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It’s Not About Color

This morning I saw a Facebook post, that I almost scrolled passed. I don’t like negativity or arguing, so I do a lot of scrolling. I can listen to intelligent debates, but I prefer those in person rather than on Facebook, to avoid the drama.

The post in which I am referring, was about Uncle Ben’s rice deciding to change its branding. My first thought was, “My goodness, who cares about a rice box?” But then I felt a nudging to read more… to listen. I read that Aunt Jemima syrup is also making a change. Why?

As I read a comment under the article from a black woman who articulated her feelings very well, it opened my eyes from what I first thought was silly drama, to the pain of shame that shouldn’t be there today.

While I don’t know any black person living today who has been a slave or any white person who owned slaves, I still must open my eyes to the pain that comes with certain stigmas. There is a lot in my past that I felt shame for, that I would not want to be reminded of today and I have to consider others’ feelings and perceptions.  Even though my black friends don’t have near memories of being a slave or even memories of their parents being a slave, past slavery still has a shameful connotation to remind a black person of that tragedy put upon blacks. If something is offensive today, why not let it go? What importance does a statue, or a box of rice hold for us today? I have heard people arguing to ‘preserve history’ and to not change our history, but it seems change is the whole point in what God wants from us. Read Ecclesiates 3.

What our history tells us, is that there needed to be change for what we did wrong. And we changed. So why hold on to reminders that for some, cause pain? I hope we can all agree that slavery is wrong – the Bible is clear on that, but we do need more change and I applaud the black community for saying enough is enough.

As a mother of a police officer I too say ‘enough is enough’ as I see officers being senselessly killed.

Good officers who are victims of crime. And that – is what it boils down to for me… that all of the chaos going on right now isn’t about skin color. It is about crime. A police officer in Minnesota committed a crime, and we need to see justice. But we don’t obtain justice by committing more crime. Jesus came to change the world. It is no longer an eye for an eye. 

Rioting is wrong. There is a better way to initiate the change you want to see. Without hate. Without division. It isn’t about skin color – it’s about hate and crime. That is what we need to change. Blacks are not oppressed and whites are not supreme. But we have a few blacks who act oppressed and a few whites who act supreme. They are the ones who start the drama. The hate. The division.

The wise people of different races, gender, backgrounds, we know how to Love. We know how to seize opportunity. To obey the law. To give, to help, and to hope. We are together. We are the human race. What color is the human race? All the beautiful, wonderful colors that God created.

I did not grow up when blacks were not equal. I grew up knowing a black man who was principal of my school had authority and I respected him. I grew up playing with friends and not paying attention to their race except to embrace the differences I appreciated. I was fascinated by certain attributes by black or Asian friends had that were different from me. I loved how God gave my black friends bold colors, wavy hair, and prominent features, while I thought my own to be pretty boring. I loved the silky black hair of Asian or Indian people and wished mine looked like that.

At times I had wished for fuller lips, or hair that wasn’t straight as a board …or a mousy blond/brown color. I admired the differences in my friends. But I still saw us as ‘the same’.

And then something changed for me in the second grade. I witnessed hate and it scared me. After my parents divorced, my mom, sisters and I lived in apartments and zoned for Booker T Washington elementary. I was a minority. I think there was only one other white kid in my class, but that didn’t bother me. What bothered me, was when I was at recess, I saw bullying by eight black kids against one white kid who was a neighbor of mine. I felt sorry for him, so I went over to take up for him. I thought reasoning would do it – I was a peacemaker. But in an instant the bullying turned on me!

I had eight angry boys running after me and I ran for my life screaming for my teacher and they hid. I had no idea why they hated me so. My young thoughts were, “Why were black people mean?” I was fine being the minority – I like being different, but when I dealt with fear, that changed things for me. I begged Mama to let me go to another school, and so she did.

