Running while African In America: Racism and American Cultural Agendas
Running while African In America: Racism and American Cultural AgendasDr. Teddy Kamau
Kenyans are not racist, but they are tribal. This is a cultural fact that every Kenyan agrees with. This truth is not just true in the republic of Kenya, but it is also true in the diaspora. For some reason, this fact is not seen as a vital issue in addressing problems facing the diaspora. However, Kenyans join Africans, especially in the United States to scream and shout about racism in America. This of course is not based upon experiences of racism, rather, it is because of the sheep mentality: since black Americans are constantly screaming about racism. This is not to suggest that black Americans have not suffered racism, rather, it is to highlight the nature of man. Humanity uses differences to build even greater divisions on earth.
I have often said that in my 30 years of Americanism I have never faced racism even though I went to school in neighborhoods that were predominantly white Anglo Saxon. I have also travelled in 49 states, mainly by car and have never felt threatened by white people. In small towns like Walla Walla, Washington, and San Luis Obispo, California, which are predominantly white, white Anglo Saxon protestant men were surprised that I did not think Barack Obama was going to win the elections in 2008. They did not view racism as a factor and they overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama. Now that Trump is President, the drum of racism can be heard on CNN and others against the people who innocently agreed that Barak Obama was qualified to become president of the United States. The white people who voted for him twice!
The case of the black young man gunned down by two white family members, father and son in Georgia, highlights, not that white people are racists, but the fact that the human heart is dark and reaches out to anything to feed its wicked desires. The young man trespassed in a construction site. Then the racist father and son used that incident to bring out their historical suspicion of black people. This led to the shooting death of the young man. However, the question is, “are all black people in Georgia targets of all white people?” The answer is no. However, listening to CNN commentators and others in the news, one can only wonder whether there is anything white people can do to convince black people that not all white people are racist. Majority of black news personalities make it sound as if all white people are racists. But a closer look at them shows they live in white communities and enjoy partying with the same white people they tell us to hate!
The role of racist philosophy is a struggle by groups to dominate each other. Even the Bible has cases of racism. The first recorded case of racism is easy to miss because it is subtle. Joseph’s steward welcomes Joseph’s brothers to the Egyptian palace. Joseph instructs the steward to arrange to have dinner with his brothers (His brothers did not know it was him). When dinner came about, the bible presents a case of institutionalized racism, “And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.” (Genesis 43: 32). Egyptians viewed the Hebrews as racial under-class, a lower chain within the human race.
What brings out racism, a part from the fact that man is sinful, is failure within cultural developments. Whether it is racism or tribalism, the responsibility lies with the individual and how a person has been influenced by his or her culture. Parents play an important role in this case. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children from the foundation of divine inclusion. Unfortunately the father in Georgia missed the biblical ideal. The Bible presents the church of Jesus Christ as the body of Christ. This idea is God’s principle when it comes to issues relating to humanity. The Church is inclusive of all people who believe in Jesus Christ as the reconcilliator of humanity to their God. A special and chosen people whose category is spiritual rather than natural, “BORN AGAIN.” (Galatians 3:28,29)
Unfortunately, the church has forgotten it’s role in society to be the salt, the truth bearer, the light on the hill that calls all equally to join in the chorus of our God that “….who ever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life….both the Jew and the gentile, male and female, black and white: all without discrimination are welcome into the Kingdom of our God.” (Genesis 3:16, explained) Instead, we have delegated our ears to people like secular humanists on television who, being condemned by scripture, not only hate Christianity, but anyone who through biblical order seeks to highlight the need for salvation which aids humanity, as God seeks to purify us against all forms of evil, including racism. The church takes its cue from culture instead of advising culture. Carl F. H. Henry, the founding editor of Christianity Today argued in his 6 volumes, “God Revelation and Authority”, that the bible purifies culture.
My grand father worked with white missionaries from England and United States. He served as the chaplain in Kenya’s detention and prison camps with British Colonial masters. My pastor father was educated in Germany in early 1960s. Both upheld the biblical virtue of the BODY of Christ and taught me to view humanity biblically. Then an American missionary by the name of Lee Weiss reminded me that Christ is colorblind. He and I planted churches in Kenya as brothers. The world shall know that we are Christians by our love. We cannot be taught to love and hate by secular humanists in the media. Rather, biblical revelation must be the wall on which we bounce culture.
We must purify culture not become slaves to it.
By Teddy Njoroge Kamau (Ph.D)
Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist