Racism is an ugly word that most people do not care to talk about. Yet, vestiges of racism exist and are consistently being uncovered and discovered, both overtly and covertly in this country “tis of thee.” Persons cringe when they hear the words racism, White supremacy, and neo-Nazi. Yet, for centuries, racism has been hurtful, destructive, and ignored in this beloved “Sweet land of liberty.”
For centuries, racism hid significant cultural history; belittled cultural accomplishments, destroyed civilizations, separated mothers from both children and their mates! Additionally, its affects have derided, chided, and led people of color into fighting and distrusting themselves, rather than fighting and distrusting the devil himself!
Racism shows itself in examples of White male privilege and instances of injustices leveled on people of color. Yet, our country proclaims, “All men are created equal and granted certain inalienable rights.”
Racism makes it appear persons of color do NOT have the right to adequate healthcare, housing, or education! Additionally, minorities are historically passed over for promotions to less knowledgeable candidates because of the color of their skin, sound of their voice, the way they wear their hair or chose to spell their names!
Why are persons of color forced into experiencing the gray area between life and death when interacting with certain members of law enforcement?
Why have Black children been bombed in churches; and the Emmanuel 9 happened; our ancestors have been beaten, shot, and hanged by persons hiding behind white sheets and nooses are still being found?
Why have people of color experienced an increase in homelessness, mass incarceration, poverty, and healthcare issues, while the world’s list of billionaires and millionaires has increased? Our people have been imprisoned on trumped-up charges, enslaved, dismembered, hunted down, forbidden to learn to read and threatened not to vote! All this, while we have been singing, “A Change is Going to Come.”
Four-hundred years of waiting and just being patient.
While waiting, people of color have been gunned down from behind, executed by vigilantes, murdered during bible study, and choked out by members of law enforcement.
While waiting, persons of color have been falsely accused of having weapons at the scene of tragedies and the “sworn to uphold the law” victimizers have gone free!
While waiting, grieving families are left mourning! So, we began this series asking, “Where Do We Go from Here?” then, “You Did Not Consult with Me?” and now, “Where the People Perish?”
Now, the doors of racism are being knocked and kicked through marches and uprisings by persons no longer waiting.
But racism is still subjugated to God! Racism exists, but God is still in charge:
He said, “The bottom will be on the top and the top will be on the bottom.” “The first will be last and the last will be first.”
God said, “I open doors no man can open and close doors no man can close.” Hallelujah!
But there is a caveat; there must be order and there must be vision.
The NLT reads, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” Divine guidance (vision) is the word of God delivered to the prophets and priests of God to be preached to the people of God! Where there is ignorance or rejection of God, there is crime, sin and people running wild without vision.
Morality, the bible says, depends on the knowledge of God and on keeping the laws of God. If not, we perish.
There must be vision!
– In your house, in the church, on your job, there must be vision: Somebody feeds the dog, pays the bills, prepares the food.
– There must be vision during a pandemic, a racial uprising, in addressing systemic racism, defunding the police, or voting someone in or out of office!
– When there was slavery, there was an Underground Railroad and evidence someone had a vision.
– When there was strange fruit hanging from trees and colored only drinking fountains, an “I Have a Dream” speech indicated somebody had a vision!
Visionary leaders can surmise that what is done on this side of an organization, ultimately affects the other side of an organization. A vision helps you determine how you can get what you want, when you want, how you want. No one can deter you from your vision! “If God be for you, who can stand against you?!”
– Want to go to college – go to college!
– Want someone working for you, instead of you working for somebody – work your vision! Tired of poverty – work your vision!
Yes, someone will try and stop you; yes, something will hinder you, but only you can stop your vision! It is your vision! It is yours! It is yours!
– Without a vision: systemic racism will not be eradicated!
– Without vision: you are dancing in someone else’s vision instead of your own! But there is another caveat:
When you need assistance, emotionally, physically, or spiritually, you must be careful where your help comes from! Help can have its own agenda.
Just because you march with me, kneel with me, and raise your fist does not mean you support my vision!
“All that glitters is not gold.” All who look sincere are not sincere! All that smile, are not smiling for you, but sometimes against you! Recent marching started with people of color saying, “No justice no peace.” Now, signs are carried more by White Americans than Black Americans, reading “Defund the Police.” Let us prioritize agendas with careful vision.
Let us Lean not unto our own understanding – but in all our ways acknowledge Him – and let Him – direct our paths.
Well, I am over my time now and this is just part 3: So, let us keep rising up; keep getting up; keep sitting up; keep speaking up; voting up, marching up and calling on the name above every name! And a change is sure to come; for He will show us the vision!
Rev. Dr. M W Eagle, Sr. in the Senior Pastor of Grant AME Church in Long Beach, CA.
For more info, visit www.Grantamelb.org