First Posted: 2/28/2015
In the spirit of Black History Month, I am very thankful for all of my ancestors who bled and died for the sake of my freedom. Watching movies like “Selma,” “Malcolm X” and “Roots” make me a little emotional considering it’s all true!
My people were humiliated, tortured and killed all for standing up for human rights. Remarkable.
So what do we do now? Legally, we are all free to make our own decisions, we can vote, and we’re free to do whatever our money allows us to do. But there still is plenty of segregation present in the United States.
Sadly, some people will never change. From generation to generation, we observe unfair punishments, no indictments for people who are, in my opinion, guilty, and lives of innocent people taken.
Racism is a learned behavior. No child wakes up and says, “I hate black people” or “White people disgust me” — it’s all taught. For me, I grew up in a predominantly black household, obviously, because I am black. I grew up around black culture and I am cognizant of the sacrifices that my ancestors made for me.
However, as radical as I wanted to be, I was never taught to hate someone who looked, acted and believed in something different than me. I love all people, black, white, gay, straight, poor and rich.
Why? Because in the spirit of Christ who hung around liars, sinners and prostitutes, I take on the same characteristics as he had. He hung around different types of people as a chance to make trustworthy relationships to minister and help them. He engaged in the culture.
So what am I saying? Love outweighs all wrongs. It covers the bad. Regardless of what people did to you in the past or what you did to someone, love goes beyond anything. He or she may not look, sound, act, dress or do the things you do, but you love them anyway because you are supposed to. The only debt you’re obligated to pay is the debt of love.
Choose to love today! The Bible says, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). We’re all in this together. Let’s unify ourselves. It will make you feel better.
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
— Mattie Stepanek
Torian McKenzie is a resident of Richmond County and an intern for the Daily Journal.