Let's Talk About Racism #BlackLivesMatter
Systemic racism is real and it breaks the heart of God. In a society that has been conditioned to advocate an anti-black narrative, we cannot deny that white supremacy is deeply embedded in the systems of our society. As a South-Asian, I have personally benefitted from my proximity to white privilege. Even though I will never truly understand the struggles that black people face, one thing I do know is that Christians cannot be silent, complicit or ignorant about the issue.
“So God has put the body together such that extra honour and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honoured, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it." — 1 Corinthians 12:24-27
When one part of the Body of Christ suffers at the hands of police brutality and injustice, we all suffer. George Floyd’s life mattered. Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery’s life mattered. Belly Mujinga’s life mattered. Sarah Reed’s life mattered. The list never ends...
The 'Black Lives Matter' movement does not insinuate that other lives do not matter but rather reaffirms the dignity and sanctity of all black lives in the fight against racial injustice. In a society that has stripped black people of their dignity, every believer needs to realise that their worth and dignity does not come from the 'whiteness' of their skin, but from being a son or daughter of the King of Kings. We’re made in God's image. As followers of Christ, we need to rise up, take leadership positions and re-write the narrative.
According to God’s Word: Black lives are worthy. Black lives are loved. Black lives are beautiful. Black lives are needed, and black lives mattering is the bare minimum.
Whereas 'Black Lives Matter' is a movement that empowers, 'All Lives Matter' is used as an attempt to silence and overlook the struggles that disproportionately affect black people. 'Black Lives Matter' seeks to protect those marginalised in society, by upholding the value and dignity of all black lives.
“Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.” — Proverbs 24:11-12
How can we be pro-life for our black brothers and sisters? As believers, we must actively work towards dismantling the systems that keep on murdering innocent black lives, inside and outside the womb. Our vocation is to unconditionally love and yet, the greatest sins of the century are indifference (the tolerance of evil) and ignorance (the tolerance of darkness).
Racial reconciliation begins with the heart, through repentance and reparation. Although we might not seem overtly racist, we must acknowledge the fact that we have been conditioned in a way that forces us to hold racial biases, stereotypes and prejudices. To be anti-racist is to actively oppose that, by challenging our own negative and harmful preconceptions.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” — Psalms 139:23-24
In Catholicism, the first step in receiving the Sacrament Of Reconciliation begins with an Examination Of Conscience. It’s an opportunity to reflect on our past sins and wrongdoings before we turn to God with a repentant heart. If we truly desire racial reconciliation, we must first ask God to reveal in us our offensive ways and allow Him to purify us.
The truth is we have not yet reached the Promised Land where racial equity exists. We’re still striving for unity, healing and restoration to a world that is permeated by the racial divide. As we journey through the wilderness use this season for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer should be our first weapon and our first form of protest. We need God to shed light on our ignorance and equip us with the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge needed to strategize a better way forward.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” — Proverbs 31:8-9
As Christians, we need to use our influence to create a revival. It means fighting against injustice in whatever way you can, even if it is simply one conversation or decision at a time. Remember it starts with you, so educate yourself and others, actively protest, sign petitions, give what you can to anti-racism organisations and challenge the racial prejudices and micro-aggressions that allow for covert racism to continue.
Article: ‘It’s Nice That’ provides a list of resources to help you support the Black Lives Matter movement.