Race. Not same-sex marriage. Race. Not abortion. Race. Not gun control. Race. Not healthcare. Race. Not the church. Race. Not gun violence. Race. Not even COVID-19. Race.
We have found a vaccine for COVID-19 but there is no shot in the arm nor pill to swallow to cure the insidious disease of racism that is eating away at the heart and soul of America.
Racial division is the fissure in the bedrock of America. It always has been and permeates throughout every American system.
Dr. Charles Lawrence once wrote, "racism in America is much more complex than either the conscious conspiracy of a power elite or the simple delusion of a few ignorant bigots. It is part of our common experience, therefore, a part of our common culture."
Racism is interwoven throughout the fabric of Americana. It is the show stopper.
America is great. But it can and will be no greater than it is unless we somehow, someway find our way out of the fog and forest of racism.
Many whites say they are tired of hearing about it. Imagine how exhausted they would be if they and their children had to live it 24/7 - never knowing when they or their child will be shot for no reason or falsely accused or yelled at in a store or denied opportunities and equal justice.
Of course this is not the reality of all blacks in America, especially those who have learned to play along to get along by keeping their mouth shut and head down in exchange for promotion and inclusion. There are a plethora of these from pastors to politicians to business people who gladly allow their blackness to be used as a testament to show that racism really doesn't exist, giving comfort and cover to whites who want to deny the same.
It is a hard conversation to have and an even harder reality to live. But what we must not do is pretend that it is not our reality. It is.
Abraham Lincoln lost his life because he dared forge "a more perfect union." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. too was murdered because he dared dream of an America where all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin would live freely as God created, equal in how we all are treated and viewed.
The Roman Empire was the greatest most powerful of its day. No outside force could defeat it. It defeated itself. At the very epicenter of power, interwoven throughout the legions of authority, was immorality so perverse it toppled an empire. Racism is immoral. Racism is sin.
Internal moral rot ate away at the very fabric of Roman leadership, citizenry and government. They never saw the collapse coming because the economy was strong, their unmatched military might was feared throughout the world; and, the religious leaders were in lockstep with the government, protecting their own self-interests and the interests of their chosen, corrupt officials. Sounds familiar? Those who dared take a stand against the religious and political leaders were crushed.
Stark, unbridled immorality, corrupt government leaders and compromised religious leaders blind and drunk on power who had lost any semblance of moral authority, were in no position to call out the very corruption from which they benefitted.
Many of the most influential religious leaders, while not joining in, by their very silence gave tacit approval and did nothing to stop Roman leaders because their religious interests were being protected. That's why they had such a problem with Jesus when he arrived on the scene. He was having none of it.
Abraham Lincoln predicted that America would not be defeated by an enemy without, but from within.
Racism in America is much more complex than either the conscious conspiracy of a power elite or the simple delusion of a few ignorant bigots. It is part of our common experience, therefore, a part of our common culture. - Dr. Charles Lawrence
America, as great as she is, cannot long withstand the greatest internal threats to the Republic - rampant immorality, weak and corrupt leaders who have lost their way, their conscience and credibility; and, the increasingly violent and widening racial divide.
Racism is an insidious evil. What is more evil is that it is perpetuated and has been given cover and energy by a large swath of the white evangelical church.
A country as divided politically and racially as America will not, cannot long stand. I believe there are more blacks and whites who get this than don't. So, what keeps us from working more closely together for the betterment of all? Dr. Lawrence told us, "It is part of our common experience, therefore, a part of our common culture." In other words, it's who America is.
With a keen awareness of the times, I dare say a day is coming when President Lincoln will be proven right. Not if but when. And as we watch daily the disintegration of this nation, it's only a matter of time.