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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why is racism still a "thing?"

I have been alive for over 50 years. I can remember my brother getting in trouble in the 2nd grade (!) for using racial slang for one of his friends...that was close to 40 years ago. Forty years! And still some dude like Donald Sterling of the NBA thinks he can be exonerated for his racism? Why? What makes him so special? Is he too dumb to learn new ways of thinking and speaking? Why should he be excused for his racism, especially since in his case it seems like it's part of his life-time commitment to making money? Why should he be more privileged than my brother 40 years ago was?

Then you have this group of University of North Dakota students who think it's fun to make fun of another race, because they are young and drunk? How is that an excuse for demeaning people? When alcoholism is your excuse for racism, you've probably hit rock-bottom, and should seek help. I just don't get why we think racism can be a thing? I've listened to many try to explain to me why the N-word is ok for some people to use. I'm sure some people don't care about its use, but you have to admit it's a bit problematic for our society...

I don't want to live in a world where people can be made fun of for things they have little or no control over in their lives. I tell stories for a living. Sometimes they can even be humorous (I tried for "funny," once; I failed.) But how "humorous" is it to blame someone or notice something ironic from someone who had little choice in the matter? That's not humor, that's mean. To make a joke because of someone's heritage or skin color or mental or physical development is not to make a joke, but rather to make our world a little worse-off.

So just stop it with the mean humor. Stop it not because you want to, or need to, or because some "law" tells you to--stop it because you want to live in a world where humor comes not from the genetics we're born with, but from the craziness we use our genetics to try and battle this thing called "life." I don't want to live in a world where the Donald Sterlings (currently our racist du jour) get to set the agenda (even in their own kitchens. Private racism is worse than public racism in this sense.) I want to live in a world where people are treated with respect and dignity no matter how God and genetics made them. I want us all to flourish...even Donald Sterling...but it's hard when people like Donald Sterling don't want all of us to flourish. I wish flourishing was a "thing" we all wanted for all of us.

May your table be full and your conversations be true.

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