faith · grace · life · media · parenting · race

…let me get under your skin

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As a writer/blogger I think it’s essential for me to say some things about the current issues in the news involving race.  I’d rather not. I’d rather talk about the nearness of all things pumpkin and spice or a recent podcast I listened to, but I feel in my bones that I better speak up.  Just yesterday I was told I have a way of saying things that others wish they could say and I give them a voice…that I say things that make people think. 

I hope what I’m about to say makes you think… and encourages you to think differently… if you’ve any notion that you are more than or less than any person because of the color of your largest organ…your skin.

The recent clash of opinion in Charlottesville, Virginia gained national coverage after a car plowed through a crowd of white supremacists and anti-protestors, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring several others. This was not the first of the protests there, but the one we got wind of because of the elevation of animosity and the loss of a life.

You would think by now we could all get along, right?!…

You would think by now we’ve all heard what division among us can do to a country…we’ve taken U.S History and watched Mississippi Burning and The Help and we are not proud to be white but kinda embarrassed…at least I am.

By the way…I’m not so white.

I love to play the adoption card when asked my nationality. In my early 20’s, sweet Jana begged me to find my biological father and finally after much convincing we made some calls.  Mind you, this is before Google…but NOT before I was keen on investigative missions. I totally missed my calling to work for the FBI. I get my hands on a DFW phone book at the local library and began dialing…

First call.

Hello.

Hi. Is your name…………………………….?

Yes, may I ask who’s calling?

My name is Gina and I’m looking for my birth father. How old are you?

He nervously gives me his age and it falls perfectly within range. Bingo! 

Did you date or know (insert birth mom’s name) in the year 1968?

No. No I did not.

****crickets*****

Thinking it best to hang up now and dial another number, he speaks.

Excuse me miss…..can I ask what color you are?

I am white.

Honey. I am blacker than black but good luck in your endeavors.

*hangs up phone.

SCORE!

Now anyone else would take this as a cue to continue looking, but not me. I am half-black and he’s in denial!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

race

But, seriously…skin color has a lot of unasked for responsibility. Imagine if our skin could talk…

“Hey, I know I’m white and all over the place…I mean, you can’t miss me…I didn’t ask to be this color…I’m just here covering some bones, and nerves and smaller organs…that’s my job. You are giving me WAYYYYY too much credit. If you want to be upset with a body part, you should be angry at the heart. All of us are under her leadership. None of us can do much of anything without her opinion. She’s bossy and emotional. She fights with the mind everyday. They go back and forth about things that I personally feel don’t matter…keeping us ALL up ALL night…making me crawl”

Think about this…

Whites are tanning and curling their hair. Blacks are bleaching and straightening their curls. We are just silly. All of us. Trying to be something we’re not and putting the same pressure on everyone else to do the same. Be more like us…No. You be more like us! 

People. We cannot change where we’ve come from but we can all make a difference in where we are going. 

There will always be division and the root of division will always be pride. The only way a person can think themselves loftier than the next is from a seat of arrogance that is learned…then accepted…then practiced. 

I was fortunate to be raised by parents who taught me to love others and to never think of myself as better than anyone else. I vividly remember us moving to Houston when I was 12 so my dad could pastor a small congregation at Woodglen Baptist Church. Soon after we arrive, this all white congregation had a visiting black family.  My dad was asked by some church deacons to tell them to leave. It’s 1981 and the first time I’d EVER been subjected to hatred over skin color. I love my daddy.  My dad refused to ask them to leave and the ones in opposition left and never returned. Bye, Felicia. Don’t forget your hood…Ugh…sorry, but not sorry. It’s makes my blood boil to think that someone would refuse another the right and freedom and privilege to go to church because of the color of their skin.

I am so thankful I get to worship on Sunday mornings at Healing Place…shoulder to shoulder with individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds.

We are ALL sinners saved by grace looking for a place to connect with the God who made us and craves us.

We are red and yellow, black and white…tattooed and broken and precious in His sight.

Filthy rags in need of a cleansing, sick and twisted begging for healing.

Entering with the world and leaving with a taste of heaven.

Reminded of our unbreakable, unshakeable Genealogy and obedient to the same Abba, Father.

A M E N.

If you do not worship where EVERYONE belongs you are not where God wants you. There is zero exclusivity in The Kingdom of Christ. He died ONCE, for ALL.

Okay…now that I made myself out to be so accepting I have a confession…this is where I tend to judge. 

If you are committing crimes, abusing your family, wearing your pants so low your underwear is exposed, smoking dope, getting high and living off the government it is NOT BECAUSE OF YOUR RACE BUT YOUR CHOICES. And I’m judging you…

 

I don’t care which nationality box you check on your application…if I can see your unsolicited Tommy Hilfiger boxers hanging out of your baggy prison inspired pants and hear you loudly dropping f-bombs out of context….I don’t care if you’re Justin Flippin’ Bieber…I’m walking the other way. I don’t want anything to do wit-cha. Nope. You look and act like a punk…you look and act like you’re up to no good and my analysis has nothing, nada, zilch to do with the color of your skin. It has everything to do with your behavior and choices to take the one life you’ve been given and be a “boil on the butt of humanity.” ~Ouiser Boudreaux

I’m sorry, but didn’t your mama teach you better?

 

I did the best I could to raise kind humans with good manners and even better hearts. We acknowledged racism and it’s place in our world and I wanted them to know how to love others beyond the visible. Was this easy? No. Was I freaking out half the time that they were watching me and I was failing them miserably? Yes. Did Jesus ask me to get over myself and out of their way so they would look to Him for their guidance instead of me? Yes. Yes, He did.

We better all get over ourselves…and until we do, I’m praying for God to get under our red, and yellow and black and white skin.

love gina

 

 

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