Friday, February 10, 2006

Racial Prejudice

Yet another article from the LAST issue of Infinite Matrix...

As far back as 1976, living in Southern California, I had started believing that thanks to Martin Luther King jr., the Flower Children and the Jesus Movement, racial prejudice was a thing of the past -- until I heard differently from my black friends. A white person like me just doesn't hit the walls or get the looks that black people do, so I would have gone on living in blissful ignorance.

A further observation: I would have never realised how many barriers there are towards Asians in Northern Ireland -- even within Christian groups that emphesise experience with the Holy Spirit -- had I not been living here married to a Thai person. It's been an uphill battle for my wife to make any friends here. She normally doesn't have trouble making friends -- she has plenty of those in Thailand, both Thai and Western. One difference there is that most of her Western friends are YWAM missionaries -- a mission that emphesises healing from blockages that would come in the way of relationships. Here, we are living in a small out-of-the-way town. I suppose Belfast would be more open, being a bit more cosmopolitan. My wife notes that many people she sees don't seem to have close friends -- period -- so she sometimes goes out of her way to reach out to some of these. We do have a few good friends now, but we plan to move back to Thailand later this year (but not for the negative reason of rejection of Asians here, but for a possitive one, to get involved in the work there).

Anyway, Pam Noles' article is a good read. It's about her growing up with a love for Science Fiction, as a black girl, despite the fact that very few characters were black, or even brown.

Among the things I would never have noticed (until I read the Pam' article), is that the very first episode of Starwars, which I saw back about 1976 or so, has not a single black actor. A few different shaped beings, yes, but not a single brown or black skinned human. In the entire "galaxy far far away", not a single back or brown person appears until the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, and even then it's not a character the black community can be proud of.

Even where writers like Ursula K. Le Guin have cast their characters in black and brown, the Hollywood television and film industry still insists on painting them white.

It's sad that the church, far from being the force for sharing healing love and breaking down those barriers, like we've been called to do, remains one of the most segregated institutions on earth ... something to seriously pray about ... and act on like our lives depended on it. Yeshua is coming back for a bride without spot or blemish, and according to the book of James, this is a major-major blemish.

Anyway, read away...

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