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Neither Jew Nor Gentile

The Deception of Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Superiority
Commentary
Kimberly N. Alleyne, Publisher and Editor
The Harvest Magazine
Scripture References: Colossians 3:9-11; Galatians 3:26-29

 

 

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-29

 

I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Fragrant magnolia trees and weeping willow trees drape the region. The nation’s longest man-made beach was just a short walk from my home. Even though it was a man-made tourist attraction, its white sands and the bouncing waters they bordered were a sight to take in. I remember toddling along with my Mom to buy shrimp and ground mullet right off the boats. We were among the many who rushed over to the docks when the boats came in with heaping loads of newly-caught fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters. Fresh seafood often had a starring role in our meals, even breakfast. I’m sure you’ve heard of shrimp and grits, but fish and grits is a popular dish in those parts, too. One fish, ground mullet, is an especially popular breakfast item and is widely known in the region as, “Biloxi Bacon.”



I have long since left the Coast, and don’t visit often. But ever so often I get a whiff of the unique aroma that only magnolia trees emit, and just like that, I’m transported home and childhood memories wash over my mind; I get the same feeling from beaches and water. For all the magnolia beauty and Biloxi-bacon quirks of the region, there are ugly parts, too. I grew up in a place where racism was never disputed — it just was. It was a part of the culture, of the language. One of my Mom’s managers was an admitted, and proud racist. Once during a court case, the judge repeatedly referred to my grandmother by a racial epithet instead of by her name. Once when my family was traveling in another part of Mississippi to visit extended family, they were pulled over by police offers who took my Uncle James away. They left my grandmother, mom, and uncle sitting on the road side for hours. After several hours, they returned with my Uncle James, who had been subjected to treatment that he is still unable to discuss. The incident remains a open wound in our family’s history.

 

No, my Uncle James had not done anything wrong to warrant being pulled over, or worse abused. He was simply driving his members of his immediate family to see relatives. The fact that he was a college graduate, popular teacher, businessman, and well-respected community member did not protect him from racial profiling — none of those points should have been pertinent. None of that should have mattered. Racial profiling does not account for any component of an individual’s background, except for race. That’s the problem with racial profiling. Anyone who is black or brown is subject to unfair — and often wrong — assumptions. No one is immune regardless of their socioeconomic status, income, education level, or zip code.

 

Mississippi does not own the market for racial profiling, nor does the South. Sadly, it is a widespread and very real problem. I have been racially profiled. I lived in Poughkeepsie, New York, for five years; Poughkeepsie is in the Hudson Valley, about an hour north of NYC. I was pulled over and harassed nine times while I lived there, and only two of those occasions were warranted: once for speeding, and another for the light on my back license plate being blown. The other occasions were apparently just for kicks and giggles. So much so that I grew to expect being pulled over. I find doubters of racial profiling and critics of #Black Lives Matter and #Brown Lives Matter very curious. It is almost as they think there is a secret annual convention where individuals gather to fabricate stories about police brutality and violence. Sure, that’s it, we all get together to conjure up tall tales about profiling, prejudice, brutality, blatant racism, and micro-aggressions.

 

Really?

 

As an African-American woman who grew up in Mississippi, and later in other Deep South states, I view racism and prejudice through a unique lens. I have had far too many painful experiences of rejection that were framed by race (and also gender) to count. I simply do not care about “why.” Nor am I interested in racial healing because I think the notion of that is delusional. The manifestation of a nation, world where race and ethnicity are after thoughts will continue to elude us until the end of this world. Hate and offense are two of the enemy’s favorite weapons. It’s how he keeps families, colleagues, and nations divided. And sadly, God’s children have fallen prey to his dumb devices. We have been entangled in bondage of isms and schisms, and that’s simply not God’s plan. It breaks His heart to see His children at odds over political affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, and even denomination.

 

Racism is poisonous. Any ideology that champions one race over another is satan’s bait. In God’s eyes, all His children are equally precious and loved. I once worked for a national faith-based organization, and I am continuing to heal from the blatant racism and sexism I suffered during my tenure there. My time there remains one of the most painful points of my career. I think God allowed me to endure that trial so that I could stand on a powerful testimony that we can choose to conquer hate with love. Hatred is a choice, just as love is a choice. We are in the Year of Jubilee, and it’s time that we put our childish games and intention divisions away. Otherwise, satan will continue to have his way…

 

God never intended for one race, ethnicity, or gender to lifted up over another. There are those who justified and even today justify American slavery with the word of God. That’s a ludicrous claim. Check out Colossians 3:8-11 and Galatians 3:26-29. God’s love is rooted in righteousness, justice, and INCLUSION. His love is perfect, and is for all. It’s time that we, those who call ourselves Believers, to stop allowing the enemy to raid and control our camp.

 

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Colossians 3:8-11

 

Let’s stop killing, hating, and instead, walk in the pure love of God. There’s no place for that garbage in the Kingdom. God’s love matter. His Kingdom matters.

 

#Godschildrenmatter

 

Racism Affects Our Vision
Photo credit: marcella bona via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: Vermin Inc via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

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