“And they came and said to (Jesus), “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth.” — Mark 12:14; Matthew 22:16
On Thursday during a meeting with members of Congress the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, raised some horrible questions during an immigration discussion. “Why are we having all these people from sh**hole countries come here? Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.” The president criticized immigration from El Salvador, Haiti and the African continent and stated a preference for Norway. In other words, black immigration bad; white immigration, good. He earlier defined the homes of Nigerians as “huts.” He has continuously questioned whether President Obama was born an American, referred to Mexicans as rapists, attacked African Americans athletes protesting injustice and stated that white nationalist marchers and protesters were equally to blame for the Charlottesville murder.
It is a profound tragedy that this happened on the eve of celebrating the life of this country’s greatest prophet of love and equality, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is ironic that it occurred in the year of the 50th anniversary of his assassination and on the day that the president signed a proclamation to commemorate the King holiday. The timing of it all makes the president’s actions a hollow mockery of King.
These words from the mouth of the U.S. president are racist and betray his inner most feelings about people of color. The evidence is too great and consistent. The president is a man out of time, living for a glorious past which only existed in his mind. The past greatness of America that he is trying to recapture has never been for people of color. There is not a period wherein white supremacy has not exploited and discriminated against native and African Americans. Every racial demographic has horror stories of discrimination and hate.
People of faith and of good conscience must vow never to return to those inglorious days. Our voices will not be silenced, our spirits never conquered. Now is the time for men and women of faith to speak with voices of protest and resistance for it is as Dr. King said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Dr. King refutes these vile statements with timeless wisdom. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” He said that “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” We cannot let the dreamer’s dream die. For many of us still believe in his dream “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
But more than anything else, we are impacted by the words of scripture which guide us to love one another, treat one another with dignity, respect and grace. We remember that God is a God of love and is not partial toward the rich nor the poor. And neither should we be.
“But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” — Corinthians 12:25-26