Formed of Steel, But Coated In Clay

[Click on Above Title Link for Clearer View]   A Tribute To Dr Raoul Dederen (1925-2016)  By Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD [NOTE: Dr. Raoul Dederen (1925-2016) was my “doctorvater,” theological and spiritual mentor,  pastor, father, and role-model in research and teaching. I learned from him ...

Is Your Father Alive?

A Father’s Day Tribute To   Some Special Father-Figures in My Life © By Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD; June 18, 2017   Last year (2016) was a particularly trying year for me. Within the span of six months (from June to December 2016), I lost my biological father and three special father-figures a...

Branded Racism: The White House, The What House, & The Prayer House

[For Clear Viewing, CLICK HERE or THE ABOVE LINK] By Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, Ph.D.  Introduction Racism is ugly. It is the cancer in the soul of human society. No one is completely immune from it or from its deadly effects. For it infects the highest of the high and the lowest of the low—whe...

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[For Clear Viewing, CLICK HERE or THE ABOVE LINK]
By Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, Ph.D. 
Introduction
Racism is ugly. It is the cancer in the soul of human society. No one is completely immune from it or from its deadly effects. For it infects the highest of the high and the lowest of the low—whether or not they reside in the White House or the “What House” (anyone’s house). Racism is even found in the Prayer House, whether that be a church, a mosque, a temple, or a shrine of a secular ideology—and the believer can be hooded, clean-cut, or bearded.
The problem of racism is not that it resides in a house or a hut, but rather that it seeks permanent residency in the heart. The human heart. My heart and your heart. For, in the matter of racism (as is often the case in all human relations and conflicts) the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. Pride.
But since the human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), racists do not admit the reality of ugly racism. They disguise or rebrand it into something else to make it more acceptable.
We cannot even begin to find a lasting solution to racism, unless we acknowledge its reality and, then, carefully examine its morphology in our societies. And yet, in the United States (as in virtually every human society), racism has been “the elephant in the room” (a difficult situation that is very obvious but seldom addressed).
Branded Racism: The White Elephant
Racism in Society. Racism is alive and well in America. And yet we often deny it, claiming it is a thing of the past or the resort of a few bad apples in society. Sometimes we disguise or rebrand it under euphemistic phrases, such as “affirming our ethnic identity or pride,” or “being true to our cultural heritage.”
Even when we admit its prevalence, we address it at a most superficial level. It is for that reason that racism remains a “white elephant” in our society (a burdensome possession that is difficult to dispose of). And often, those who claim to be “the least racist” are sometimes the chief enablers of racism.
A case in point is President Donald J. Trump, whose aggressive presidential campaign in 2016 and subsequent actions since he took residency in the White House are widely credited with creating the toxic racial climate in today’s America. Old-fashioned, mean-spirited racism that used to be associated with right-wing, Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi groups of the past now comes unhinged, adorned in respectable robes.
The issue came to a flash point in the recent event that took place during the weekend of August 18-20, 2017, when White supremacist forces converged in Charlottesville, Virginia, for the "Unite the Right" rally to “take back our country.” It is believed to be the largest gathering of its sort in at least a generation.
A.C. Thompson captures this new reality in an article titled “Clean Cut Frat-Boys Are The New Face of White Supremacists” (ProPublica, Newsweek, August 15, 2017). I quote at length his prescient observation of this new phenomenon:
“Old-guard groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and the Nazi skinheads, which had long stood at the center of racist politics in America, were largely absent.
Instead, the ranks of the young men who drove to Charlottesville with clubs, shields, pepper spray and guns included many college-educated people who have left the political mainstream in favor of extremist ideologies over the past few years.
A large number have adopted a very clean cut, frat-boyish look designed to appeal to the average white guy in a way that KKK robes or skinhead regalia never could. Interviews show that at least some of these leaders have spent time in the U.S. armed forces.
Many belong to new organizations like Vanguard America, Identity Evropa, the Traditionalist Workers Party and True Cascadia, which have seen their numbers expand dramatically in the past year. Most of these groups view themselves as part of a broader “alt-right” movement that represents the extreme edge of right-wing politics in the U.S.
