I attended church with my daughter today. The preacher shared the theme of "Remember the Titans" movie. I enjoyed the movie and watched it several times so I knew the story segregating a high school football team. Sharing parts of the story he talked about racial difference. He asked a question that really got me thinking, "Do you remember the first time you became aware of the race of another person?" He then recounted his own experience at 5 years old. The only black student at school. He stood out. He talked about Bible writings that declared that everyone was of the Kingdom of Christ, all one church. He shared the idea that racial reconciliation wasn't just possible, it is inevitable. He spoke about racial reconciliation wasn't a challenge to be taken but a gift from God to receive. He suggested that Christ invited us to become one in His church. An invitation to us to join in racial reconciliation.
I was raised in Arizona. As a child, old enough to read the sign that said, "No dogs or Mexicans allowed." I also saw other signs prohibiting Indians from entering. I was 5 years old when Martin Luther King gave his "I have a Dream" speech. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/27/transcript-martin-luther-king-jr-have-dream-speech/ I have watched part of this dream become a reality. I also watch on the nightly news where part of his speech is still unheard in the USA. I watch as leaders stir up racial contention rather than searching for ways to reconcile. At times, I feel discouraged. Will Martin Luther King's Dream ever be realized? Or will manipulators use race as a way to divide people and this country or will one group be replaced by another to ridicule and marginalize, reduced to second class citizens in their own country?
I know how easy it is to be marginalized. My cousin was telling Pollack jokes. My mother warned him that he better not let anyone from Poland hear his jokes. He was shocked, "Do you mean Pollacks are real people?" Recently, I watched a kids show that part of the story line the kids taunted their mother that she was ugly and fat. This insidious cruel propaganda was supposed to be funny. I felt sick to my stomach. I no longer watch that show, ever. I hope that people everywhere would take up this challenge to reconcile differences in all places for all reasons. But I know I probably will not see that day of peace in my life time. Too many unscrupulous people use differences to blame and isolate. Unfortunately the propaganda of war churns out the lie, "If it weren't for _________________________ (fill in the blank of any group of people) all would be well so we will drive them out or kill them." Read or listen to the news it is happening now. I feel deep sadness that so much hate persists. I plan to work towards treating with respect every person I meet. I want to accept the gift of reconciliation where ever possible. Sadly, it isn't always possible because it takes two to reconcile.