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Some Unchristmasy Thoughts

Most of us are still in holiday mode, and will be, to some extent, through New Year’s Day (or even Epiphany, for church calendar devotees). However, I’ve had a couple of non-holidayish thoughts this morning that I might as well dump here.

1. George Bailey is no hero.

So you give loans to individuals who are not really good risks. Unless you have a good scriptwriter, a good share of them default on their loans. The bright side is that George Bailey’s Building and Loan is way pre-21st Century, so Congress and the President don’t jump to stick the taxpayers with the tab.

2. Aren’t black and white colors?

I know, black and white are not technically colors, but when we use them to describe people, skin tone is in mind.

I watched an old episode of Law & Order last week in which a murder was committed to cover the alleged fact that a man who had passed for white was actually black. Notice: I do not say to cover the fact that he had black ancestry, but that he was black. Well, I looked at him and concluded that he was, in fact, white. Yet throughout the program, it was insisted that he was black. Why is that?

We all know that if a black African marries a fair-skinned, blond Swede, their children will be black, regardless of the fact that one parent fairly glows in the dark. They are actually half black and half white, so why do we call them black? Because of their skin color, of course, and no other reason. In fact, if each of those children, their children, and all successive generations, marry fair-skinned Swedes, it will take a few generations before a white child is born. That child—according to the Law & Order writers, at least—will only be said to “pass” for white.

Again, why is that? The first generation, a full half white is not merely said to pass as black, but is said to be black. Yet generations later, the child who is white in appearance, and retains only a trace of African blood, is not really white, but only passing? Why is the black person with some white ancestry not said to be passing for black? Am I wrong to draw the conclusion that, according to Law & Order, at least, everyone wants to be white?

My question, the one I really want to ask, is this: Is this how people—black, white, violet, or turquoise—think? Is there anyone in the real world (Hollywood and Berkeley are not real world places) who thinks like this? And a second question, one of those rhetorical ones of which you are expected to see the answer self-contained: isn’t this just more proof that it’s way past time to drop the language of race and acknowledge that there is but one race, that all of our different ethnicities and cultures are united in one blood?

As Christians—speaking now only to those whose faith rests solely on the Christ of the Bible—it should be so for us. We should recognize only one division among men: the division between those who are united in Christ, and those who are not. Christ came to redeem multitudes from all the peoples of the world, different in many superficial ways, but all sinning sons and daughters of Adam.

Maybe this is Christmasy after all.

Posted 2010·12·27 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Christmas · Economics · Race & Culture
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#1 || 10·12·27··10:09 || Dave

Unfortunately this is how many people think. It's a residual remnant of the Jim Crow laws from the first half of the 20th century and our cultural tendency to hypodescentism. Sad really and doesn't contradict your point, but in many parts of the United States to have any minority ancestry makes you a part of that minority to both those in the minority and those outside it.

#2 || 10·12·28··16:41 || Mike the Mad Theologian

I doubt we will ever get beyond racism until we regard the color of people's skin the way we regard the color of a person's eyes and the color of a person's hair and as having about the same significance. A description of their appearance and not a categorization of their person. For we are all made in God's image.

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