Recently the Coca Cola Company came under criticism for an online training seminar for staff to “try to be less white.” I am reminded of a line in the movie, The Shadowlands, (starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger). A professor shares with Joy (played by Winger) a chauvinistic opinion, to which she replies, “I don’t know if you’re trying to be offensive or just simply stupid.”
So many people in the political, business, and entertainment realms profess to abhor racism, while in truth, they do not. If our society truly wanted to eradicate racism, it would try to kill it and not simply turn it in a different direction.
“Try to be less white,” say some of those in the Coca Cola world. First of all, what does this even mean? Second, could you imagine a company telling select employees, “try to be less black,” “try to be less Latino,” or “try to not be so Asian”? Such statements are, in themselves, racist. So, if we really want to see racism die, directing it to another group is not going to kill it. It merely continues to feed and breed it.
“I’m so ashamed to be white,” some of those in Hollywood and Washington have said. Liars! If they were truly ashamed of being white and having “white privilege” they would truly hang their heads in shame instead of trying to seek more attention. They would distribute some of their well overpaid salaries to help the less fortunate communities. They claim to be so “ashamed,” yet still they love the limelight.
The statements that really upset me, however, are those that claim caucasians are bad, on the basis they are white. This is not an attack on Aryan-ism, but simply a turning it in a different direction or redefining it. It is simply a shifting in saying, “Blacks are criminals, based on they are black.” Of course, this statement is just as malicious and wrong. But we do not deal with racism by shifting words. Rather, we begin treating one another, regardless of pigmentation, with dignity and respect.
The color of a person’s skin is never what defines him or her of their personality or character. Over the years, I have seen the humanity of persons, regardless of their color. I have met some very wonderfully kind, generous, intelligent, and funny whites, blacks, Latinos, Asian, etc. I have also met some very rude, selfish, ignorant, and vulgar whites, blacks, Latinos, Asian, etc.
“Honor everyone,” the apostle Peter tells us (1 Pet. 2:17).
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. ~ James 2:8-9
To hate or belittle any person on the basis of their skin color, ethnicity, or heritage is to trample on the heart of God. We are granted an amazing glimpse surrounding the throne of God in heaven:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” ~ Revelation 7:9-10
The way to keep racism alive is by not killing it. As long as we continue to belittle, attack, and speak condescendingly on one another based on our color or ethnicity, we simply keep adding fuel to the fire instead of letting the embers finally die out.