The term plantations used instead of slave labor camps, The "Union" instead of the United States of America, and the Confederate army instead of rebel army. The use of words makes heroes out of some while making villains out of others it is all determined by the propaganda and the words that are used to promote the ideology of one group over another. In the article "We legitimize the 'So called' Confederacy with our vocabulary and that's a Problem' Smithsonianmag.com the following was expressed, "It would be just as accurate to refer to Lee, who led an armed group against National sovereignty, as an insurgent or a warlord, if not a terrorist. Imagine how different it would be for a school age child to learn about the war of the rebellion if we altered the language we use."
The Civil War was a war against the United States. The war was fought to defend the right to own slaves and for the slaves it was a righteous war to fight for the right to be free from bondage. Many consider the Confederacy a noble cause that stood to defend the right to the land that was stolen from the indigenous people (Native Americans) in some cases, and to defend their system of oppression to their death. The Confederate monuments and the Confederate flag glorifies the ideology of the rebel army and helps successive generations condone all that has resulted from the self serving language used to perpetuate the system of racism and oppression in order to subjugate generations.
Many racist attitudes are being expressed, without shame, that certain ethnic groups are not welcomed in neighborhoods across America. One such message was written on a banner that had been draped from the stands at Fenway Park that read: "Racism is as American as baseball." While there are pockets in our country that continue to deny that racism is a problem in American, many more people, who are the recipients of racism, continue to speak to the reality that racism does exist and is often deadly.
An eight year old biracial boy nearly hanged in New Hampshire in the summer of 2017. The marks on the little boy's neck from the attempted lynching left multiple deep grooves in his throat. He had to be taken by helicopter to a hospital. While some White teenagers were spectators there was one who caused the injury. The town's police chief said of the assault, "Mistakes they make as a young child should not have to follow them for the rest of their life." There was no desire to obtain justice for the little boy. The evidence that his position as Police Chief to provide safety for his community was non existent as his main concern was the wellbeing of the assailants.
Looting after a catastrophic natural disaster is a grievous offence because it takes advantage of suffering people. The case of two men convicted of the same crime, looting during the spill ways crisis Oroville Dam, is another example that justice is not impartial. One man received probation while the other received 13 years in prison for the same crime. The one who received the lesser punishment was White. This is often the experience of people of color as they face the American justice system. Along with the disparities of sentencing is the attitudes of those who refuse to see the discriminatory practices. It is hard for many to have faith in the judicial system when systemic racism is always on public display.
As a follower of Jesus my heart is to love as Jesus loves. My hope is to see more people able to look at the history of American as it was and to join in the effort to break the strong holds that continue the traditions of racism. Fear of loss is a driving force that makes man feel they need to preserve the old ways of American life. The Christian faith and Scriptures teaches us not to fear, but to love without pretense, deceit, posturing, hypocrisy. We are to despise those things that are evil and to cling to that which is good Romans 12:9 We start by rejecting oppression and learning to have empathy and compassion, to feel for the plight of others unlike ourselves. Love is the greatest thing to do.
Oppression - Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. The exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel or unjust manner. When a person or group in a position of power controls the less powerful in cruel and unfair ways. Persecution, abuse, maltreatment, subjugation, injustice, brutality, cruelty
"Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting and communicating that incredibly healing message of you're not alone." Empathy fuels connections between people.
Scriptures reading: I Corinthians Chapter 13; Matthew 24:12; Ephesians 3:17
I John 3:18
My little children,
Let us not love in word,
neither in tongue
but in deed and in truth