The roots of racism run deep in the soil of the United States of America. These roots did not grow overnight, but as a result of policy, practices and procedures over the course of hundreds of years, the roots are there and the system is massive.
The roots were first planted with the systematic removal of indigenous peoples from the land. Documents such as the Doctrine of Discovery gave Europeans permission to come to a land that did not belong to them and colonize it, nearly exterminating all evidence that anyone had lived on the land prior to their arrival. The system continued to grow under chattel slavery, and further still through the Mexican-American war, the Immigration Act of 1924 which drastically limited Asian immigration to the United States, and creation of the War Relocation Authority, permitting the forced relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps. These actions and more have made it expressly clear that to be anything but white in America guarantees a life of pain and constant struggle.
And if we were to look into the soul of our nation, we would see that racism has created an intricate, stubborn reality that is hard to break, let alone penetrate. The roots have grown so deep and thick that very little else can grow in the nation’s soil. Racism is our culture; it has become our nation’s identity! It is in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the way that we think and even in the words we speak.
The question of the moment is how do we rid our nation of this poison? How do we destroy this living, breathing system that permeates everything that we do? In spite of the progress that we have made across many indicators, people of color and indigenous folk in this nation still deal with the harsh realities of racism on a daily basis. The untimely deaths of black men, women and children at the hands of police officers, officers who are never held accountable for their crimes, proves this to be true. How do we move forward from here?
Given the nature of the beast before us, we need a multifaceted approach that brings together all who are willing to dig up the roots. We need techniques that draw on various skill sets and levels of expertise to cut through the cords of racism that suffocate us all. There is space for protesters, for statisticians, for writers, for activists, for theologians, for educators, for musicians, for doctors, for comedians, for intercessors – we need everyone coming with the little bit that they have, committed to the deep work of undoing racism and bringing about justice in our society.
If you are interested in the intercessory piece and you live in or near the Twin Cities, come and join us for the Racial Justice and Healing Prayer Meeting next Sunday. We are not only going to pray and ask God for direction in this moment, but we are going to ask God to heal the poisoned racist, soul of this nation.
Racial Justice and Healing Prayer Meeting
Sunday, December 28
6 – 7.30 p.m.
Church of All Nations
4301 Benjamin Street NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Hope you can make it! Spread the word even if you can’t.