Old News Makes The News

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American president.”

The preceding statement is part of a pledge promoted by The Family Leader, a non-profit promoting anti-gay ideology.That it was even in the pledge to begin with reveals the ongoing insidious presence of racism. This segment has been removed after receiving national attention when signed by two Presidential candidates, one of which had not bothered to read the entire pledge. This left me wondering that if elected, would this candidate sign a treaty or agreement not fully knowing what it contained? Is it possible the French could get the Lousiana Purchase back if they just slipped it in with a bunch of papers to be signed?

Whoever wrote this pledge clearly has not studied U.S. History. Slaves didn’t live in family arrangements anything like what even the poorest whites lived in. Slaves were separated and sold regardless of family connection, sometimes intentionally sold and separated because of their family relationship. That African-Americans since slavery have created strong communities and strong institutions is testimony to the courage, intelligence and character of mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers: families.
This long sentence, since removed, is evidence of the racism we must continue to name. To ignore statements like this one and not correct its inaccuracies is to let the lies of racism be the last word.

Followers of Jesus must speak clearly against the evils of racism as a matter of faith. The Table to which Jesus invites us is a table that among other things calls people into authentic community, honoring our differences and discerning our common life.

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