Discrimination, freedom, and salvation
by La Shawn Barber
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at 6:45 pm
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
Would you be shocked to learn that a Black Lives Matter group in Nashville, Tenn., intended to bar white people from attending one of its meetings in a public building? I suspect not. We’ve become accustomed to nonsense. The site of the meeting, a public library, is a government entity that white people also pay for, so its officials couldn’t allow it.
You don’t have to stretch your imagination far to guess that a whites-only White Lives Matter meeting scheduled to be held on tax-funded property would have been national news, all day, every day, until the next outrageous thing happened. Double standards, of course. I wondered how the Black Lives Matter group would have carried out the race-based policy—station someone at the door to physically block white people from entering?
“The recent killings of course, and the police brutality that’s been going on, I think that’s a big impact on why they want to be exclusionary, but racism won’t help,” college student Jaleel Vaughn said. The Black Lives Matter organizer, Joshua Crutchfield, implied that if whites attended, it wouldn’t be a “space where you don’t have to always center whiteness in our conversation. Our intention is to build community and healing among people of color.” The group announced a change of location “due to white supremacy.”
So, in 2016, refusing to discriminate against individuals based on race is racist. Tell that to the people who fought and died trying to dismantle the government’s racial discrimination laws and practices. Do young people understand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or what the whole civil rights movement was all about?
Regardless of what anyone thinks of racially exclusive gatherings, however, we are free to associate (for now) in this country. A group of individuals can meet based on race, color, sex, religion, etc. They may avoid being around certain people, when they can, and dislike anyone or group for any reason. The government can’t discriminate against individuals based on race. Individuals, in their personal capacity, can. Some might disagree, and they’re free to do that, too. The goal of any American should be for the government to leave them alone—not help or hurt.
Racial strife, even among Christians, is one of the many consequences of sin. We’re surrounded by sin, within and without. But God is perfecting us, having begun a good work in us that will continue until Christ returns. Until then, we’re here, earthbound, in a world teeming with conflict.
We should thank God that He’s no respecter of persons and that salvation is available to individuals regardless of who they are and how they look. That is the hope we cling to when sin seems ready to overtake us. Pray for the people who seek to divide and conquer. Pray that God begins to work in their hearts and quell their anger.
La Shawn Barber
La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications