My church held its “New Member Sunday” recently, where we welcomed quite a few new families to our congregation. Most were relatively local; most had been born and raised within a few hundred mile radius of the church.
A few, though, came from as far away as West Africa.
One of them shared her story with a Bible study group—she spoke of how she had come to the church, and why she had chosen to stay.
As the story goes, she was walking along the sidewalk in my church’s neighborhood, when she saw the building and it just struck her that she should go in. Knowing nothing about the church or the background, she went on ahead anyway, meeting with my father and the other pastors, and eventually choosing to come with her children each and every Sunday.
Time progressed, and her church came up in conversation with another West African immigrant acquaintance of hers, who expressed shock at the woman’s choice.
“But…isn’t that a ‘white’ church?” she asked.
A fair point—we’re Lutheran. And, we happen to belong to a smallish Norwegian Synod. In other words, it’s about 99 percent German and Norwegian, with the occasional Scots or Irishman (a.k.a. my family) sprinkled throughout.
In sum, yes, we’re “white,” because . . . that’s generally what Northern Europeans tend to look like. It’s not like there’s a rule, but nevertheless it tends to be predominately Caucasian.
Still, we’re just a church. No color attached.
The woman’s answer to her friend’s question was epic:
“Yes, but I don’t think they see color.”
That got me thinking. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
Rewind just slightly to the results of this month’s elections. Republicans won in landslide (rather, tidal wave) fashion, and amongst the winners were a few history-makers: Utah’s Mia Love became the first African-American Republican female elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and South Carolina’s Tim Scott (also a Republican) became the first African-American of either party to be elected to the U.S. Senate from the South since reconstruction. This win also means Scott is the first African American ever to win seats in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Despite this, what is perhaps the nation’s preeminent African American organization—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)— not only failed to mention either historic win in their public response, but they instead took the opportunity to further the narrative that suppression of the minority vote is alive and well:
“This election was not about who won but the rather the citizens who lost the right to participate," the NAACP said in a statement.
The NAACP also gave Tim Scott an “F” grade for his voting record.
He isn’t “black enough.”
Mia Love isn’t black enough either—she apparently enjoys “white privilege.”
We’ve seen this time and time again. Minorities who take conservative or right-leaning positions are absolutely crucified for not towing the supposed “line” their races are supposed to hold.
Star Parker. Condoleeza Rice. Clarence Thomas. Ben Carson. Allen West.
The list goes on.
Crystal Wright of Townhall.com puts it well: “According to liberals, blacks must vote Democrat because of the color of their skin. When was the last time anyone demanded to know why a white person voted Democrat or Republican?”
This view that "white" is inherently racist and "black" must vote/act a certain way to combat it is perpetuated at the highest levels of government by our nation’s leaders, and by some of the more prominent figures in African American political and social activism.
Just take President Obama’s most recent (unconfirmed) appointment to the position of Attorney General: Loretta Lynch. She believes, and has said unabashedly as much, that Voter ID is the product of a racist South, and compared her mission to rid the nation of them to Nelson Mandela. (Never mind that, as Brian Hayes pointed out, “Mandela supported and put into place strict photo voter ID laws in South Africa," but I’ve digressed.)
Consider also the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri—of which certain Democrats took full advantage in a few morally vacant ads that depicted the election of Democrats as the one deciding factor in saving the lives of young, black, innocent children.
Our president will inject himself time and again into situations like the Trayvon Martin case, but he’ll not lift a finger to discourage the violent riots that seem inevitable once the Ferguson verdict—which at this point seems that it will favor Officer Wilson—comes this month.
Or consider also the latest to come out of my home state: while Minneapolis Public Schools will be allowed to suspend white students for non-violent behavior at the discretion of the principals, any suspensions of non-white students for non-violent behavior must be reviewed and approved by the superintendent. Whatever happened to equal treatment under the law?
The examples are legion, and the sentiment is clear: White America (more specifically, conservative White America) is bent on suppressing Non-White America.
And no, it doesn’t “count” that conservative America supports African Americans like Mia Love or Tim Scott because, as I’ve noted, they’re not “black enough.”
Mia Love (Photo: TheBlaze TV)
We on the right will root for the likes of Mia Love…and we’ll oppose people like Loretta Lynch for as long as we have breath.
Because it’s about values, principles and ideals. Not skin. And that should be an American value, not a “conservative” value.
Despite this, we on the right will be slammed for opposing the appointment of Ms. Lynch—because she’s a woman, and she’s black, and thus it must be about race. (Though suspiciously Democrats can hold the exact same view about Mia Love—and crickets abound.)
We’ll oppose someone like Ms. Lynch till the proverbial “cows come home,” but not because she’s black.
It’s because she supports policies and ideals that are detrimental to the harmonious and prosperous future of our nation.
I’ll even take it a step further. We should all oppose her appointment because she’s a racist.
You heard me right. Propagating the lie that our nation is still steeped in widespread racism and oppression when nothing could be further from the truth is racism in and of itself.
Yes. There are fringe white racists clinging to the days of Jim Crow and slavery. But—contrary to Michael Eric Dyson’s beliefs—the non-white community has its share of racists itself. Racism is a human cancer… it afflicts every color.
So, can we start from zero for a moment?
Let’s return briefly to my story about our church’s newest member.
She could have taken the view that people like Ms. Lynch would have her take: “what’s the point of even going in, if it’s just a ‘white’ church? They don’t want your kind anyway.”
Instead, she just came in.
And of course—despite the obvious “lack of color” within my church’s Northern European membership—she found that nobody cares.
What if we rejected the beliefs we’re all told to have about race in this country, and do as our new member did? That is, judge each person as they encounter them—while tossing aside the societal "blanket beliefs" that have so permeated our country?
What if we all had to vote for candidates without seeing their pictures or knowing their party?
What if all wecould see were values (or lack thereof) . . . not color?
Oh and by the way—our new church member’s friend is now a happily a member herself.
What an amazing thing truth can be.
Mary Ramirez is a full time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com – a political commentary blog, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3pm ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
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