Everything old is new again

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Racism
Tags: , , ,

You’ve probably already have seen it in the news….a church in Kentucky banned interracial couples from being able to join their church and even from  participating in their in worship services (except for funerals, of course).  To add insult to injury, they did so after inactive member, Stella Harville, and her African born fiance, Ticha Chikuni, sang a song in church extolling their love for Jesus.  Talk about a slap in the face!

Any private organization has the right to decide who can be members and who can’t….if they don’t receive federal funds, then legally they don’t have to accept everyone.  For the precedence look no further than the 2000 SCOTUS decision that allowed the Boy Scouts to ban gay troops.  But it bears repeating that the legal standard is the minimum that any ethical person or organization should do.  Witness the recent Penn State child molestation scandal.  The problem wasn’t that Paterno didn’t report it, it was that he did only what he was legally obligated to do and most people recognize that wasn’t enough.  This world would be in much worse shape than it is if we all only held ourselves to the legal standard or even if we did everything we could legally do.  I can legally stand on a street corner and shout profanities at strangers; however, that doesn’t mean I should.

Stella’s father, an active member of the church, is appalled.  I mean this church is the Harville family church, so it isn’t just a rejection of Stella but their entire family.  I would like to say that this is shocking and appalling, but having grown up in the South I am far too cynical about racism in the U.S.  The father was quoted that the church’s decision wasn’t Christian and was the work of “the old devil”.   I agree that it isn’t Christian and it is the work of evil.  And he’s right that it is that old devil at work.

Mr. Harville like most white Americans was simply lulled by the seeming inactivity of racism*.  That devil has been with us all along but working a bit more subtly than white Americans can appreciate.  It does not surprise me that it has reared its ugly head in a way that even the most inured white person can finally see the devil’s face clearly.

Notes:

*This is a whole ‘nother post about how racism is still there but in more subtle ways that minorities still experience and recognize every day but that whites tend to be blind to in various degrees.

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