The Beginning of Racism
Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other 'isms' grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity. Roger Ebert
It has often been said that if we fail to understand history, we are doomed to repeat it. Nothing is truer to this than in the area of racism, because racism has been part of human history for thousands of years now. Although some may erroneously try to make it feel as if racism is a fairly new concept. In the past, the term racism was not used to refer to the manifestation of this evil behavior. I am calling racism evil because anything that distorts that which God has called goood is trying to corrupt what God has made. The only appropriate word for such an action is evil.
While there are a thousand different ways to approach this subject of racism, tribalism, and ethnocentrism, I have chosen a more holistic approach that will incorporate both the physical and spiritual components of this issue. We are going to be using the term racism in a more encompassing and broader fashion to include all the tendencies of superiority and inferiority complexes that are driven by fear and propagated by fear.
Before we get into the definition of terms, it is important to have a baseline. Without establishing a zero point, we will never know if we have made any progress or not. I believe that we are not a result of some cosmic accident because believing that we are a result of an accident and are just living by the dictates of our instincts, it will be difficult for us to see any reason why we should not follow our instincts and discriminate against other people. Nothing will prevent us from taking advantage of other people as long as it guarantees that we move ahead. In other words, if all that we are here to do is to pass our genes to the next generation, then all this talk about racism and being able to live together in harmony and love is baseless. If survival is all that we are engineered to do, then everything else must be sacrificed on the altar of survival, including love for one another.
On the contrary, I am of the school of thought that mankind was created and each one of us has a unique purpose. Without a firm understanding of this foundational truth, it is almost impossible to grapple with racial issues, much less come up with workable solutions.
Created in God’s image
Let us go back before there were any humans on earth — the time when there were no Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Aboriginal, American Indians, Indians, etc. In the beginning, after God had created the entire universe and the earth, a decision was made by God himself to create mankind.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26 New International Version (NIV)
I have bolded the first part of the verse to emphasize that nobody is an accident because God himself decided out of His free will that the human race be created. One special aspect of the human race is that humans were created in the image of God. We are not an accident and were never intended to be because God did not only propose that we be created, He actually went ahead and created us as the following verse says:
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
All humankind, both male and female, has the image of God stamped on them, so to speak. We are not just flesh and blood moving around without hope and purpose. We have the image of God and should look at all other people from this understanding.
After God created male and female in His image, He did not just allow them to roam the earth aimlessly and without purpose. The following verse clearly stipulates what mankind is supposed to be doing:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28 (NIV)
It is important to note that after God created mankind, He blessed them, before giving them an assignment because He knew that they needed this blessing to be effective in carrying out their assignment successfully. The other thing to note here is that mankind was given the dominion to rule over the entire creation, but not over each other.
This perfect picture of harmony, tranquility, and blessing will soon be perturbed, and with it came death, decay, and all the misery and suffering the world is facing right now.
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