You know how there are some thing you've said your whole life and thought nothing of it, but then, someone says those words to you and they just don't settle right?
"God needed them more than we did." after someone close to you passes away.
"Everything happens for a reason." after someone breaks your heart.
Well, this phrase was one of those for me. I hear it tossed around in Facebook posts and Instagram captions on MLK Jr. day or Black History Month...
"I hope someday our children will be colorblind."
"I don't see differences. I'm colorblind."
"So many issues would be solved if we were colorblind."
But, here's the deal...I don't want my kids to be color blind.
Now, hear me here, I think people mean well by the idea of color blind-ness but it isn't real and I don't think it should be a goal. We all see color, and that's okay. In fact, it's really great. God didn't create each of us the same and instead of trying to disguise or hide that from my children, I want to celebrate it. There is no glory in trying to paint every race or gender the same, in fact, it's foolish and harmful.
If I were to tell my son, Titus (who we adopted at birth), that I see no color, I'd essentially be telling him that I see nothing unique or special in him. I'd be telling him that a way the Lord uniquely made him isn't worth my noticing; in fact, to me, he just blends in with everyone else. It's detrimental to the self esteem of a black child and it's detrimental to their pride of heritage and love of self. I want my Titus to be proud of who he is and all of the ways he is different.
But, here's what it really comes down to...the goal is not to become a color blind nation or raise a color blind generation, the goal is to be people who see color but have no preconceived notions, ideas, hate, or disgust toward it.
The first step toward that? Acknowledging the biases and racism in your heart. What caused those feelings? Who do you feel them about? Racism and biases are sin and should be treated as such. Find a safe place, a safe person you can talk through those issues with. Pray about your feelings, the state of your heart. Ask for forgiveness...from God and those who you may have wronged.
Next? Expand your circle. Open your mind and self to meeting people who are different than you, specifically those you've felt wrongly toward in the past. Pray that you have no preconceived notions or ideas about them, and celebrate who they are and how they are made differently.
We can be the generation, the people that Dr. King dreamed about, spoke about, wished for, and prayed for...but that doesn't come by trying to ignore differences; it comes by acknowledging them, accepting them, celebrating them, and walking hand-in-hand down the same road of reconciliation.