I am not able to post as much as I like beause I face tax deadlines, but something woke me at 1:30 AM this morning, to share some thoughts.
The word “systemic” is currently being bandied about as a sort of scary boogey man, and people flinch from it without pausing to think what it means. Basically it means “all through a system” as opposed to “localized” which means “only in part of a system”. For example, an infected toenail is localized, whereas measles is systemic (you don’t get measles only in your big toe.)
Currently the United States is under attack by people who do not like the beautiful and spiritual principles upon which it was founded. One method of attack is to suggest the “system” is rotten to the core, rotten through and through. Therefore racism is not discussed in a rational manner, but rather as an inherent evil in the very foundation of the United States. This is absolutely and unequivocally not the case. The United States is founded on principles which are a standing challenge to racism. You cannot believe, “all men are created equal”, and be a racist. You cannot believe in “liberty and justice for all” and be a racist.
This is not to say the United States is perfect. No mere mortals are perfect, until they can sit beside God in heaven. Such a presumption is not made by the United States, and in fact the United States owns a system of government which assumes there must be checks and balances, due to the fact leaders have imperfections.
When you think about it, it is not the United States who claims it is without flaw. It is communist China. If you even dare suggest the government is flawed in China, they bring down the hammer. It is a flaw in the system called “communism”. If there is anyone who has a deep and ingrained “systemic” flaw, it is communists. Over and over they have seen their system bring nations crashing down in ruin, yet they never admit their mistakes.
This can also be seen in the history of ancient times, in the cases of kings who demanded others worship them as God. Christians were thrown to the lions for telling Nero they wouldn’t worship him, just as Danial was thrown to the lions for refusing to worship the Babylonian king. The arrogance and vanity of leaders is nothing new, and is the very reason the government of the United States has checks and balances.
Racism is deeply rooted in human nature, because it is based on a fear of those you don’t know; a fear of strangers. It has its sensible side: We tell our children not to get in the car of a person they don’t know, who offers them candy. Is it racist to tell our children to be wary? Not at all. Children need a “safe space” which involves boundaries, and boundaries create small and (hopefully) safe social-units called families and neighborhoods. These units are not racist just because the inhabitants tend to all be of one ethnicity. They only become racist when they go out of their way to hurt others of a different ethnicity. It is quite all right to be fiercely loyal to your school’s football team as they compete against a nearby town, but genocide is not football. Racism only occurs when our natural self-protectiveness goes on the offence, and steps over a sometimes-hard-to-see line between protecting our own children and harming other people’s children.
Any society which seeks to improve the human condition must begin with the premise we are not born perfect. We all own flaws, and all need to be uplifted; children are “raised”. We need to learn to recognize our more beastly impulses and redirect that energy into higher behavior; for example, greed tends to cause trouble which generosity does not. Hate causes trouble which love does not.
Fear causes trouble when it takes the simple fact we are wary of strangers and turns us into people who attack people we don’t know. If a stranger comes walking into your house it is acceptable to draw a gun, but before you shoot them dead you should first ask, “What are you doing in my house?” You should make the effort to know strangers. It may turn out they simply got the address wrong. Or they may be a mass murderer. We need to make the effort to differentiate.
If you judge another by the color of their skin and not the quality of their character you are skipping the process of getting to know them better. It is all right to discriminate if you are basing your discrimination on the quality of character, but not good to discriminate based solely on the color of skin. Yet some bandy about the word “discrimination” as if discrimination was one of the seven deadly sins.
The same is true of judging light-skinned people as all being scary and owning an invisible club they will clout you with, called “white privilege”, (even if they are dirt poor). Maybe they are good and maybe not. One needs to get to know them, and utilize a thing called “discernment.” Ignorance fuels racism, whereas knowledge ends it.
To judge people as bad, based on their skin color, tends to be frightening to the people being judged. Frightened people then tend to fight back. A society is pushed in a divisive direction, and a divided people are easier to conquer. This may in fact be a strategy being utilized by those who seek to destroy the United States. If they can stir up fear, they can stir up the self-protective instinct, and get people fighting among themselves.
The antidote to fear is faith. Times such as these actually strengthen faith. We are forced to stand up to bullshit. We need to assert we believe love is stronger than hate; we have faith. We need to assert that what is “systemic” in the United States is love, not hate, and that we intend to prove it. When people bandy about big words, attempting to shame the innocent with jargon, we need to laugh at them and say, “Do you even know what that word means? Don’t be such a dunce!”
Have faith. In God we trust.