In a world filled with malice and bad intentions, we believe
that most individuals do want to see an end to the insidious
practice of racism. Our office has received too many
calls asking the same question, "What can I do to help?"
for us to believe that nobody cares. The most amazing
thing is that for a problem that seems to be impenetrable,
the answers come in very simple phrases. "Love
your brother" and "humble yourself to all
mankind" are two that come to mind which do not seem
very burdensome or scientific. However, setting out
to instantaneously change all of humanity with words, however
simple or truthful they may be, may be an attempt at rushing
to the finish line.
Having the answer means absolutely nothing if we don't understand
the problem, so we have to start at the most basic element,
which is the individual. We are the problem...
period. And while you may not be able to change all of humanity,
you can change yourself. We've put down what we feel
is a practical three-step approach to How You Can Help By
"I am a man of substance of flesh and bone, fiber
and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a
mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people
refuse to see me."
Ralph Ellison from his novel Invisible Man
Mother Teresa said the greatest disease from which the human
race is suffering is not cancer or AIDS, but the feeling
of being unwanted or unloved. Loving your brother is
at the core of every major faith in the world today, yet the
simplicity of that edict has eluded humanity since the beginning
of time. Until we can simply reach out our hands and
acknowledge one another, separation seems our destiny.
How does this apply to you?
1) A simple "hello" is
the most basic thing you can do-not just to those whom you
are accustomed to greeting, but individuals outside of your
own race, creed, or color as well. A simple verbal
"hello", a wave of the hand, or more importantly,
to look into the eyes of an individual allowing them the
dignity of being acknowledged is more important than starting
a foundation or donating money to any cause pertaining to
2) Acknowledge, and develop
an appreciation for, the legacy and achievements of another
race, creed, or color. We have to be willing
to give dignity and credence to the lives of others, and
most people define themselves by their origins. So acknowledging
another culture's importance and place in history is the
beginnings of you accepting someone outside of your own
race, creed, or color as different but equal.
"The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted
with reason, but with no morals. We must remember that
intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character
-that is the goal of true education."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Once you've started the process of acknowledgement, the inevitable
next step is education, which is the act of exposing yourself
to a body of work outside your own realm of experiences or
knowledge. Remember, while a formal education is important
we are also talking about an education based on the formation
of moral character, one that should help you identify with
and understand the thoughts or feelings of another. So how
does this apply to you?
1) Step outside your comfort zone and
pursue experiences and relationships outside of your own
race, creed, or culture. You will find that this will
only serve to strengthen your own character, and enrich
the multitude of experiences you will encounter in your
lifetime. The warning here is to not force the issue,
but to be more receptive to the opportunities you most certainly
will be presented with in time.
2) Pursue a formal education on other
races, creeds, and colors. There are plenty of books
you can read, museums you can visit, shows you can watch,
or food that you can eat which will only serve to broaden
FAITH AND LOVE
"There is so much frustration in the world because
we have relied on gods rather than God. We have genuflected
before the god of science only to find that it has given us
the atomic bomb, producing fears and anxieties that science
can never mitigate. We have worshiped the god of pleasure
only to discover that thrills play out and sensations are
short-lived. We have bowed before the god of money only
to learn that there are such things as love and friendship
that money cannot buy and that in a world of possible depressions,
stock market crashes, and bad business investments, money
is a rather uncertain deity. These transitory gods are
not able to save or bring happiness to the human heart.
Only God is able. It is faith in him that we must rediscover."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother,
he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother,
whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God
must also love his brother."
1 John 4: 20-21 (NIV Study Bible)
Martin Luther King, Jr. understood one very important fact
early on in his quest for racial equality. He understood that
his words alone could never compare to the power of compassion
and love. He understood that, ultimately, it was only
God who could change a man's heart, and inevitably it was
only a faith in God that could bring us an everlasting change.
The bottom line is, he understood men alone would never be
able to reconcile themselves to one another. It is undeniable
that our nature has been, is, and will forever be the block
on which all of humanity stumbles. How does this
apply to you?
1) Reconciliation through love
-- it is impossible to reconcile the races through debate,
political alliances, intellectual discussions, or literary
essays. Ultimately, our behavior needs change and
we should not rely on ourselves for that change to occur.
By understanding the nature of our own sin, we can understand
the nature of this sin (racism), and only then can we pursue
an answer. So, if love is the answer, and God is love, then
we must do as Martin Luther King, Jr. said above, rediscover
a faith in God.
We can already hear the detractors to this three-step approach
to eliminating racism. Racism to them is a very complex
and deep problem that requires much thought and discussion,
and by no means do we wish to suggest that this pamphlet is
the instrument that will finally put an end to racism.
However, it is our humble attempt at taking a first step in
the direction of racial reconciliation.