Whatever causes people to hate, discriminate, and at times, murder others is an issue of the heart.
We have already mentioned that the heart of man is desperately wicked. Out of a wicked heart flows all sorts of evil things. that the heart is where we need to focus our efforts when trying to address the issue of racism.
A desperately wicked human heart needs deliverance.
There is no way the amount of melanin in somebody’s skin will justify enslaving, mistreating, or taking advantage of them.
You may be saying that racism is real because of the historical records of the enslavement for people from Africa, and the lynchings in the southern parts of the US, segregation, Jim Crow and the Civil rights movement, etc. This is just part of the picture and a manifestation of a deeper problem.
The Africans that ended up in chains in the US and whose descendants were subjected to all sorts of inhumane treatment were originally caught and sold by fellow Africans. This point is being raised here not to blame or castigate anybody, but to point out the depravity in every human heart and to underscore the fact that given the right circumstances, ALL humans, no matter their skin color, are capable of committing terrible acts against other humans.
Therefore, instead of focusing on racism, which is just a symptom of a sick, desperately wicked human heart, we should be looking at the heart.
Take, for example, the terrible events that led to the Holocaust of six million Jews. Did this barbaric act have anything to do with skin color or was it driven by the evil in the hearts of the perpetrators who raised other bogeymen in the name of the master race to justify slaughtering millions of people?
We must peel back this camouflage and get to the evil in the hearts of people that is manifested in acts of violence, hate, discrimination, etc.
If you doubt the havoc that the heart of man can cause these, it is important to consider what Jesus Christ said concerning the heart. Some of the teachers of the law were accusing the disciples of Jesus Christ for eating without following some of the ceremonial laws of washing of hands. Jesus, in their defense, said,
What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15: 11 (NIV)
After Jesus said this, the people were not satisfied with His response. He had to explain further:
“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” Matthew 15: 16-20 (NIV)
We are back to where we started. These things that come out of the heart are bad and nobody wants or likes them.
For example, when a police officer guns down an unarmed black male, there is outraged and outcries of racism. The reasoning is that the likes of Michael Brown were shot because of their skin color, but the reason may be deeper than the fact that the police officer is white and the victim black.
According to Jesus Christ, there is something more sinister at work here, and it is the state of the heart. Everything that happens on the outside is a result of what is happening on the inside.
In order words, if a person is not having hate, murder, evil thoughts, there is no way they will allow the color of somebody’s skin to prompt them to shoot indiscriminately. While some may argue that it is the chicken-and-the-egg situation, in this situation, I will argue that external factors reveal the true intent of the heart. If the heart is not wicked and already evil, it will not become evil overnight.