The Burden of Race in the American Society
We just can’t continue to assume America’s race problem will eventually fix itself. Being color-blind is never an effective cure to the predicament of race. Ignoring the pain and problem of race will not make it go away. Blaming each other is not an effective strategy; this method does not provide the cure. In America, race has a devastating bearing on the American psyche and practice. Its impact invades the whole of the American life and experience including the sphere of religion, education, sexuality, theology, economics, class, housing, employment, love, friendship, and any form of social and human interactions.
The race problem makes interracial friendship almost an impossibility in our culture. It engenders fear among us and distrust among Americans of different social classes and racial groups. The predicament of race in our culture contributes substantially to human suffering and heightens the problem of pain in our society. Not only it defers interraci love, dating, and marriage; it has the potential to bring fear and misunderstand ing in existing interracial friemdship, love, and marriage. It causes deep hurt and disappointment among American children. America’s racial imagination can be compared to a heavy yoke and a multifaceted burden we carry, live with, and ultimately endure. It will not be an exagerration to infer that our race-thinking and race-motivated actions are perhaps synonymous with the human condition and experience in America.
Race-thinking and race-acting is theological, intellectual, mental, and psychological. While many have interpreted the race problem as a sin problem, it also has deep roots in our social arrangements and human imagination. Race blinds the teacher to see the potential of greatness in his/her student. Likewise, it makes the student doubts the integrity and commitment of his/her teacher to his or her learning and success.Race not only defers our lifegoals, it leads to shattered dreams and life objectives. Race makes us forget that we are humans and relational people. Race dehumanizes people and defames human dignity. Race is the enemy of our common humanity and undermines the biblical notion that both man and woman are created in the image and likeness of God.
America’s racial fabric and imagination suffers a profound spiritual and theological crisis that affects all facets of the human life and condition, and human relationships in the American Society. The sick person needs to be treated. The cancer patient needs chemotherapy to effect cure. Let’s work together until dawn to find a common and satisfactory solution to this national conundrum.