Healing America’s racial wounds through bible
To the editor:
People of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula would prefer fishing or picking blueberries than listen to the latest noise from Washington. This time the uproar came from President Trump’s tweets calling on four Congresswomen of color to “go back where they came from” since they dared to criticize him. His tweets implied that the Congresswomen were foreign-born but three were U.S. born and only Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a naturalized citizen, was foreign-born. Even if the tweets were not racist, their political motivation was: divide Americans and inflame the President’s base against people of color.
Should the good people of the UP be concerned whether the President mistreats four progressive Congresswomen of color? Are we in the UP so detached from America’s urban areas and people of color that we are insensitive to their situations? I believe this is something very wrong. Never has a president told a member of Congress of another race to go back to the country of their ancestors. People of both political parties and of all religious faiths, especially leaders, should condemn his insensitive insults as an affront to our Democracy and our biblical principles of tolerance.
Those biblical principles condemn bigotry. Despite differences among Christians, there is unity that all humankind-from all races-are made in the image of God and that racism is a sin. The U.S. Catholic Bishops writes “Racism is sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God.
Opposing racism is also part of the pro-life ethic. Focus on the Family, for example, points out that “racism clearly fits within the sphere of pro-life concerns” because preborn babies and racial minorities are both vulnerable and powerless to stop harm from powerful forces. Moreover, mere verbal attacks incite white nationalists to kill: Heather Heyer Charlottesville (2017), Tree of Life Synagogue Pittsburg (2018), Christchurch mosques (2019), a black church Charleston (2015).
Healing America’s racial wounds is a job for everyone. Our silence makes us complicit in perpetuating these wounds. Once this is fixed, we can go back to fishing and blueberry picking.
Anderson is an elder law attorney, graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and is active in his local church.