Saturday, January 2, 2010

Racism and Elitism is Alive and well

I have become keenly aware that the sickness of racism is alive and well in the world. It really looks more like elitism, but it is just as ugly. Some of the most horrible atrocities and genocides of the world can be traced back to Elitism. The definition of the Elite may differ, but it can be traced through out history. Some might trace it clear back to Israel taking over the promised land. I cannot explain or justify that one, but God doesn't need me to defend Him or justify Him. After Christ, though, there is not excuse for the Elitism. The Elite hung Jesus on the Cross. I am grateful for that day in history. The truth is that He allowed them to put Him on the cross. Speaking of history, a good friend once pointed out to me the history is His Story. That has always stuck to me; He has been telling us a story.

Back to the roots of Elitism. The Holocaust was about the Elite; Rwanda was about the Elite; Serbia was about the Elite; The Religious wars were about the Elite;

We must wipe Elitism off of the face of the planet. We have to stop thinking that any one of us is better than the other. Nothing we have, can do or believe makes us any better than any one else. Jesus told us the law could be summed up in these two commands, "Love the Lord you God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." He did not say love love your neighbor if he is a Christian; He did not, as a matter of fact say if he is Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Non Denominational. He did not say love your neighbor if his skin is the same color as yours, if he makes the same amount of money as you; He did not say if he has as much stuff as you, if he dresses like you, if his children behave like you think they should. He did not say if your neighbor has tattoos like you do or if he has no tattoos like you do; He did not, to take it further, say if your neighbor treats you well; He did not say if your neighbor speaks the same language as you, has the same morals as you, or is an American Citizen (ouch!!!!). Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." It doesn't matter if the neighbor accepts the Gospel or rejects it; it doesn't matter if the neighbor is a stripper, prostitute, drug addict, thief, homeless person, Muslim, Leper, someone with a differing lifestyle choice or a Religious pharisee (that is the one I have trouble with, I can love a stinky homeless person or a prostitute faster than I can someone who is really religious and judgmental. I have to work to love them when I see it rearits ugly head. I think I would I would rather go live in a dump in Guatemala than have to interact daily with "the religious elite". God will not allow me, though, to write those types off. He won't allow me to hate them. He convicts me that, judging them and wishing ill of them is just as ugly as them misunderstanding me and thinking ill of me--double ouch!!!) We have to start loving our neighbors. Until we reach the place where more of us love our neighbors (especially the ones of us who know the Gospel) the world is hopeless and will never change. The people we interact with daily and live around are the very people God has placed in our lives. They are our neighbors. Love is the key to the whole thing. It is the key to the Kingdom; it is the key to life. LOVE IS THE WHOLE POINT. We are all missing it. O Lord, please fill me with Your love. Let the motivation of everything I do be love. Let the plumb line I measure everything be love. Let me love You so much that it overflows on every person that comes any where near me. Let me come to the place where love would flow out of me like a mighty river. What if could come to place that we stop worrying about ourselves, our rights, what we want; what if we could worry about loving and providing for the needs of others and let God take care of defending our rights, providing our needs and helping us want less stuff? "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God....made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant...."If we could start loving and being servants with no regard to our selves or what others think the world and the people of the world would be dramatically changed. God is able to take care of whether we get taken advantage of or not. Radical idea, yeah, revolutionary, that is what the Gospel is all about. "The Kingdom of God is at hand." It was so radical that Jesus and most of His followers were put to death over it. The "safe"Gospel we preach and follow is not the Kingdom. The Gospel we know is impudent and powerless in the face of "the Kingdom". I am not saying we don't know God and that many of us have had our lives transformed, but I am saying when we start really living the Kingdom the world will be impacted like we have never seen.

