Resilient Racism

Resilient Racism


I subscribe to ESPN magazine as I am somewhat of a sports junkie.  The most recent edition did a wonderful job of celebrating fanhood.  They had articles on football fans, basketball fans, baseball fans, and fans of all types. 

One of the features was a poll done of fans all over the country.  They asked fans a variety of questions about their favorities and how they express their support.  One of the questions asked if you, the fan had every shouted a racial epitath directed at the opposing team, at a sporting event.  I was shocked that 11% of all the respondents claimed that they had.

Lets think about this for a minute.  If 11% are brave enough to admit that they have used a racial epitath at a sporting event, at least twice as many, I would suspect have done so but will not share it on a survey.  In addition, that does not include people who have not used a racial epitath at a sporting event, but do use them in everyday conversation.   People only use racial epitath publicly in environments where those statements are accepted.  Reflect on that last statement for a second.

Despite significant progress in addressing racism in America, it is important to realize that it is incredibly resilient.  Its presence is foundational in many structures and institutions in America.  I am not suggesting that I see racism in every structure, but that often there are racist assumptions based upon stereotyping.

I wondered what my response would be if I was sitting next to a fan that used a racial epitath to describe others?  Would I have the courage to speak up, the grace to "love the racist, hate the racism", and the resolve to inspire better.  I hope so. 

Will you take responsibility to end racism, sexism, and any other xenophobic violence by asking God for the courage to be a peacemaker wherever your sphere of influence lands.

God bless you,

Pastor M Traylor