Producing Racist People

 
Diversity
Photo by Smart Expressions
 
 
 
There was an interesting Newsweek article entitled, “Is Your Kid a Racist?” It caught my attention to say the least. What parent wants to raise their child as a racist? I guess there are probably some but that is for another blog entry.

If a parent knew that they were raising a racist kid, wouldn’t they want to do something about it, especially if they are a Christian parent. There are so many Bible references that address the issue of racism. With this being said, there are many people who are just simply unaware of how racist they are or can become even within the Christian circles.

The Newsweek article was stating that there might be a negative link with diverse schools and racism. We would like to think that the more diverse a school is that there would be more interaction with people from different races. But according to James Moody from Duke University, found out that there might be an opposite correlation – the more diverse, the less cross-race relationships.

Moody analyzed collected data from 112 different schools within the United States with a pool of 90,000 teenagers participants for the study.

The article reads,

“The students had been asked to name their five best male friends and their five best female friends. Moody matched the ethnicity of the student with the race of each named friend, then compared the number of each student’s cross-racial friendships with the school’s overall diversity. Moody found that the more diverse the school, the more the kids self-segregate by race and ethnicity within the school, and thus the likelihood that any two kids of different races have a friendship goes down. Moody included statistical controls for activities, sports, academic tracking, and other school-structural conditions that tend to desegregate (or segregate) students within the school. The rule still holds true: more diversity translates into more division among students. Those increased opportunities to interact are also, effectively, increased opportunities to reject each other. And that is what’s happening.”

Moody suggests that there is a double message being sent. On one hand, students are encouraged to have a friend from another race, but then the reality is that students are likely to hang out with their own “kind.”

Isn’t this what we are seeing even in the churches too? In the name of trying to be multi-ethnic or multi-cultural, we end up seeing people just “tolerate” one another because it is the “right” thing to do. So even though a church might be multi-ethnic, I am wondering if it is causing people to “stick” with their own kind more. I guess the best test is not seeing what is happening during the worship gathering but right afterwards during the fellowship time.

Who do we naturally gravitate towards? Who do we seek out after?

One of the values of transculturalism is the willingness to be uncomfortable and awkward. Our natural tendency is to seek comfort and do things that are the least awkward for us. But the challenge in HMCC is to purposely put ourselves in an awkward and uncomfortable situation so that we can live out the Gospel and show the world that Christ is the reason why we can love people who are “different” from us.

But this is a tall order.

Only our commitment to Christ and to one another can help thrust us into this direction. This is our prayer, “Lord uproot the racist tendency within all of us!”