People often interpret life through their personal and individual worldviews. I would go so far as to say that a great symptom of our sinful nature is how hiddenly narcissistic we can be to think that our experience is the only experience that matters. Both sides of the race conversation does this.

The phrase “I don’t see color” is a common example of this, usually said to make a black person feel better about their struggle.  The first thought that pops in my mind when someone says that is always, “Well, that’s lovely. I wish how you saw the world was THE way everyone saw it.  It’d be a better place.”  And black people have their “that’s racist” card that we’re always ready to play like we’re cutting diamonds with the ace of spades.

A Problem Doesn’t Exist If It’s Not Mine

If that gets you in a uncomfortable mood, let me switch it up and explain it from a different angle. I was able to understand why people are struggling with the race conversation when my wife was talking with me about women’s roles in the church.  Even as she explained her concerns, I halfheartedly listened because I, “know what the Bible says.”  And of course, I nearly led off my response with, “Well the Bible says…” which could be seen as equivalent to leading off a race discussion with #alllivesmatter. What would make me respond that way? Well, it’s simple. Her problem wasn’t a problem for me, so therefore the problem didn’t exist.

Racism Is In America’s Ethos

Racism is built into the ethos of America.  It’s in the fibers of our nation’s flag.  It’s in the pores of her skin. It’s laced in her bloodstream. If you struggle with the race conversation, it’s because you can’t see it.  You can’t imagine the effects of wondering why “skin-colored” band-aids didn’t match yours.  You can’t imagine the effects of wondering if this lady following you in the store is doing so just because you’re black. These personal and individual worldviews are forever ingrained our culture.

Can it actually change?

Not if you’re busy trying to convince black people that they’re overreacting. Your dismissal of America’s inherited racism is not helping; If we continue to ignore smog in the air, we’ll never deal with the ventilation.

If you’re hoping in a racism or sexism free world, your hope is infantile, especially in a cruel world where people in power will always prey on the vulnerable and the oppressed.

Let me share how I should have responded to my wife. If she feels oppressed because our culture tells her she’s not pretty enough or valuable enough, I lean in and confirm that her emotions are a right response to a broken world where sexism does exists, but also try to point her and exemplify the greater revelation of the person of Jesus who transferred His righteousness into her for her sins, (2 Cor. 5:21) marked her and sealed her with the Holy Spirit, (Eph. 1:13) while also boldly and courageously promising her, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.  Here you see the guarantee of trouble, but the promise of peace and redemption in Jesus Christ.

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