Yes, I was called a racist.
It cut me to my core to be called that. She called me a homophobe as well. I cried my eyes out. It hurt me profoundly.
To be fair, this girl doesn’t really know me. We did know each other not too long ago. In fact, she is family. I was at the hospital when my aunt delivered her. We created our own play restaurant growing up. She was probably my closest friend in my elementary and middle school years. And then, life happened. Conflict set in on our family, and it pulled us all apart. I didn’t hear from her for most of my college years and into her college years. And, we changed. I grew closer to the Lord, and she grew further from Him.
This all started because I challenged her. She shared a graphic that read, “Dear YT, Instead of sharing white washed MLK Jr. quotes today, give money to a black person. Reparations or bust.” I questioned her, “Giving money to a black person as reparation does nothing to solve the racism that still exists in our society. It doesn’t give an ear to listen to the hurt or the experiences black people have had in our culture… Strive for understanding over being understood.” I went on to share that Jesus was the first to teach that every person had dignity regardless of skin color, gender, or age. Our assumptions are largely based on Christian values that Western Culture has applied. I got one short, bitter reply: “Lmao first a homophobe now a racist. I don’t have time for this.”
I asked her to explain to me how I’m homophobic or racist. She blocked me. I never got an answer. I’m sure I know why.
Because it’s easier to write off a thought as racist or bigot instead of diving deeper to understand those around us or help them understand us. It is easier to disqualify someone’s opinion than it is to test it and see if it stands. It is certainly easier to believe that the opinions you assume are correct and others are wrong, and when challenged, can make you feel insecure.
See, I am deeply, deeply passionate about God and the people He has made in His image. I believe it is a sin to hate others because of their sexual orientation or the color of their skin. I believe it’s a sin to hate anyone. Jesus told us that: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
I love black people. I love gay people. I love anyone who is made in the image of the Living God. While I may not agree with your lifestyle and I will challenge you and speak truth to you, I can still love you. A disagreement doesn’t make me hate you. It doesn’t make me racist or homophobic. Immaturity says, “you must validate me to love me.” Maturity says, “you don’t have to validate me and you can still love me.”
I could not be more vehemently against racism. Racism is real, it is prevalent, it is deep in some peoples hearts. And, it is wrong. And instead of throwing money at the situation, or screaming from a corner with a sign in my hands, or taking a knee during the national anthem, I want to talk with black people who can help me to understand what I cannot understand because I’m white. I cannot understand what it is to be black, but I certainly want to be an ear to those who do know and want to see the world actually change for the better.
As women who abide by the Word of God and strive to imitate Jesus every day, we are called to not only oppose racism, but be a part of the loving-change that needs to happen in this country. No more standing by and letting people discriminate. You can lovingly challenge that person who just used a racial slur. But, let’s also work to be women who listen. Listen to the stories of black people who have been discriminated against because of their color. The fear they have, the stereotypes they fight to erase, the pain they feel when their children are on the receiving end of racism.
If Jesus is the standard, then we all fall short. The Apostle Paul confirmed that for us in his letter to the Romans. It is only by His death on the cross and His victory over death that we can stand victorious as well. And in that victory, with humility and joy, let us pursue those who have been discriminated against. Let us lovingly admonish those who perpetuate thoughts of superiority. Let us be agents of change, the way Jesus was; He changed the world—turned the world upside-down—to where the first will be last and the last will be first (Luke 13:30). Let’s change the world—it is time that every one of God’s children is loved.
Photo by Ashton Bingham