Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Where Do We Go From Here - Reconcile
So why should we pursue reconciliation (or for some ethnic harmony and true peace)? There are a number of reasons, but the more I reflect on it the more it appears that our society may be content to maintain status quo. By status quo I mean that we’re content to exist in society in which we remain largely separate as long as we can achieve a measure of equality within our separation. Now that may sound harsh and unreasoning but I believe that it’s more true than false.
For instance some of the reaction to Senator Obama’s speech on race relations focused on the need for black people to take responsibility and ownership of the issues in our communities. Juan Williams' commentary fits into this category. There Williams laments that Senator Obama didn’t use the speech as a call for African-Americans to work on transforming ourselves so that we can transform the world. Now I agree that black folks must take charge and ownership of our communities and culture in order to free ourselves from the pathologies that continue to afflict us. But in my view the rebuilding of our communities and culture though related to the pursuit of ethnic harmony can be achieved apart from experiencing genuine ethnic peace.
And I wonder is that what our society really wants? Would we be satisfied to live in a country in which all ethnicities experienced a fairly equal measure of stability, success and opportunity even if we remained pretty much separated? For instance, imagine if black folks were successful in righting the wrongs within our own communities to the point where we could enjoy neighborhoods with good schools, good and growing job opportunities and satisfying cultural outlets. Would it be alright if those neighborhoods were largely homogenous and those African-Americans living there had little if any meaningful social contact with people from other ethnicities? And should such a situation ever arise would our society believe that for the most part we’ve solved the ‘race problem’?
However if that is not acceptable then what should be done about it? And what part if any should the church play and should we consider this an essential implication of the gospel of Jesus Christ? If we do then how will it be reflected in our churches, theology, seminaries, ministries, publications, conferences, etc.?
To Him Who Loves Us…