Thursday, 31 October 2013

Life at the margins

1. A couple of weeks ago at the Prayer Service which I lead at Sarasota's "Resurrection House" one homeless man prayed "for those who are less fortunate than we are".

An amazing prayer from a homeless man.

2. Last Wednesday at "Res House" a man prayed a long and rambling prayer which concluded with the words "so God, do the best you can, which I know you will".

What a delight.  Asking God to "do the best she/can".  Funny and touching.

3. S.P. is one of my friends.  He is a forty-something African American and a solid family man.  (He and his wife have two children).  S.P. works as the circulation manager for a New England small town newspaper.

Earlier  today, as part of his job, he was emptying a coin operated box from which locals can buy a paper. (We have them in many American towns).

S.P. was immediately set upon by an older white man, who accused him of stealing money from the box.  The man refused to believe that my friend works for the newspaper in question,  because he did not have a uniform or a name badge.  (The paper does not issue either).

QUESTION   Would this man have assumed that S.P. was stealing had he been a middle aged white man with a crew cut, rather than being a middle aged black man with dreads?

You bet your behind that he would not have done so.

For we know that Americans who are African American, or Latino, or Middle Eastern are subjected to regular and consistent prejudiced words and actions, and are very likely to be singled out by law enforcement folks, then "stopped and frisked" at will.

4.  That's the truth.

5. Racism is endemic and pervasive.

6. Racism makes no sense to decent people.

7. Racism is an affront to the Holy God who made each and every human in her/his image and likeness.

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