Friday, August 12, 2016

What should the Catholic response to racism be?

  My own ancestry is a complex mix, but heavily American Indian.  In the United States, tribes are divided into two major groups, State Recognized tribes (which is what much of my family is, apparently) and federally recognized tribes.  So why is this important?  Well, because Indian country is full of racism against state recognized tribes.  Take for instance, any state recognized tribe.  There will always be a federally recognized tribe accusing them of ancestor stealing.  The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has a "fraudulent Indian task force", which would be fine, if it's purpose was to identify fraudulent Indians.  But it's not.  It's to enforce discrimination against aboriginal people that, according to the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, are American Indian.  So, the Cherokee Nation believes that there are only three Cherokee tribes, even though some state recognized tribes are much larger and have not asked for federal recognition.  So why do I bring this up?  Well, I live in an area of the country that is no stranger to racism.  I love where I live,  but it is not perfect by any means, and it does have a tradition of racism.  Recently, we've been seeing a lot of the "black lives matter" on the News and what not, and that's true, all lives matter, including the lives of the unborn.  But how do we solve the issues with racism from the Christian perspective?  Well, a Baptist friend of man who has since married a black male, was told by her sister that the Bible was against racial mixing (mind you, in Biblical times, when the OT translates the word race it is closer to ethnicity), and I said if that were true, why did Ruth (who was not an ethnic Jew) marry into the Jewish people?  Not only that, I mean, scientists are pretty sure the biological concept of race doesn't exist, and I tend to agree.  Pope Pius XI even wrote that there is only one race "the human race".  Maybe the issue is (and I am not saying you shouldn't have a modest amount of pride in your ancestry) that we do still judge by the colour of skin and not by the content of character.  Maybe, one day, when we all decide to live as brothers, this racism will end, and I hope for that day, and I hope you do too.