To the Editor:
This summer I traveled to another country where I was a minority, and a discussion in that country sparked my thinking about prejudice and racism. After I returned, Ferguson unfolded, and I watched racial lines being drawn. Regardless of my own ethnicity, I realized no one is actually free from deeply-held prejudices or stereotypes.
Man has poor vision. Some stop only at the pigmentation of skin, the group affinity, the religious belief, or the tax-revenue level. Others can see deeply beyond skin-deep features, interests and occupations. However, when God chose David as future king, 1 Samuel 16:7 asserts that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Actually, I personally struggled with my identity fearing that others would see me as “superior.” I wanted to avoid this situation. Nonetheless, I believe the Lord revealed to me a simple truth that finally went deeper into the core of my being. Why would God change the outward appearance without changing my heart?
If we want to eliminate racism, it cannot begin with our actions. It must begin with our hearts. I cannot serve my brother and sister until God has restored my heart to relationship with Him so that I may then love my neighbor.
As a 20-year-old, I have heard those of my generation question why racism still exists today. Can we ever become free of our prejudices? Can we ever know exactly where a person is and has come from at the very moment in which we meet them? No, we cannot.
Let us hold each other up in mercy for the other’s faults. Love covers a multitude of sins.
It is my desire to treat each person with dignity. I may fail at times, but I will not stop trying to connect with the individual.