I am so appreciative of Pastor Kevin Pringle taking time each week to answer one of the questions for this series.
If you missed the previous posts, Part 1 Kevin shared about experiencing racism as a child. Part 2 Kevin shared about experiencing racism in the church. Part 3 Kevin shared about what the church can do in regards to racism.
Today’s question deals with what individual Christians can do. It is my conviction that we as individuals have a biblical mandate to speak up for those under the viciousness of racism. I get that from Proverbs 31:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy
What can individual Christians do to be allies for the Black Community?
This is such a vital question and I want to make sure l offer a thoughtful response and one that offers sensitivity as well. I find it interesting that for decades churches have invested greatly in foreign missions. Don’t get me wrong, I love the heart behind this sentiment. However, there is a mission field that has existed around us our entire lives!
Generally, Blacks have lived in the poorest communities in the major cities of our country. There are more Black men incarcerated than are in college and that number has grown exponentially since the Nixon administration. It became even more exacerbated under the Reagan and Clinton administrations.
Blacks in general make less income working the same jobs as whites. Even in sports where Blacks represent the majority of those that play, such as football and basketball, they are the least represented in front office positions.
I mention this only because many Christian brothers and sisters may misunderstand this reality. The aforementioned is meant to serve as a launching point for understanding. With that said, I want our Christian brothers and sisters to understand that the starting point for success is different culturally. Those of us that are black know the starting line is in a different position than those of our white counterparts. That’s not being mentioned as an excuse but simply as a hope for those wanting to help to gain empathy.
Back to the heart of this week’s question, I believe it is important for us to see each other as brothers and sisters regardless of race. If we can begin to gain this perspective it changes the narrative significantly!
As the youngest of six children I always knew I could count on my siblings whenever I faced trouble. If I got picked on or bullied from someone outside my family undoubtedly one of my brothers would come to my defense and rescue me. As Christian we need to realize there is a huge, ripe mission field in our backyards that has been significantly under served. It is time that we as the Body of Christ come to the defense and rescue our fellow brothers and sisters that represent that community that is Black!