The Good White People (Letter 21)


racismDear Y.B.M.:

As I write to you about how to handle prejudice and racism in this great country of ours, allow me to quickly say here that, if God blesses you with some good white friends, give Him thanks. Just as there are bad white people, and bad black people for that matter, there are also some good white people in this country.

Don’t let anybody fool you, if it had not been for the Lord using some good white folks behind the scenes, many successful and notable black people would not have attained the success they have attained. Now, before you take that as a negative statement, please understand that it is a true statement. Many of the notable black people in this country, past and present, did not necessarily pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Some have, but most have had some help from some good black people and some good white people. Watch this:

1. Harriet Tubman had much help from some good white people on the underground railroad.

2. What would Frederick Douglass have done without his white abolitionist supporters?

3. Thank God for the good white people in Phillis Wheatley’s life.

4. Would slavery have ended if it had not been for the force of William Wilberforce?

5. Would Spelman College and Morehouse College have so superbly educated our best and brightest, including Martin Luther King, Jr., without some good white people? By the way, these historically black colleges are named after some good white people who made these fine institutions possible.

6. Even though Martin Luther King, Jr. led the way in the Civil Rights movement, there were many good white people who stood behind him and supported him with their prayers, presence, money, and some even with their lives.

7. And, finally, where would Barack Obama be with his historic run for the presidency without millions of good white people supporting him, against all odds?

Dear Y.B.M., please do not get into the mindset that all white people are out to get you. Even though I would encourage you to be “wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove”, when it comes to racism and prejudice in this country, be open to God using some good white people in your life, to open some doors for you that otherwise would not be open, and vice-versa.

Thank God for the good white people.

Yours for being wise,

Daniel

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

John Hope Franklin said, “We know all too little about the factors that affect the attitudes of the peoples of the world toward one another. It is clear, however, that color and race are at once the most important and the most enigmatic.”

Cornel West said, “A fully functional multiracial society cannot be achieved without a sense of history and open, honest dialogue.”

Margaret Atwood said, “I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race and that we are all members of it.”

On Your Relationship With Your Father (Letter 9)

Father and teenage son standing outdoorsDear Y.B.M.:

Proverbs 17:6 says, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Ephesians 6:2 says, “Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.”

In your adolescent years, you will probably be tempted to rebel against your father and to disrespect him. May I encourage you not to yield to that temptation because all it will bring you is trouble. Whatever the situation with your father, whether he does right or not, still honour him as your father, and you will be blessed for doing so. Continue reading

Respect for God (The Man in the Mirror #11)

Today, I want to talk to you about the matter of Respect — particularly respect for God.

Aretha Franklin once sang a popular song titled “Respect.” The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield was famous for saying, “I can’t get no respect.” Perhaps you have been told to have self-respect. I am sure there are people you have respect for and people whom you would like to have respect from. However, the only way you will have a proper understanding of respect is if you have a healthy respect for God. That is what we will discuss today and in our next few broadcasts.

The Bible uses the term “fear” to describe respect for God. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” This fear does not mean being afraid of God. Rather, it means having a healthy respect and reverence for God because of His holiness.

Fear of God, or respect for God, is closely tied to obedience. If we have the proper respect for God, we will obey Him in our everyday lives. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Just as God hates sin, respect for God will lead you to hate sin and the consequences that come from sinning. And that respect will keep you out of a whole lot of trouble along the road of life.

Fear of God, or respect for God, is also tied to the gaining of wisdom and knowledge. People have a tendency to become proud from the knowledge or education that they gain. Even though each of us will only learn about a tiny fraction of all that there is to learn about the universe, we will be tempted to become puffed up with the little knowledge that we have. Having knowledge without a proper respect for God (who knows all things) is foolish. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Realize that no matter how much you study, you will never come close to knowing all that there is to know. However, since God is omniscient (all-knowing), He demands and deserves our respect.

Finally, today, notice that fear of God, or respect for God, is the foundation of self-respect and respect for others. Why? Because you and every other person in the world is made in the image of God. You and every other person in the world carries God-given potential, dreams, and destiny. Never look down on yourself or on anyone else. Never belittle your gifts and talents or the gifts and talents of others.

When you have respect for God, you can have the proper respect for yourself and others.

We will take more on this matter of respect in our next episode.