That was a rabbit trail, but vitally related. I have heard it said that, "what we believe about a situation, directly impacts what we do about it." If we don't believe that children are really starving all over the world, we don't have to do anything about it. If we believe that the situation in Africa is a result of civil war or immoral behavior, and therefore deserved, we don't have to do anything about it. If the Ghettos are results of lifestyle choices then it is okay to keep living outlandish lifestyles and never attempting to share resources to make the Ghettos better. Elitism. We have worked hard to earn what we have.

BULL SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for the language, but I think it was necessary. We have what we have b/c God gave it to us. He allowed us to be born here, to go to school, to be able to work hard; He gave us our houses, our jobs, everything we have He gave us. Why did He give us what we have? Have you ever stopped to ask God why He gave you what He gave you? Oh, what a horrible realization it will be when we get to Eternity and see the impact we could have had with our resources. I am reading a book that states that we could wipe out poverty with one generation if we only had the will. Compassion international asks the question, "What is the opposite of poverty?" The answer most people gave was "Rich." They pose the idea that the opposite of poverty is enough. What if we could all have just enough? What if I could let go of what was more than enough to give enough to others? Do we ever really think we have enough? When we get to where we thought would be enough, we want more.

What really spawned this post was some of the things that I have heard lately in regards to our neighborhood and school. First I must admit, that I was one of the ones I am talking about a few years ago. I did not see it until God showed me. So I cannot blame those who are blind to the truth and who believe this way, b/c if we can't see something we can't see it. We don't see until we see. I am sure that there are still many layers of elitism I need to deal with; I do the only thing I know to do; I cry out to the Author and Finisher of my faith and ask Him to show me and change me, but in the mean time I also must speak to truth and do what i can to push back the darkness. I have to challenge ignorance, blindness and injustice. I choose to look the Darkness in the face and say I will not let your voice be louder than my voice any longer. At some point in History a generation has to rise up and say, with hearts full of love, "no more." I will be one, if He would send me. Lord, let it be our generation. Seeing color has not really been an issue for me for a very long time. If I could have the choice, all of my children would marry a different race so I could have grand children who are all different colors. I have been elitist about economic status and some of the complications of living in a lower income area. I have to say that I have fallen in love with this neighborhood and school. I don't want to move anymore.

I love that my children go to a school that is only 29% white. Compared the next closest school that is 75% white. 46% of our school is economically disadvantage, compared to 8% of this neighboring school; In spite of the fact that a large portion of our students come from non English speaking home, our school has received an Exemplary Rating and an 8 from the great school rating. Our teachers work really hard to help children have an leg up and a chance to succeed at life. I love that my children go to a "real life school". I don't want them to grow up in a mainly upper middle class white environment. They know how to love and get along with children who are different colors, different cultures, and have different economic experiences. They don't see color; I don't think they even see money or lack of money. It makes me so sad when I hear people talk about our neighborhood going to pot. It just shows me the Elitism in their hearts and causes me to pray for them. How sad it is that so many children in our neighborhood are transferred to the "other" school. They are not getting a realistic life experience and they are not being equipped with the ability to get along with and learn from many different life experiences. This beautiful community and school is my ministry and calling. I love that God put me here and is now allowing our family to stay here. I love that I get to impact these children and love them. I love that He is allowing me to call out of them the creativity and artistic natures within them through CREATE (my after school program). What an amazing privilege to be able to give to some of the economically disadvantaged the opportunity to have artistic influence that their parents cannot afford to give them. As a matter of fact, I think we might be considered economically disadvantaged. It doesn't seem like it to me, b/c God always takes care of our needs, but in the scheme of things we fall into that category as well.

This is just a small glimpse of how racism and elitism is alive and well in the world today. Oh, that we could love one another, regardless.


  1. Elitism and Darwinism can be interchanged here. The old racist claim that black peoples brains are smaller than whites comes from Darwin's work
    The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.
    An excerpt:

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 521, emp. added).

    Here's one from Darwin's good friend and biologist Thomas Huxley.

    It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest (emp. added).

  2. p.s. I really enjoyed this one.