Racism is Bad, But Lawlessness is Worse

From Dr. Mark Creech:

Prejudice, said Mark Twain, “is the ink with which all history is written.” [1] We’re certainly feeling the import of these words with the Michael Brown case in Ferguson and the Eric Garner situation in New York. Riots, looting, entire city blocks burned to the ground and abundant protests have resulted. The charge leveled by many and the justification given for the disorder is racism.

Racism is a terrible thing. Alveda King provides an excellent definition, arguing, “Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It’s a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated.” [2]

Wherever we see racism and prejudice described in the Scriptures, it’s always colored with condemnation. Whether it’s the Egyptians’ hatred and oppression of the Jews, Jonah’s bigotry of the Ninevitites, the Jews detesting the Samaritans, Peter’s unwillingness to share the Gospel with the Gentiles, the notion of racial superiority is inconsistent with the grace of God and His commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Certainly racist attitudes continue in various ways and degree. Although the Civil Rights movement did much to improve the racial divide in this country, it didn’t eradicate the problem.

Most would concede these points. But for this author, despite the common cry that the circumstances surrounding both Brown and Garner and the resulting chaos are about race, there is no direct connection. There is, however, in both cases an absolute connection to lawlessness, which I suggest is the root of the matter.

In his famous commencement address at Harvard University in 1978, Alexander Solzhenitsyn cautioned us as to a deeper problem facing our country both then and now. Solzhenitsyn said, “Indeed sometimes the warnings are quite explicit and concrete. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.” [3]

The counsel in Solzhenitsyn’s speech didn’t deal with surface issues, but went straight to the core. He declared it was time for citizens to think less about human rights and more about human obligations. He argued the time had come for citizens to take responsibility for themselves and their own behaviors, and that all people, every class and race, should stop looking for the government to save them. [4]

Read more: BarbWire.com