These organizations exhibited unprecedented organization and tactical savvy. Hundreds of racist activists converged on a park on Friday night, striding through the darkness in groups of five to 20 people.
A handful of leaders with headsets and handheld radios gave orders as a pickup truck full of torches pulled up nearby. Within minutes, their numbers had swelled well into the hundreds. They quickly and efficiently formed a lengthy procession and begun marching, torches alight, through the campus of the University of Virginia.” (A.C. Thompson’s article [“Clean Cut Frat-Boys Are The New Face of White Supremacists”] was originally published in Propublica as “A New Generation of White Supremacists Emerges in Charlottesville,” August 13, 2017; see, https://www.propublica.org/article/a-new-generation-of-white-supremacists-emerges-in-charlottesville.)
But the fact that today’s “alt-right” movement is youthful, clean cut, educated, and savvy does not make the movement any less uglier. One needs only listen to the words of Chris Barker, the grand wizard of the Loyal White Knights faction of the KKK, when he was interviewed by Ilia Calderón, a Univision journalist with both African and Colombian heritage, When the journalist asked him how he planned to "burn out" 11 million immigrants, he responded: “We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million [undocumented immigrants] is nothing.” (See, “KKK leader threatens to 'burn' Univision journalist…” at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4810108/KKK-leader-threatens-burn-Univision-journalist.html)
The blueprint for the new America that they seek to make great again is Hitler’s Nazi dream. If one is not sure what this is, one only needs to o read Mark Olive’s article, “10 Plans Hitler Would Have Put In Motion If The Nazis Had Won [the World War II.]” which summarizes the detailed plan for new world order that Hitler would have put in motion if the Nazis had won the World War II. (See, Listverse (August 20, 2017); http://listverse.com/2017/08/20/10-plans-hitler-would-have-put-in-motion-if-the-nazis-had-won/.)
Racism in the Church.
Very little has changed in race relations in the church since two decades ago, when a Time magazine cover story article, “Pride and Prejudice,” described the two “ugly truths of American life” thus : “A great many black Americans view their white fellow citizens with anger. And a great many white Americans view their black fellow citizens with fear.” (William A. Henry III, "Pride and Prejudice," Time [February 28, 1994], 21). What obtained then in society at large, was—and still is—particularly so in the Church.
Given this unease, it is not surprising that even in the Church, whenever the subject of race or racism comes up for discussion, we deal with it at the most superficial level. We seldom move beyond our children’s Sabbath/Sunday School jingles when they sing “red and yellow, black and white; they are precious in His sight.” Neither do we seldom move beyond slogans like “love one another,” “celebrate our diversity,” “in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile,” or “unity in Christ,” and others.
Yes, we believe the affirmations in the jingles and slogans, yet we (Christians) still cherish our racial attitudes. We still worship in our racially segregated churches. We still hold on to power in our race-based church structures. We still practice racial discrimination in our hiring and promotion practices. We still consider ourselves more “enlightened” or “mature” than the rest of the church. And we still pretend that we have no racial problems.
Over five decades ago, one Christian author asked: "Why are there so many Christians who, belonging to the same church, converse with each other only on the most superficial level, smiling and amiable as they meet but never discussing with each other the issues which trouble them most?" He urges Christians to answer this question if they are to discover "why Christian communion is in most churches a pretense, a cordial but uneasy fiction, rather than a strengthening, creative reality.” (See, Kyle Haselden, Mandate for White Christians [1966], 24.)
A more contemporary writer, Harvard scholar David R. Williams, himself a Christian said, “Of all the major institutions in our society, the church is still the most segregated. Americans of different races work together, play together, study together, and entertain each other. But seldom do they pray or worship together.” (See, David R. Williams, “The Right Thing to Do,” Adventist Review, February 20, 1997, 24.)
