A role for love in race discussions

Published 8:44 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What’s love got to do with it?

Should we really have to ask that question ever again after the love, grace and mercy shown by relatives of nine individuals gunned down by a hate-filled young man in Charleston, S.C.?

These nine Christian families showed the world what love truly means. They have proven in no uncertain terms just how beautiful people of God could be if only we loved one another as God calls us to. He does not compel us to do so — he allows us to choose to love or to hate.

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Love requires no permit, no special job or position, no examination, no special place to live. Whatever your race, creed or color — whether you are rich or poor, saint or sinner — God loves us all alike.

Let us pray that a few days of expressing regrets and apologies and removing the Confederate flag will not be all that’s done toward bringing genuine peace, love and equality throughout this nation. There must be a concerted effort by all who truly want to correct the evils that have existed for too long.

The removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse is only a small step in the right direction. Think of all the money wasted in practicing and encouraging hatred. Love is so sweet, consoling, meaningful and refreshing, and it’s the only way we can show others what God shows us at all times.

I invite everyone who has even the least bit of hatred in his heart to step outside of your comfort zone to experience something new. Step out on faith the size of a mustard seed, and you can rid yourself of this evil.

Take a moment to ask yourself if you find a difference in the way you feel toward blacks, if you are white, or toward whites, if you are black. All of us are guilty, to an extent, of some racial bias, because that’s what has been taught and practiced by society.

Those who have worked tirelessly to bridge the racial divide between blacks and whites have been handicapped by radical legislators who are wasting time and money fighting with one another instead of doing what is fair and right.

The agenda of many legislators is to deny African-Americans and other people of color as much as they possibly can. The fight continuously and vigorously to avoid raising the minimum wage, to ignore fair employment practices, to deny women equal pay and the right to make choices about their own personal health and to hire illegal workers for cheap labor.

The one thing we can learn from those who are so determined to be forever loyal to the Confederate flag is that we know how they think and who they are. That’s a good thing to know, because hatred is a personal choice, just as love is a personal choice.

We should all be mindful that we will have to answer to God sooner or later.

Ruby Walden is a lifetime resident of Suffolk. Email her at Wbyrdnst@aol.com.