christian.

But it’s not supposed to be…