BIPOC individuals had a challenging existence throughout our history. They have been victims of lynchings, voter suppression, and racial prejudice. The Jim Crow Era promoting segregation did not improve the lives of African Americans. They were treated less than human during the Era of Jim Crow. Racial relations hardly improved after the downfall of Jim Crow. Although we slowly became more aware of systemic racism as a nation, one thing remained to be certain. We never had the courage to have an open and honest dialogue with BIPOC about racial equality.
We are at a racialized crossroads in America today. America is a multiethnic country, consisting of a diversity of thought and culture. It’s not uncommon for BIPOC to be friends with white people, and white people being friends with BIPOC. Importantly, there are BIPOC that create their own businesses. Several BIPOC are leaders in their respective communities as well.
They have made great strides, not only in their personal lives. BIPOC made great contributions to science and medicine in our country. BIPOC loves the United States. Our country is diverse and more inclusive than ever before. This is primarily thanks to BIPOC individuals representing several cultures and ethnicities. However, more work must be done to heal from those past hurts and realize racial healing.
It’s difficult for America to pull away from its past. The “America First” movement did not first happen under Donald Trump. Initially, this movement was to keep us out of World War II, but something uglier evolved from this movement. That ugliness was anti-Semitism and bigotry. During this era, the hatred was strong toward Jewish people, BIPOC, or anyone that appeared to be “different.” Does this sound familiar today?
Today, this movement is known as Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again, or MAGA Movement. I’m not certain what decade Mr. Trump is alluding to when it comes to making America great again. We have our character flaws in the treatment of BIPOC as a nation. There’s no excuse for this behavior. This behavior must be condemned at every opportunity. Still, America is a nation of immigrants and diverse cultures. This is what makes America special. We can find common ground in our racial relations with one another.
Before 2016, our country was slowly accepting everyone once again, regardless of racial ethnicity. Something drastically happened when the twice impeached, disgraced one-term former occupant of the White House decided to run for the most powerful position in the world. In that infamous 2015 speech declaring his candidacy for President of the United States, Trump told a crowded room at his New York hotel that Mexico was sending their worst people to America. According to Trump, Mexico is sending rapists, killers, and drug dealers to the United States. He also told his supporters and reporters that he “guesses” Mexico is sending some good people to us.
It’s not a mystery how people began treating one another during this time. Trump enabled an “Us” versus “Them” type of culture during those long 4 years. Think about this for a moment. It makes no difference if you’re black or white. Trump’s speech should make any sensible person strongly offended. It was a hurtful speech that singled out BIPOC individuals.
While “Hope Springs Eternal,” we should not passively wish for hope and forget about it. An action plan must be created to improve racial relationships with one another. We need to create thoughtful as well as intentional steps to make this a reality. How can we improve race relations as a society? Perhaps, we should start loving one another. Love does not know national borders or any racial divide.
Here is what the Bible teaches us about love.
According to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
That’s a beautiful depiction of love. I feel the Bible is trying to provide us with a deeper reflection of love as well. Love isn’t easy, but it’s truly worth the effort. Love is for everyone, not just reserved for one race. Through consistent effort, we can mend those racial ties and begin the slow healing process.
BIPOC doesn’t need racial prejudice or blatant discrimination. They have endured plenty of both throughout our history. BIPOC want to be loved and understood. When we open our hearts, love will help us understand other people, including BIPOC. Love will empower us to be no longer concerned by the other person’s skin color. We would be more focused on the content of the individual’s character.
The intentional action of love will bring hope. In this instance, hope would spring eternal with progress toward positive racial relationships with one another. Everyone has a responsibility to make our relationships with BIPOC better. This includes me as well. Our words, deeds, and actions truly matter. Indeed, this will take a tremendous amount of work, time, and understanding. Let’s begin today with the necessary racial healing through love while uplifting people in every community.
By Matthew Philistine