We’ve all heard traumatic stories from those who have been impacted by racism and discrimination. In this article, let’s learn how we can better understand those who have experienced racism.
Assess your heart
In the recent racism article on Biblereasons.com, we are reminded that racism should break our hearts. If racism doesn’t affect us and if our hearts are callous towards it, then we should make an honest assessment of ourselves. Why are we not affected by the burdens of others as we should be? Are we sometimes silent against racism and prejudices because it doesn’t affect us? I believe assessing our heart is important for a plethora of reasons. One reason is because it encourages us to challenge ourselves because we are preparing our heart to attempt to understand and empathize with others.
Listening is an extremely powerful tool. We’re always prepared to give a response. We’re always ready to give a rebuttal. It is easy for people to speak. However, I believe most people struggle to listen. This is especially true when it comes to controversial topics such as racism. One of our main issues when we discuss the topic of racism is that we talk too much and we disregard the claims of others. It’s unfortunate that we run to our circles when hot topics arise. Instead, we should ask ourselves, are we genuinely opening our ears to what others have to say? When I say are we genuinely opening our ears, I mean, are we listening to hear the other person out, or are we listening to respond and minimize how the other person may feel? Are we unknowingly deciding in our mind how we feel someone else should feel? Let’s strive to become proficient listeners. Listening is one of the most loving things that we can do to others.
In anything that you are trying to understand better, you have to educate yourself. I encourage you to take the time to do thorough research. There are several ways to educate yourself. You can read and watch tons of helpful documentaries. Also, you can learn from others. Talk to people of different races who are willing to share their experiences. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable because there is a strong chance that might happen. I encourage you to take time to truly process the things that you have learned and the thoughts that you may feel.
Be a friend
Are you building relationships with people of the opposite race? I believe most people if they’re honest, tend to build friendships with people who look like them. This needs to change! We should be willing to step out of our comfort zone and pursue all races equally. I’m not saying that our mindset should be, “I need to find a black friend to fit my quota.” I’m saying that our love for others should see past the color. We should be willing to pursue genuine friendships with all people equally.
If you love someone, then you genuinely want to know more about them. Care enough to celebrate someone else’s culture. Show that you’re interested enough to be intentional in your efforts to understanding how others feel. When you love someone, you want to know what make them who they are. If something bothers them, it bothers you. If something hurts them, then it hurts you as well. Romans 12:15 reminds us to, “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Love meets people where they’re at. We might struggle to truly understand someone who is experiencing racism. However, our deep love for one another is going to be what helps us in that struggle.