"I am tired of this incessant harping on racial differences and ethnic distinctions. We're all Americans, aren't we? Why can't we concentrate on what unites us rather than what divides us?"
This is a healthy response to the "racialization" of our society, a term I borrowed from Yehudi Webster's book, "The Racialization of America" (New York: St Martin's Press, 1992). In this book, the author states that much of the blame for the continued racial polarization of America is due to the racial obsessions of the academy-media-government trinity. They are the ones who have defined racial categories (and sub-categories) inconsistently, and have attributed racial motivations to all sorts of social facts (employment statistics, graduation rates, crime and incarceration percentages, etc). They have pigeon-holed children from pre-school age into racial/ethnic groups, and then inculcated in these students the world-view appropriate to their group.
"From cradle to grave, a governmental, media, and academic race-relations complex maintains varying levels of saturation with racial identities.... The development of racial classification was initiated as a justification of certain political economic decisions and arrangements....In effect, citizens are inundated with information about their racial and cultural differences and encouraged to struggle and compete as racial groups.... In the development and propagation of the racial theory, racial interpretations of social phenomena are pervasive in the media" (op. cit., pp. 43, 50-51).
In other words, the government and its cronies have projected their own caste view of America upon its citizens and created policies that treat people as members of one herd or another, who are in life-and-death competition with all other herds. The blame for all inequality among the herds is found in the supposedly innate race hatred of the majority herd, which can be remedied only by retributive and redistributive policies enacted on behalf of various minority herds.
It is this worldview, imposed on the people through educational and legal channels, that accounts for both the generality of racial awareness in our society, and the persistence of racial friction. And it guarantees the perpetuation of the "racialization" of America to future generations.
Given the predominance of racial thinking in the public sphere (government, entertainment, educational institutions, welfare), a reasonable objection ("can't we think about what we have in common?") cannot prevail. It is the protest of an individual's common sense against the force of mass propaganda.
The purpose of the racialpeace online Bible study is to do more than just raise a feeble protest. It is our contention that the Bible's teaching on race contradicts and supercedes the race doctrines of the secular state. The true nature of mankind, according to the New Testament, is not a matter of one race's supremacy over the rest, or a universal federation of competing racial groups. Man is spirit, and spirit transcends physical and even cultural differences. God's plan for the world involves the redemption of humanity from rivalry and mutual hatred, and the creation of a "New Race" of men and women who have been "born from above" through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the intent of the New Covenant proclaimed by Jesus, and building this spiritual community is the present work of God in the world.
This is a deep subject, which cannot be summarized in a blog entry. If you are tired of the racial platitudes of politicians and community leaders, we invite you to take a deeper look at God's trans-racial agenda at Racialpeace-Old-Testament-Evaluation.