The above observations confirm that, in American life—whether church or society at large, racism remains “the elephant in the room.” Nay, it is the “the white elephant” we cannot afford to keep. We need to take advantage of the opportunity opened by recent events in the USA (and around the world) to now discuss candidly the true nature of racism and seek an appropriate remedy. This article is only the first step in that direction.
Race & Racism
The word “race” always comes up in discussions on racism. But that term is one great catchword that means different things to different people, and about which much ink and blood have been spilled. Despite this fact, no agreement seems to exist regarding what is a race, how it can be recognized, who constitute the several races, and how the different races are to be ranked in their relative abilities and closeness to some ideal referent (whether an ape, or a Creator).
Thus, over the years, in an effort to abstract some defining traits as characteristic of a race, notable individuals—statesmen, scholars, scientists, etc.—have erroneously pointed to certain easily noted human features (such as color of the skin, hair, or eye, the striking appearance of face or body, the unaccustomed mode of speech, language, dress or religion, the shape of skull, an unusual temperament, etc.) as the permanent ineradicable hallmark of a race.
A Working Definition: Racism is the attitude, behavior, or ideology that is based on the belief that one race is superior to all others. By race, I mean a group of people, distinguished by certain easily noticed physical characteristics, such as the color of skin, hair, or eye, or the striking appearance of face or body, the distinctive mode of speech, language, dress, or religion, or any other external characteristics often associated with an ethnic group.
We cannot fully understand the ugliness of racism until we understand the foundation and structure of racism—racism in its various forms. And in as much as today’s racism is a rebranding of the old, we have much to learn from history.
In the remainder of this article, I will attempt to do so by briefly examining the nature of racism as (i) an ideology of supremacy, (ii) an ideology of power, and (iii) a secular religion.
Those desirous of a more exhaustive discussion must refer to Section 3 of my book Must We Be Silent (titled, “Amazing Grace and Our Mazing Race [The Ideology of Racism]). The entire book is available free online at my apologetic website: http://drpipim.org/documents/MustWeBeSilent.pdf. The remainder of this article is adapted from chapters 19 and 20 of Must We Be Silent (pp. 305-339), without the references.
Universality of Racism
Racism exhibits in strange ways. At the core of it though is that some groups treat others as if the latter have no intrinsic value or worth.
Historically, the groups that have been treated as inferior or subhuman, and possessing lives of little personal or societal worth have included people of color, Jews, native Americans, and Gypsies. Other groups, such as women, prisoners, chronically ill, the physically disabled, the mentally retarded, children, the elderly, and unwanted babies, have also frequently been despised, denigrated, and dehumanized.
Today, however, racism manifests itself in a baffling complexity, intensity, and respectability. In my life time I have seen many expressions of racism. They include:
(1) the tribal genocide in Rwanda in which, in just three months, about a million people- were massacred by their neighbors because they were deemed a threat to the superior race;
(2) the experiment of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in which tens of thousands of people were "collected," "concentrated" and "eliminated" by their neighbors because of the belief that some people cannot dwell together with the superior race;
(3) the practice, prevalent in some countries, of exploitation, domination and abuse of defenseless children, women, and the physically or economically disadvantaged, because these forms of slavery enhance the quality of life of the superior race;
(4) the countless cases of brutality, war, executions, abortions, euthanasia, etc., which are currently being carried out in different places because such acts of violence will make the world safer and better for the superior race.
Racism As A Global Problem. Though in America the word racism usually denotes conflict between White and Black, this is much too narrow a definition. For,
· I have seen racism far stronger in Africa, where one tribe in an area or country seeks dominance over another.
· I have seen it in the Middle East, where the sons of Abraham still fight one another.
· I have seen it in various countries of Europe in the rise of ultra-nationalism and neo-Nazism. I have seen it in Canada, where differences in language and culture have fueled hostility among citizens of the same country.
· I have seen it in the former Soviet Union, where the fallen colossus seems breaking into ever smaller warring pieces.
· And I have seen it in Asia, where religious and ethnic differences have ignited flames of violence.
