How Are We Teaching About Racism?

Middletown, De or Charlottesville, Va.

I grew up in a small town in Delaware.  In our town, there were two schools systems, the “White” and the “Colored,” until 1966 (if my memory serves me correctly). I was in the 6th grade.

Before we integrated, the two high schools were barely two miles apart, but, if your skin was dark, you had to travel about 20 miles to Dover, De to complete your high school education because the “Colored” school only went to the tenth grade.

Our mother was one of many who worked hard to get the vote for integration passed. The rest of the county was going to start busing students so they could establish “racial quotas” in each school district. If our town was willing to integrate its own schools, then all of us would be spared of having to spend extra time on a bus to get to and from school.

In the early ‘70s, racial tensions were very high in the nation, our town/schools were no exception. I no longer remember the issue that the riot we were hearing about was going to protest. I know that many were scared and many were angry. The “white” parents were planning to protect their children from the violence by keeping them home from school.

Not. My. Mom. She said, “You better get your homework done, because you are going to school.”

My sister and I were worried, but we went. There was a lot of tension. As I recall most of the teachers were there. There were a couple of minor fights, a lot kids left the building, but there was no “riot.”

We were taught then about the problem of sensationalism by the press and the people of the town.  Our mother worked with several of the black Moms. She knew they were not raising violent revolutionaries. Apparently, she thought they had some legitimate complaints with the way they were being treated because of their race. She taught us it was wrong.

Now, with a Christian perspective, I can see that I must be grateful for such a Mother.   Skin color was not an issue for her and she was determined that it not be for any of her six children.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).  No one has a choice about being born in Greece (or outside of Israel).  No one has a choice about being born white (or not white).  We’re born at God’s pleasure and for His pleasure.

This past weekend, crimes were committed in Charlottesville, Va. I am not fully aware of the protestors’ or the counter-protestors’ true motivations. Whatever they were, the racism was evident . What I am concerned about is what the discussion in our Christian homes is like.

What are the children hearing from the adults? How are we portraying either side of the confrontation? A young man deliberately drove into a crowd, hurting some and killing one. Do we know why he did it? Are there truths about murder,  racism, law enforcement and/or government that need to be taught?

As we speak, are we considering God, His Word, or His Laws?

I was blessed with a Mother who taught us courage to face the issues of our day, even in our small town. What are you and I teaching the next generation in our own homes?