Majority Racism.

I am in the midst of reading, “Freckled: A Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii,” by T.W. Neal. (Toby) It is a fascinating story of a girl growing up with Hippie parents. (This takes place in the 1970s.) Her mother and father both love to surf; I should say they live to surf.

The parents moved from La Jolla, California to Hawaii in order to live their lives surfing and getting by on odd jobs and selling jewelry made out of seashells. They lived in their van or a shack near the beach.

What struck me most about this story was the racism enacted by native Hawaiians against them and all whites who moved there. I believe the native population despised the whites because they crowded their beaches with surfers, leaving them less room, and fished for food, which perhaps made an impact on their own fishing.

Toby’s family was threatened, called names and harassed. They tried to stay off the radar by not leaving their home except to buy groceries and go to the beaches. When Toby entered first grade, she was bullied and physically hurt constantly.

As I was reading this, I of course thought about the racism in North America against the black and brown population. I’ve read many books written by black authors and know a bit about what they have gone through. They have had to bear horrific, ugly, systemic racism since they were brought here from other countries.

Toby’s family was frightened, the police wouldn’t help whites. Sound familiar? And if you think it is better now, you are wrong. A co-worker of my husband went to Hawaii recently and he and his family were harassed by people in an all-Hawaiian town that was off the beaten track.

While sitting on my balcony, I heard some young men outside discussing racism after the death of George Floyd. They were all white. One of them said, “A black guy said to me, “You don’t understand racism.” I told him, “I grew up in India and was beaten every day going back and forth from school. I was the only white kid in the neighborhood. Don’t tell me I don’t know what racism is.”

I know someone who went to prison and found out the population there is separated into two classes: The Native Americans and the Whites. (We live in Canada.) The natives there outnumber the whites and harass them. During a riot, they hung some white and half-white men.

I have a family member who was not a racist at all. She once moved to North Carolina and had a great relationship with a black guy at her job. She said to him, “Let’s go for a beer after work.” He answered, “We can’t. If I go with you to a white bar, they will kill me. If I take you to a black bar, they will beat me up. She was stunned.

Later, when she moved to Florida, she moved into a black neighborhood and got a job cleaning apartments and houses. Men at her apartment building started threatening to hurt or rape her. Men at the building she cleaned did the same. She quit her job and moved to a white area.

So, people say, “The white people flee when black people move in.” Well, yes, but has anyone asked them why? I read about a white boy who was beaten by black boys every day walking to school, just like the white boy in India.

So today, after reading about Hawaii, I realized that racism is a sickness of the majority or dominant culture. Wherever you go, it will be the majority hating and harming the minority.

What’s the answer to this? A loving heart. How I wish I could open racists bodies up and shove a loving heart inside them. God can do that for each individual but only if that person asks him to do it. He never forces himself on anyone.

Some people say education will help eradicate racism. I   think it will help a bit, but I don’t believe racism will ever be overcome in this world. There is good and evil here, and evil will play out its nastiness until Jesus returns.

The Bible says God isn’t a racist. He doesn’t care about our race or gender. Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

I pray we all might see each person we meet as a brother or sister who needs our respect and love. I pray we might love our enemies, as Jesus told us to do. I pray we will try to understand people who are different from us. And I pray we will forgive.

What I Learned About Racism, Protests and Injustice When I was a Young Girl in the 1960s.

When I was a young teen I read, Gone with the Wind. I loved Scarlett O’Hara because she was nothing like me. She had spunk and let nothing stop her, whereas I was like a shadow in the corner of a house, observing but unheard. I wanted spunk.

One day, after I finished reading, I ran downstairs to my mother and said,Mom, It says in this book that slaves were happy. They didn’t want to be free!” She looked at me with pity and told me how evil slavery was and why. She encouraged me to study the subject.

On our next visit to the library, I took out the book called, “Black Boy,” by Richard Wright. I will never forget the impact that book had on me. I was horrified, sad and disgusted by what he had gone through. After that, I read many biographies on how black people had been treated by white people throughout their lives. I wish I could remember the names of the other books but one that I read recently, that was just wonderful is, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou.

I grew up in the 1950s and 60s and remember when Martin Luther King and his followers marched in a peaceful protest to Selma, Alabama. My parents subscribed to Life magazine and I poured over the pictures of snarling dogs and water hoses being turned on the protesters. I admired King so much, and even now, when I read a quote online attributed to him, my esteem grows larger.

When I went to high school, (Southern California) I noticed that white students hung around together and black kids and Hispanic kids did the same. It was puzzling to me because in the church school I had attended previously, I had black and Hispanic friends. Now I was in public school and it was certainly different. I will say though, I never heard any of my white friends say or do anything racist. In fact, later on, after I had left school, I met up with an old friend and she had married a black guy. I went to her place and met him and their new baby. The last year of high school my boyfriend was Hispanic. I was crazy about him. He was older than me and not in school anymore. A few of the rich girls at school did come up to me and ask if I was dating Bobby and I said I was. They didn’t say anything else, but I could see they were pretty surprised, not hateful, just surprised.

Now, since the terrible death of George Floyd, we are again having peaceful protests. Of course, there has been some acts of violence and looting, which has been the actions of only a few and some have been committed by white protesters. Whenever there is a movement or coalition of any kind there are good people, bad people and crazy people involved. I saw this in churches I attended. My mother noticed it in the feminist movement and the Author’s Association to which she belonged. And we cannot forget politicians. Yes, good, bad and crazy.

A lot of people can’t understand the slogan, “Black Lives Matter.” They say that every person’s life matters and they are right, but they can’t seem to see that when someone is hated and oppressed, it looks to them as if their lives don’t matter to other people. White people don’t generally feel that way. We expect the police and those in the medical field to care about our problems. When they don’t, we tell everyone we know about that policeman or doctor. We feel insulted, get angry and will sometimes complain to those who are in authority over these people.

But what if we knew police and doctors hated us? What if we knew they would get rid of all of us if they could? And what if we knew some of them would like to kill us? What would it be like to live with that all our lives?

I have a friend online who is black. She told me her beloved uncle was in the hospital and very ill. It was possible he could die. Yet she was afraid to go to the hospital and visit him. Why? Because of the way the white doctors and nurses talked to and treated her and her family. She went anyway. I felt so sad for her. It is hard to believe people can be so cruel, and for no reason in the world but their hatred of the color of a person’s skin.

I remember an old Star Trek episode where the crew of the Enterprise came to a world that was in the midst of a terrible civil war. Captain Kirk tried to intervene and bring peace and couldn’t understand the basis of the two sides hatred of each other. Near the very end of the show one man said to Kirk something like this, “Are you blind? Can’t you see? My skin is blue on the right side of my face and his skin is blue on the left side!”

That’s racism in a nutshell: utter stupidity. Victor Frankl once wrote, “There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” I believe this to be true.

(I began this blog post thinking I would write about what justice is according to God. But I got carried away with my feelings about what is happening right now. I’ll write the one on how God feels about justice next time. Hint: He feels very strongly about it.)