Nor is the phenomenon of racism limited to ethnic or nationalistic concerns. It may be seen in chauvinism of either gender, in the designation of an unborn child by the neutral term "fetus" so that it may be the more easily disposed of, and in the invisibility of people with various handicaps with which we prefer not to deal. No matter what lines we draw to elevate one group and denigrate another, we are dealing with the same issue.
Racism, therefore, has both a broad and a narrow meaning. In its broad sense it conveys the idea of the inhumanity of one group to another. In its narrow usage, it refers to the prejudice and ill-treatment displayed to a group of human beings solely because of such physical characteristics as color of the skin or hair, striking appearance of face or body, or unusual shape of the skull—physical features that are believed to make one group inferior to others.
In this article, I will use the term racism in the narrow sense. And while I will be illustrating with examples from the North American scene, the discussion could be applied to any country or conflict in which one group is treated as inhuman.
1. Racism As An IDEOLOGY OF SUPREMACY
The discussion thus far leads us to conclude that racism is an ideology of supremacy. It is an ideology because it has a set of ideas and beliefs about reality. As an ideology of supremacy, it expresses itself in prejudice (prejudged negative attitude) and discrimination (unjust acts of domination, exploitation, dehumanization, etc.) of one group by another. One scholar explains:
Racism is an ideology of racial domination that incorporates beliefs in a particular race’s cultural and/or inherent biological inferiority. It uses such beliefs to justify and prescribe unequal treatment of that group. In other words, racism is not merely attitudinal, it is structural. It is not merely a vague feeling of racial superiority, it is a system of domination, with structures of domination—social, political and economic. To put it another way: racism excludes groups on the basis of race or colour. But it is not only exclusion on the basis of race, but exclusion for the purpose of subjugating or maintaining subjugation (Allan Boesak).
The common thread in all manifestations of racism--whether it is apartheid, tribalism, white and black racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism, patriotism, male and female chauvinism, etc.--is the idea that one group, distinguished by certain easily noticed features, is inherently superior to all or certain others. Taken to its logical conclusion (as it is in many parts of the world), it holds that since some human beings are not true persons, where necessary (i.e. to enhance the quality of life of the superior persons), the inferior race may be dehumanized, oppressed, even killed.
Doctrinal Foundation. While one may trace the roots of racial prejudice to a number of factors, the foundational assumption upon which the different expressions of racism is built is the pseudoscientific doctrine of biological determinism. This doctrine holds that natural law or biological or genetically transmitted physical characteristics (such as, the color of the skin, eye, hair, or some physical features) do not simply influence, but define the basic humanness and, hence, the status of a person in society. Such a belief may seem innocuous. But when it becomes the basis of a social policy, such as Hitler sought to employ, the results of this belief can be harmful and devastating.
2. Racism As AN IDEOLOGY OF POWER
Racism is not simply a set of beliefs about the inherent superiority of one race over another. It is also an ideology of power. Despite their claim to superiority, racists have a feeling of being threatened by members of the inferior race. This is especially so in situations where some members of the alleged inferior races display the same level of expectation (intelligence, character, ability, etc.) normally reserved for the superior race.
To overcome their feeling of insecurity, racists seek to retain power (economic, political, military, etc.) exclusively in the hands of the superior. In this way members of the superior race express their self-identity by elaborate acts that systematically deny the essential humanness of people of other races.
It is not only those holding the reins of power who are racists. One scholar’s distinction between "imperialistic racism" or "aggressive racism" and "counter-racism" may be helpful here. In imperialistic/aggressive racism, racism is in power; it is full-blooded, in that "it can walk on its feet and strike with its feet because its spirit permeates the institutions of power"—political, military, economic, educational, ecclesiastical and other cultural institutions. "Counter racism" (others will say "reverse racism"), on the other hand is racism that is out of power. "It lacks feet to walk on and fists with which to strike. The spirit is present; the hope is compelling; but the will to power cannot find the institutions of power through which it can express itself."
In the context of USA, since power has tended to reside in the hands of Whites, imperialistic racism or institutional racism tends to be white racism. On the other hand since Blacks, Hispanics and Asians, generally speaking, do not possess power, the racism exhibited by these groups tend to bear the characteristics of counter (or reverse) racism. Given the chance and the appropriate conditions of power, Black/Hispanic/Asian racism can become as aggressive and imperialistic as white racism. This is because racism is a function of human nature, not color.
Manifestation. As an ideology of power, racism takes two major forms: (1) legal or de jure racism, and (2) institutional or de facto racism.
In legal or de jure racism, discriminatory practices are encoded in the laws of the land (such as was the case in the USA and in apartheid South Africa). In institutional or de facto racism, on the other hand, racial practices though not encoded in the laws of the land, are still present (albeit, in subtle and sophisticated form), having been built into the very structure of society.
In the past, believers in racial supremacy were nakedly racist; they were not too squeamish in advocating and putting into practice views overtly racist: racial discrimination, segregation, etc. Today however, with racism outlawed in many countries, it has assumed a sophisticated form, and racists are more covert or subtle in expressing their views and in implementing racial policies. Legal racism may be dead, but institutional racism is still alive.
Of the two forms of racism, institutional racism poses the greatest challenge to the Christian church. Not only is it difficult to detect, but, as explained by Ian Robertson, institutional racism “is difficult to eradicate, since, obviously, it cannot be repealed, and in most cases is not susceptible to remedial legislation.”
Racialization and “Laissez-Faire Racism.” In fact, recent research data indicates that because Christians are not nakedly racists, many are not even aware that they have become “racialized.” Racialization (a term which is less offensive than racism) is the situation in which a society assigns to a person certain privileges and benefits and certain doors of access solely on the basis of that person’s race. Christians who have thus been racialized tend to be blind to racial injustices of society.
Racialization, it must be noted, is an aspect of “laissez-faire racism,” a “kinder and gentler” version of the ideology of supremacy and power. With reference to the United States context, the phrase “laissez-faire racism” emphasizes that the institutionalized racial inequalities created by the long era of slavery and followed by Jim Crow racial segregation laws (1870's-1890's) has metamorphosed and persists in contemporary society. However, rather than relying on state-enforced inequality as during the Jim Crow era “modern racial inequality relies on the market and informal racial bias to re-create, and in some instances sharply worsen, structured racial inequality. Hence, laissez-faire racism.
One distinctive feature of laissez-faire racism involves its widespread were once viewed as categorical differences based in biology now appear to be understood as having largely cultural roots. Moreover, biases based on racial stereotypes occur automatically and without conscious awareness even by persons who do not endorse racist beliefs.
Indeed, considerable data suggests that “much discrimination today occurs through behaviors that the perpetrator does not subjectively experience as intentional. Much contemporary discriminatory behavior is unconscious, unthinking, and unintentional.”
For example, while most Americans seem to believe in the broad principles of equality and integration, there remains a considerable gap between belief and practice. Thus, in the 1990 General Social Survey (GSS), a highly respected social indicators survey in the United States, the national data on stereotypes reveal that Whites continue to view Blacks and other minorities more negatively than themselves, which presumably would make the latter undesirable as neighbors and employees. These racial attitudes, stereotypes, and discrimination are not the aberrant behavior of a few “bad apples” but a widespread societal problem.
Whether we are aware of it or not, the fact still remains that what lies behind much of our racial attitudes, stereotypes, and discrimination are the beliefs bequeathed to us by old-fashioned naked racism—the ideology of supremacy. Thus, in contrast to legal or de jure racism, the only way we can detect and eradicate institutional or de facto racism—whether perceived as racialization or laissez-faire racism—is by being aware of the world view on which racism is established. We shall attempt to do in the next chapter when we consider racism as a religion.
Unfortunately, many Christian believers fail to appreciate this fact. They are often inclined to believe that civil rights laws and similar legislation enacted by secular governments, as well as ecclesiastical statements and policies condemning racism, automatically eliminate expressions of racial prejudice and discrimination within and without the church.

3. Racism As A Religion
Since racism often expresses itself as a conflict among people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds, attempts to understand the nature of racism have typically centered on an analysis of political, economic, and cultural factors. Not much attention has been given to the religious nature of racism.
When we think of religion, what usually comes to mind are the supernatural religions, such as the traditional world religions of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. These emphasize the supernatural and otherworldly values (like God, the Devil, angels, heaven, hell, etc.). But there are other kinds of religion which have essentially no place for supernatural realities. These religions, known as secular religions, include communism, socialism, fascism, and secular humanism.
Racism may be classed with the latter group of religions. It is one of the most powerful secular religions in today's world. Like the other secular religions, racism is competing with Christianity. Let me illustrate by comparing Christianity with the secular religions of communism and racism.
All three religions—Christianity, communism and racism—
(1) revere and obey their leaders (Christ, Marx, Hitler, respectively);
(2) rely on authoritative writings (Bible, the writings of Marx and Lenin, or Gobineau's Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853);
(3) condemn the evils in society and seek to provide answers to societal problems (but they differ in their understanding of the nature and causes of the evil);
(4) extol lofty ideals of justice, equity and brotherhood as basic to meaningful human existence; (5) require absolute obedience, commitment and self-sacrifice;
(6) are zealous in winning converts;
(7) require faith and confidence that the ideals of their religion will ultimately triumph.
Apparently, because racism has been so well domesticated among those who profess Christianity, few recognize the religious nature of racism. If, however, racism is seen as another religion in competition with Christianity, then the simultaneous adherence, by some Christians, to the God of the Bible and the idol of race is a form of polytheism, and their religious profession is syncretistic.
Such Christians may claim to live under the authority of the God of the Bible in many respects, but because they serve two different gods, when they are confronted with crucial matters of race it will soon be apparent that the idol of race will determine their attitude, decision, and action.
Characteristics of the Religion of Racism. Racism is (1) an attempt to find meaning for human existence by looking to one's race as the center of value and the object of devotion; (2) a religious faith in an unverifiable belief in the inherent superiority of a race—a faith for which countless people will gladly work, suffer, kill, and die.
As a religion, racism shares all the essential characteristics of every other religion (secular or supernatural). Thus, racism has its own:
(1) Sacred realities, which may take the form of a tangible object (such as a Confederate or Nazi flag), or even a person (e.g. Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Chris Barker, or Elijah Muhammad);
(2) Sets of beliefs, which are creeds and myths that attempt to explain the origin and nature of reality;
(3) Practices, which are the active observable sides of religion (and may include acts of discrimination, violence, segregation, etc. and may involve rituals and ceremonies, such as wearing a special kind of clothing or hair style);
(4) Symbolisms, which are an attempt to express the essence of the racist faith by evoking a religious emotion in the follower; in Nazi Germany the symbols used included the swastika, the stretched-out hand and the phrase “Heil Hitler”;
(5) Community of worshipers, which is the social group that shares the beliefs and practices of the racist religion; the racist community may be a church, a tribe (and their practice is tribalism), a gang (whether respectable, like the apartheid government of South Africa, or ignoble, e.g., the Skinheads or Ku Klux Klan), or a nation (in which case the civil religion becomes known as fascism);
(6) Moral values, which are the racist community's sense of right and wrong, which it seeks to preserve and transmit to future generations, for the survival of that group (e.g. the view that it is wrong to integrate churches and schools, or marry people of other races, or employ qualified workers of the other races).
Religious Doctrines of Racism. Space limitations would not allow that I go into the religious doctrines of racism. That discussion, which is a whole article in itself, would have been a real eye-opener to many, Those who are interested can find it on pages 325-336 of my book Must We Be Silent. (The entire book is available for free download at: http://drpipim.org/documents/MustWeBeSilent.pdf.)
In those pages, I discuss the following religious doctrines of racism: Racism’s doctrine of knowledge (epistemology), its doctrines of creation, human beings, the Fall, sin, the great controversy, its philosophy of history, its doctrine on the value of human life, and its doctrine of redemption. Here is a brief summary:
1. On the fundamental question of how to know truth, a study philosophers call epistemology, racists believe you have to be part of their group in order to fully understand the truth about reality. For example, in the context of Black and White racism in America, racists would say, “You don’t understand because you are not black/white/Hispanic.” The subtle implication is that unless one is black/white/Hispanic, one cannot fully appreciate or empathize with people of those races. Alternatively, they base their knowledge of others through stereotypes (exaggerated beliefs/myths/jokes) about the different races.
2. Racism’s religious faith denies the biblical doctrine of creation by questioning the character of God in creating all races and declaring them all as good. Not only does it undermine the nature of creation, but also its teaching of the supremacy of a race inverts the order in creation by maintaining that some races of human beings belong to the natural order and are, thus, not a part of the human family.
3. Racism’s doctrine of the great controversy is the basis of its practice of racial segregation, all race-based facilities and institutions, and race flights when other races come close to us (e.g., in the place we live and worship).
4. Racism’s philosophy of history makes the superior race the center of history, and gives credibility to the practice of ignoring, discounting, or distorting the history and contributions of people of other races.
5. Racism’s quality of human life ethic allows racists to treat other human beings not as true persons, but as things to be exploited for profit.
6. In racism’s doctrine of redemption, the goal of redemption is racial renewal, the revivification of the superior race by racists’ techniques of purification. This doctrine provides the theological foundation for the delimitation, degradation, dehumanization, and ultimate destruction of people deemed inferior. As stated in my full discussion in Must We Be Silent,
“In the legal racism of Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, for example, this doctrine led to the promulgation of laws that curtail the freedom of movement, or rights of property, or citizenship, or freedom of marriage, and in some extreme cases, collection, or “concentration” of the inferior races and, perhaps, the ultimate or final solution to ensure permanent protection of the superior race. For if some races are inherently superior and others inferior, the superior race must be bred and the inferior race must be eliminated.” (NOTE: For a detailed discussion, with examples, of the above summary of the religious doctrines of racism, see my Must We Be Silent, pages 325-336; the discussion (“Racism As A Religion”) is available for free download at: http://drpipim.org/church-racism-contemporaryissues-51/101-racism-as-a-religion.html.).
It is only as we understand the religious nature of racism that we can fully understand why racism, in whatever form it appears, is very ugly and antithetical to biblical religion. If this is, indeed, the case then Bible-believing Christians—individuals who have been saved by grace and are seeking to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ—cannot accept this secular religion. We cannot be saved by grace and live by race. To do so is to deny the biblical faith. And individuals who maintain a simultaneous allegiance to both Jesus Christ and to their race are practicing a form of syncretistic or polytheistic faith.
Conclusion
So we come back to the undeniable truth, that racism is ugly, whether it resides in the White House, the “What House” (anyone’s house), or Prayer House. But the actual problem of racism is not that it resides in a house or a hut, rather that it resides in the heart. For racism may have been outlawed in the books and laws of the lands, but it remains written in the hearts of people.
While it is true that many lands are expending much effort to kill racism in its various forms, evidence across the world (including the resurgence of right-wing, Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi groups and their educated and politically placed supporters in the USA) confirms that racism, “although repeatedly killed, is nevertheless undying” (Jacques Barzun, Race: A Study in Superstition [1965], ix).
Racism is “undying” because the solution lies not merely through legislation and information but transformation of the human heart. For the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. Hidden in the cellars of the human heart are rats and cockroaches of sin and evil. And only Christ can change the heart (Mark 7:14-23; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 12:2; Ezekiel 36:26).
_____________________
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD., is a US-based Ghanaian author, inspirational speaker, leadership trainer, and advocate for youth empowerment. He is also an executive & personal growth coach and theologian. Author of some 25 books, he currently directs two Centers for Leadership Development under EAGLESonline (www.EAGLESonline.org). The above article is adapted from his book Must We Be Silent, available for free download at: http://drpipim.org/documents/MustWeBeSilent.pdf