That was about the time Alex Haley’s series called “Roots” was on television. Mama was watching it and it was the first time I ever cried from compassion. Mama and I talked about ‘that time’ – a time that I never knew about. We talked about the reason why blacks were still angry at white people, and it was the moment in my life when I realized there was an issue of “black vs white”. I wanted to understand it. And after feeling such pain watching a black man being beaten on the tv, I wanted to help black people not be so angry. What could I do? The only thing I knew to do – just love. To see every person as I did before – as people just like me, but with different traits to admire.

The thing I never understood, why it is black vs white when there are so many other races in the world. 

It isn’t about skin. It is about hate. Of not having the love of Jesus. That’s why there is bullying, and that is why there is crime. It’s not about race. I see white and black people rioting. I see white and black cops killing when they shouldn’t. I see white and black protestors wanting to see change. It’s not the color of our skin… it is about who is in our heart (or who is not in our heart).

I think the more we talk about race as an issue, the more we will keep having racial division.  We are victimizing when we do that. What if we didn’t have a Black Miss America, but just a Miss AMERICA for all women? What if we didn’t have Black History Month, but just had AMERICAN History Month for all Americans? Why are we separating ourselves? Blacks are just as guilty as whites are in racism. If we, black or white, think we are less than, we will be treated as such. If we are drawing attention to our differences, we will never see ourselves as one race. The Human Race.

Yes, black lives matter, blue lives matter – all lives matter. Let’s stop drawing attention to race and behave as ONE people. We can’t change those who live in ignorance or choose hate. But we can change ourselves, and when we pray for others – the Holy Spirit of our Living God may just change some of those who choose to live in ignorance. But the Bible says we will have evil until Jesus comes back for us, so don’t expect every person to ‘be the change’… some won’t.

I enjoy an online coloring app where they give you a blank drawing and you digitally color it anyway you like. Some artists on there have extraordinary colorings. I like the diversity of color pages they give, and I have loved coloring bold outfits on Africans, or Hindu women. It’s very cultural, with color pages celebrating all nationalities.

Sometimes to be different, when they have a drawing that seems like it ‘should be’ a certain way – I like to change it up. Like, when a girl is drawn with freckles, we might automatically think to color her with red hair, or when a woman is wearing a headdress and sarong, we use bolder colors. But sometimes, I go against the current and want to see if I can make the hair color or skin color different just to tell myself that we are all the same canvas and to appreciate God’s artistry in our distinction.

Well, today I came across a blank color page that was obviously an African American woman. Why was it obvious if it was blank? That intrigued me. How did I know, or why would I think it was a black woman when there was no color yet? Was I wrong to notice the fuller lips? The wider nose? The exotic eyes? I decided to do a little experiment the way I do pictures that could go ‘either way’. I have colored pictures that most people on the app would color as a white person, and I would color them black. But this drawing had such distinguishing features, that it would be hard to make it any different.

So, I colored it the way I would a white woman. No matter how light I made the skin, how blue I made the eyes, and how blonde I made the hair, she still looked black. She looked like a bi-racial black with blue eyes or contacts, but still a black woman. Why? I did my best to not make it about color, by coloring it different than other people on the app were coloring her… and I decided that it wasn’t about her skin color at all. She had prominent features that were of her ethnicity.

So what. Those were some of the features I admired as a kid before I learned about race.

I then colored the same picture as a black woman, and it was more beautiful to me. Whether I made her black or white didn’t matter… she is still who she is.

So it is not about the color of someone’s skin. It is about who we are created to be. It is about our hearts. God created us – He created us equal. Yet… He created us with fascinating differences to be embraced. What do you think HE wants us to do with this race issue today that is causing so much turmoil? Well, He already told us. We just have to listen.

Regarding offending each other or take sides…

Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to dispute over doubtful things

Regarding riots, and hate…

Romans 12:18 Repay no one for evil. Have regard for good things in sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Regarding our humanity, where there is no race…

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew or Greek, slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.

Regarding offending our brother (statues, flags, rice, syrup)…

 1 Cor 8:12 For when you sin against your brother and wound the weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

Regarding the answer to all problems…

John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Enough is enough, and enough has been said. Let’s live the rest of our time on earth as brothers and sisters. Let’s live as ONE.


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