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Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What's Really Behind Racism in America?

I've been pondering about racism lately.  It's difficult for me to understand it because I really have not seen it  much living up in the North.  I'm sure it's there, but I get the feeling that it's more prevalent in the South.  Up here we are all crazy busy, and it seems like we don't have time to think about someone's skin color.  We're just working our tails off to earn enough money to pay our taxes!

As a nurse, I understand that we are all humans.  We do have different genes, and different risks for various things such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer, etc.  We have different texture to our hair, and more or less melanin in our skin than others, making it darker or lighter.  We have different bone structure from others, some more petite and some bigger boned.

We've been able to divide people up into "families", or groups such as blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Africans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, pregnant women, old, old old (yes, that is a group!), children, infants, etc., and risk factors are assigned to each one based on research, prevalence, etc.  In the medical field we also divide some people up by socioeconomic class, because their risks will be different based on where they fit in society, education level, income, etc.

Our environment can affect us, as can our family history, our personal history, our habits, our lifestyles, our sexual activity, etc.  But bottom line: we are all people, and we all find ourselves in a particular class, a particular society, a particular neighborhood, etc.  How we bloom where we are planted, with the abundance of resources or lack thereof, is largely up to us.  The foods we choose to put in our mouths, the harmful substances we ingest or smoke, and even the words we choose to speak, resulting in actions that we do, is largely up to us.  Everyone has to divvy up what they have and decide what to do with it, whether it be material possessions, time, or talent.  Those decisions will often be based on one's attitude of themselves and the world around them.

So getting back to what is really behind racism in America, I was thinking about attitudes and subcultures.  There are quite a few subcultures in America.  From the Amish to the ghetto to the mob to the wealthy in elite clubs, there is usually a language and way of life that they share.  There may be words that only those in that subculture will understand.  There are certain things you have to know to fit in or else you will be considered an outsider.  You may have to adopt a certain skill to survive in some of these, whether for good or even for bad.  There are cultural norms within each group.  You may even have to adopt a certain attitude toward others to fit into that group.

Jobs such as computer specialists, medical professionals, and musicians also have a lingo and a certain subculture among them as well.

Cliques are often like this as well, but on a smaller scale.  The "geeks", the "jocks", the "cheerleaders", the "skateboarders", etc. gather together because they fit in with each other.  You know what I'm talking about!  Even in churches, people working in certain ministries will click better with each other because they have similar interests, spend more time together so know each other better, and maybe even have similar personalities.

It may even be age groups, such as "yuppies", single adults, married with children, those who are retired, etc. who find themselves spending more time together than with others. They have things in common, so will be more comfortable hanging out.

Religion is another example of subculture.  Some have certain rules, preferences, interpretations of the Bible, music styles, preaching styles or personality, so finding the right church will often be a search for the right match of preferences.  We do this with dating, too.  We like to find people with similar interests, chemistry, beliefs, values, etc., especially if we are going to make a long term commitment with them.  The same goes for job employment.  Finding the right match for us is important for longevity.  Sports also show us that certain people tend to be more likely to play basketball, track, football, or golf, for example, based on their size and abilities and desires.

Some of these tendencies to find a group in which you belong are natural and given to us by God.  We even see it with plant life, as some grow better in the sun, and some better in the shade.  In the animal kingdom, animals of the same kind flock together for safety and protection from predators.  So cultures and subcultures tend to be groupings of people with similarities or differences that compliment each other for a common goal, purpose or identification.

These are just some examples, stereotypes and generalizations, but I think you get the point.  Being divided is not in and of itself a bad thing.  So when does it become bad, wrong, or dangerous?

When pride gets in the way.  Prejudice is a form of pride.  It essentially says you are not as good as me because you are not like me.  I'm better than you.  How silly for the hands to ridicule the feet because they are different, or the eyes to ridicule the ears.  The appendix might be small, but if it's "unhappy," everything stops!  Just like every part of the body is important, even though some are smaller or different or even "uglier" than other parts, they all have a purpose and are vital for the well being of the organism.  If something is missing or injured, it matters.  It's all special, because it's part of you, of your whole.

Think about racial disparities.  Why would we think that anyone is better than another, as far as human value?  Certainly, some people might have higher ranking jobs, such as the brain as compared to a toenail, or a doctor verses an exterminator, for example.  But can a doctor practice medicine in a building that is overcome by termites?

Let's go a bit deeper.  If your value system or set of morals is different from mine, does that make me better than you?  No, we are all humans.  Does that mean that both are right?  No.  If one person believes there is no God and another believes God exists, whatever is true makes one of those people right and the other wrong.  But each of their lives has great value.  It is not diminished because they do not agree.

How about if one person is athletic and the other is a "book worm"?  The athlete may get more attention because of the sports he or she chooses to participate in, but more exposure does not equate to greater worth.  This also applies to Hollywood stars, political candidates, and others who are on the front lines of popularity.  People deserve our respect for their accomplishments, but people who have not accomplished much still deserve the basic respect of being born in the image of God, a human with an eternal destination, one who is loved by God.

Someone should not assign more value to themselves or anyone else because of physical features, socioeconomic status, education, disability, hardships, accomplishments, etc., nor should they assign less value.  Some may warrant pity or praise, but that does not change their value.

In a world where people believe evolution and that we came from monkeys, and that there is no eternal destination for the soul, murder has become an acceptable form of conflict resolution.  How wrong is this!  No one has the right to take the life of another because they are weaker, different, disagree with them, are in the way of a goal, or whatever reason!  Souls are eternal, and life is sacred.

Now, don't get this confused with punishing wrongdoers through a fair legal process.  Laws are set forth to protect the innocent from evil.  That is good and well.  But it deserves a fair legal process.

Let's learn to not look at each other in a negative way because we are different, but to rather celebrate it.  Opposites often attract each other in a relationship, because if there were two of the same people, one wouldn't be necessary!  It's better to draw from each other's strengths to make a better couple than one can be alone.

Knowing Jesus Christ unifies us, because we have a common love, we realize we have a common enemy, we are in a common bind, and we are using the same guide, the Bible, to live by and be saved out of our chains of darkness.  It doesn't matter which group or subgroup we are from, which race or ethnicity, gender, status, employer, etc.  We are all creations of God Almighty, made in His image, for His purpose, so let's join hands and work together to the glory of God, to bring honor and praise to His name.  Let's drop our pride and get to know and understand each other better, not try to kill or destroy each other.  That is contrary to one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Listen to a song I wrote on unity called, "In One Accord."  It's based on Philippians 2.
"In One Accord" by Dawn Foss

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