Racism is evil

Racism is evil.

It shouldn’t need to be said, but sadly it does need to be said. And it needs to be said by white people.

Every member of the team at Jubilee+ is horrified by George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, and even more so at the systemic racism that seems unrelenting.

We are horrified that hate crimes against South and East Asians have increased by 21% in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

We are horrified that Black and Minority Ethnic people are more likely to die from or be critically ill with Covid-19 than white people.

This month, Jubilee+ was due to hold a workshop on race and racism with our friend Ben Lindsay, author of We Need to Talk About Race. One of the things Ben has said to me a number of times that I hadn’t previously understood is the need for white people to not just not be racist themselves, but to be actively anti-racism.

I’ve expressed to Ben my fear of saying the wrong thing, but he and others have helped me to understand that when I stay silent, as a white person with white privilege, I am complicit.

As Christians we believe that every single person is made in the image of God, and we are actively longing for the day when we will worship Jesus side-by-side with people from every nation, tribe and tongue.

So as Christians, we must not be silent. We must name the racism that is sadly so evident all around us. We must call it out for what it is. We must state clearly that it is evil and wicked. It is offensive to God, who made all humans in his image, and therefore it should be deeply offensive to us. We should carry a righteous anger over the killing of George Floyd, and all racism.

Jesus said his disciples will be known by our love. If we do not actively care about the injustice faced by black and minority ethnic people, then we do not love them. It’s as simple as that.

And if we say we care about justice, but only care about it when we’re the ones who are suffering and affected by injustice, then we don’t really care about justice at all.

We need to weep with those who weep, but that’s not enough. We need to soberly reflect on our own hearts, we need to earnestly seek God that we might understand our own privilege and the ways in which we might be complicit – even without knowing it – in the systemic and ongoing racism around us.

Speaking with one of my friends yesterday, she said: “I’m so tired of it, that I have to keep dealing with this. We want to know we’re not alone in this. I need to know you’re my ally.”

We need to pray, repent, listen, learn, call out racism for the evil that it is, and peacefully but unequivocally challenge it when we see it. We need to find ways to actively support our local black and minority ethnic communities – offer support and friendship, don’t wait for someone to ask.

We need to take a stand with those who face this deep-rooted injustice. We follow the God of justice, so we must be a people who care deeply about justice.