Words reveal your heart

February 26th, 2020

The community of Saline, Michigan, has appeared in the news multiple times this winter for racist incidents. The first story involved a group of white students from Saline High School calling black classmates the N-word in a group message on Snapchat, which was titled “Racist” and included gorilla emojis. The school responded by sending out a letter denouncing acts of racism and by hosting a diversity and inclusion meeting. During this meeting, Tom Burtell (a white man) interrupted Adrian Iraola (a Latino man) by shouting, “Why didn’t you stay in Mexico?” This comment was followed by other insensitive and demeaning rhetoric from Burtell. Other attendees gasped at Burtell’s comments and yelled, “That’s disgusting! You need to leave!” While these events are revolting, it’s encouraging that some people in the meeting spoke against racism. Members of the Saline community also held a diversity and inclusion rally. Others argue this response is not enough to solve the racism that prevails in that town.

Confronting sin

An encouraging part of the story in Saline is that Matt Burtell, Tom Burtell’s son, wrote a comment on Facebook calling out his dad’s remarks as “racist.” Matt went on to express how, unlike his father, he stands in solidarity with refugees and immigrants around the world. Like Matt Burtell, Christians should identify and call out racist rhetoric.

Racism is rooted in hate

Racism stems from a long history of systems of injustice built on the sin of oppression. The Civil Rights Movement didn’t solve the problem of racism, but it was a step in the right direction. Clearly, we still have work to do. There are many ways to take on racism; however, a tangible action we can grasp quickly is to call out hate speech and racist rhetoric when we encounter it. We also must dig deep into our own prejudices so that our words don’t spew hateful and ignorant messages, especially to those who are marginalized.

Question of the day: What mean-spirited words have you heard recently in your own community?
Focal scriptures: 1 John 2:7-11; Proverbs 8:12-14; James 3:4-12

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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