The definition of racism itself is controversial since there is no scientific or biological evidence that there are different races or classes of human beings. It’s important to recognize that there is only one race–the human race. Africans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians all come from the same human family. Rather, they may have different ethnic identities that place them within a particular cultural group’s customs, beliefs, and languages, but there is nothing inherently different among us.
History reveals the evil of one race enforcing their superiority over another. It was the driving force behind the transatlantic slave trade. Europeans would buy African Americans who were captured in endemic warfare. Even the African people made a business of capturing other tribal clans and selling them into the slave trade.
In the 20th century, the Nazis considered the Jews, Gypsies, and anyone else who was not part of the Aryan race as sub-human. Heinrich Himmler, the leading military commander of the Nazi army said these disastrous words: “What happens to the Russians, what happens to the Czechs, is a matter of utter indifference to me… Whether the other peoples live in comfort or perish of hunger interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our culture; apart from that it does not interest me.”
Why are human beings so cruel towards each other? What is the cure for intolerance and racism? Is it social reform? Education? Multicultural awareness? I believe these are necessary steps to alleviate the problem, but it’s much deeper and resides in the heart of man. I believe the only cure is the gospel, the good news that God saves sinners, even the most rebellious and heinous.
The word gospel literally means good news, but to understand how good it is, one must first understand the bad news. When man fell in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:6) by their willful disobedience towards God, they were separated and every part of man, including his mind, will, emotions, and flesh was corrupted by sin. Man is now hostile towards God (Rom. 8:7) and their every desire is to love evil rather than good, resulting in a man being eternally condemned in Hell.
It is in Hell that man pays the penalty of sin against a holy God. Without any solution to this problem, there would be no hope for humanity. However, God in His mercy and grace, provided a solution, a substitute for our sins, Jesus Christ. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become righteous. He paid the penalty for our sins so that we could restore our fellowship back with God.
Because God has made a way for sinners, He calls all of us to repent (turn, have a change of mind), of our sins and trust in the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8). Those who believe in Christ (Rom. 10:8) are not only saved from hell but also given a new nature, a changed heart, and a new desire and attitude to worship and give glory to Almighty God (2 Cor. 5:17). When we receive this new heart, we not only have a desire to love God, but we also have a desire to love our neighbor. The cure, then, for racism, is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, you created all of us in your image. Every human being on this planet is infinitely valuable. Help us to treat each other with love and kindness. Do not allow us to show favoritism, but to treat all people with the same dignity. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’s name. Amen.