By Mark A. Taylor
We know at least two things about our posts about racial justice at this site this month.
First, we know they are inadequate. They do not convey the scope or the whole burden of the race problem in America.
• They only hint at the fact that America’s fortunes were built and wealth was created on the backs of those enslaved in a land that abused them while proclaiming “All men are created equal.”
• They barely mention the long history of egregious statements from both church and state claiming that Africans and African-Americans are somehow inferior intellectually, morally, and spiritually.
• They do not convey the reality of everyday disadvantage for those today still overlooked for jobs, singled out for prosecution or incarceration, and bypassed for housing based on the color of their skin.
Second, we know these posts will be ineffective in some circles.
• A few readers will be angered by what we’re posting, claiming that CHRISTIAN STANDARD has wandered from its mission into a concern overblown by unbelieving “liberals.”
• Others will be bored by all this. Separated from racial injustice in predominantly white suburbs or small towns, their first response will be, “I don’t hate blacks. My ancestors didn’t own slaves. I’m not a bigot. This isn’t my fault, and it isn’t my problem.”
But for those who read with an open mind and for those who can see racial unity as a spiritual mandate more than a political problem, these posts offer a beginning.
Readers will notice we’ve given the most space to true stories from ministries led by concerned men and women who are finding ways to make a difference. Far from standing at the vanguard of concern among Christians about race, Christian Standard is simply reporting the fruit of that concern from coast to coast.
And here, too, this is only a beginning. We know we’re not telling every story or reporting each step forward. Christian churches across the land are working to show the world a unity that can’t be created by laws alone. While in times past the church has often tolerated or perpetrated racial bias, many Christians today are finding new ways to love their neighbors and overcome the systems that limit their opportunity. We hope to tell dozens more such stories in print and at our website in the days ahead.
No one says this is easy, especially those contributing these pieces. What’s easy is this: to criticize or ignore Christians calling the church to proclaim and seek justice. Our prayer is that this inadequate collection will succeed in at least one regard: making our readers uneasy enough to see and seek solutions for racial separation that is an affront to the message of the gospel.