12-14 Midland Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042

Reflections On Charlottesville

II Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 

We are not born hating people because of the color of their skin. Racism is taught, internalized, practiced and passed down from generation to generation. It is deeply ingrained in America's origins, inscribed in the American psyche and we have been sickened by its poisonous presence.

For centuries, racism has been normalized and accepted as "Just the way it is" and for some "Just the way I like it." President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign was a code for "Make America White Again" and a rallying cry to restore the oppression of our separatist past replete with the sale of human beings, lynching and economic exploitation. President Trump is reckless and unfit to be president! He is fanning the flames for a race war in this country and at the same time escalating a nuclear war with another country.

His base including the KKK, white supremacist, and Neo Nazis have been emboldened by his divisive rhetoric, election and outright advocacy. The terroristic activity played out in Charlottesville, Virginia is part of a recent outbreak and uptick in overt heinous crimes. More persons have joined the white nationalist movement and engaged in lethal violence resulting in death, injuries and a more divided nation. For centuries, these extremists have operated in the shadow but now they have removed their masks and come into broad daylight and mainstream.

President Trump's delay to condemn the proud torchlit demonstration of hate in Charlottesville and then claim, "there are good people in the white nationalism group and both parties are at fault" is yet another example of his complicity and support of a white power culture. We now have a new visible generation of racists ramping up an old agenda. I believe, the impetus for this resurgence is the fear of racist white people being a minority and losing power. This is a menacing thought for them.

In light of the Colin Kaepernick controversy, I wonder how, when, and where is the appropriate time, place and method to confront systems of white supremacy and move toward a just nation free from historical insidious impulse to hate and war. In Charlottesville, a freedom fighting people had the courage to stand together in a non-violent anti-hate protest and were heartlessly mowed down by a hate-filled motorist, ending the life of Heather Heyer and injuring 19 persons.

The good news is that it is possible to disrupt the generational teachings and practice of racism one person at a time. It is possible for you to teach and practice love and resist evil. Change is possible. I firmly hold to the teachings of Jesus who said, "With God, all things are possible." The God that raised Jesus from the grave with all power in His hand and overcame the world has the final Word in human affairs and God's Word to us is a Word of hope and life.

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