Wednesday, June 13, 2007

it's way past getting old...

full story here.

abbreviated story - some folks at a church in california, while celebrating a graduation from their Christian school, dressed up as slaves in blackface, and then posted pictures of the event on the internet.

Caption reads: " The slaves served lemonade- it was a riot"

Caption reads: "Someday we gonna be leavin' When a workin' day is done"

Caption reads: "Bringing home the runaway slave in the Senior skit"

Caption reads: "Pastors Charles and Wilma Spencer with some of the students"

i don't think what these people did was indicative of hatred so much as it was particularly indicative of indifference.

i also am tired of hearing people say they didn't mean anything by it.

what you meant doesn't matter. from the white students at parties dressing up like blacks and latinos and masquerading in their respective stereotypes to the white people in these photos, what you knew about the history behind your actions and chose to ignore because of callous indifference towards the concerns of black folks is what matters. it shows that you have a lack of respect for black people, and a lack of concern for how you knew your actions would be perceived once you put them on the internet. no american i've ever met who has been raised in american society with a television set is so sheltered that they are ignorant of race relations with blacks in this country. no american i've ever met believes that they can participate in such mockery and not at least suspect that if they are seen, they will face criticism and accusations from those of us who recognize the lack of sound judgment and social decorum in your actions. you do these things because despite your knowledge, you just don't care.

you people are probably nice to the black folks you see in the drugstore or at the bank. you probably don't belong to the klan, or pass out white supremacist literature along with your tracts about being saved. you more than likely believe that you are good, fair people and that you are not racists. but when some fool said, let's go out and pretend to be slaves, another said, ooh good idea, oh - you know what would be funny? if we got some blackface too, and some slave costumes! and not one of you listened to your conscience, opened your mouth and said what you were thinking - that this was not a good idea. you didn't want to be the liberal tree hugging overly politically correct wet blanket, and you cared more about going along with what you knew was wrong than standing up for what you knew was right, especially knowing that in your lily white church and your lily white town, no blacks would be around to make a stink about it anyway. but our Creator calls us to be bigger in character than that.

in fact, i am probably giving you too much credit - maybe you didn't have that nagging thought to question what you all were about to do. maybe it didn't even occur to you that this could be offensive. but i doubt it. perhaps i'm giving you too much credit in another way - maybe you DO hand out white supremacist tracts along with your tracts about the Holy Ghost. maybe you happen to have some blackface in the attic, next to your daddy's klan sheets and the photo album full of lynchings your granddaddy took your daddy to. i could be wrong, it could be hatred and not indifference. can you blame me for wondering so?

and yet, as a Christian, i am called to be bigger in character than what i can ascertain from your actions and forgive you. i am also called to try to look past your actions and see the human being there - to recognize that just because you've done these things, you're not any less redeemable from your wrongs than i am from mine. i'm called to recognize that you are just a small group of white people, and that not all white people feel this way or act this way. it just seems like at least once a week i get this call. i'm tired of this call ringing off the hook.