Racism used to be such a hot button issue. Now, I get sick of discussions of racism many times because so many people have taken something vile and reduced it to little more than a political tool (i.e. if you disagree with the current President then you have to be a racist.) One Democratic U.S. Representative actually said those who oppose the political agenda he believes in want to see blacks “hanging from a tree.”
Really? You really want to compare someone disagreeing with the President’s health care plan to someone who HUNG PEOPLE TO DEATH SIMPLY FOR THEIR SKIN COLOR?
This is how much racism has been cheapened in America.
And it makes me wonder if that would make forgiveness and extension of grace impossible to this week’s subject of POTSC’s Never Beyond series.
The picture to the right is showing an image of hate.
For decades in America, the sight of what you see on that poster usually meant that someone with black skin was about to die.
Not just get yelled at, not just get beaten, not just get spit upon but DIE. Hung from a tree. Burned on a cross. Sometimes just simply shot where they stood.
Because of hate.
Did you know those people are still around today although they usually don’t wear the hoods? I once lived in a part of the country where every year “skinheads” would gather for a weekend music festival. (Yes, there are really “skinhead” rock bands with the stereotypical racist lyrics you would expect.)
One day while this was apparently going on, I drove down a road that passed one of the entrance roads to the festival. Police cars from all over the state lined the road. I stopped and asked one of the cops if there was some chemical spill or disaster. I’ll never forget what he said to me.
“Damn Skinhead rock concert,” he told me. ”I (profanity) hate it but they’ve got the same right to get together as anyone else.”
The same right to get together as anyone else.
But do they have the same right to forgiveness and grace as anyone else?
Is that line too deeply drawn?
In a country where it’s acceptable to call someone a racist simply because they belong to the “wrong” political party…and very very rarely do we see people apologize for making that false assertion of racism…can we really expect someone who is a true example of vile, disgusting, horrific racism and the long tradition of murder and mayhem that comes from the KKK to find even a shred of forgiveness or grace when they repent of the vile choices they have made in their life?
Here’s the thing…Jesus forgives them the minute they repent and turn to him.
Not the “repenting” they claim to do (because many of them claim they’re Christians which is a complete load of crap because nobody who truly follows Christ would advocate killing someone just because of their skin color.) I’m talking true repentance where they renounce their hate driven ways and speak out against the very things they once held dear. When they truly realize that Jesus’ forgiveness and grace is for everyone.
I’ll be willing to bet there’s not many people who would truly show them grace.
Not in today’s society where if someone doesn’t make the cheerleading squad it’s “because of racism”.
Or didn’t get into a particular college “because of racism”.
Or didn’t get a job at McDonald’s “because of racism”.
Even if there was actual racism in small situations like that you don’t see forgiveness extended very often.
How can we expect it to be given to someone from the KKK?
Yet that’s exactly what Jesus calls us to do.
Can you do it?