I have watched, read and listened to all the talk about Michael Richards racial meltdown last week. Now I’m ready to wade into the hype. I have to say of the bat, I was never a fan of Seinfield; (it always amazed me that as with Friends all these people could be so active in NYC and not come into contact any black folks.) So I don’t have any love lost for Kramer.
So even as my state of MI passed a proposition to end affirmative action, this kind of stuff illustrates why we need to talk about race. There is so much latent racism in our culture and people think that if it doesn’t come in the form of a man in a pointed hood and robe or a cross on a lawn it is not racism.
It is absolutely amazing to me that Richards could go on Letterman and say “I’m busted up about this.. because I am not a racist” after what came out of his mouth. I can’t even say that. This betrays the hidden racism and ignorance that continues to permeate our dealings with each other. Like the folks in MI that voted to end affirmative action saying things have changed so we don’t need it any more or an emerging church leader thinking that because a couple of black folks have bee given positions in government that means that they have more privilege than he. Then there are all the folks who expect Richards to be able to call Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton and have every be alright because he apologized to them. Props to Al Sharpton for not going there.
Let me say this as clearly as I can. We cannot be the church of Jesus Christ until or unless we confront the sin of racism that exists in our churches and our culture. All the good theology in the world won’t mean anything if we don’t wade into this issue.
in a side note Bob Hyatt says that Brian Mclaren will stop doing outside speaking engagements
but will begin to put on his own events with speakers drawn from a more racially, geographically and…uh.. genderally diverse group
I am anxious to see how this goes.