19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
– James 1 (KJV), Bible
Rashness – Acting or tending to act too hastily or without due consideration. – Dictionary.com
Of all people I expect to understand the above admonition, someone serving in the office of Pastor, Preacher, Priest, Reverend or similar, would be at the top of the list.
The sad truth though, is this is anything but reality.
By way of example I was on social media today, and unwisely clicked on a link where a pastor was allowing as how he “Walked out on” the mayor of his city because the aforementioned referred to him (and others) as being, “You people.”
In this particular case, the pastor in question happened to be of African family (at least sufficiently so to be “identifiable as such” in his video).
The problem? I’m quite sure he assumed the mayor in question was making his comment with regard to Americans of African heritage. What did the mayor have in mind when he made the statement in question? I have no idea.
The pastor was sure he knew. Yet when I consider the position of the mayor, I’m far from sure he did.
Is it possible the pastor’s assessment was correct? Certainly! Will the pastor ever know? Assuredly not!
The pastor apparently chose—instead of asking what the mayor “meant by” his statement, or listening to what more the mayor had to say—to walk out on the meeting and make a video that he hoped would “go viral” instead.
There are those who believe it’s never appropriate to group folks together. I disagree with those individuals.
Fact is, when you have a group of people who tell you more or less exactly the same thing, it’s entirely reasonable to conglomerate those folks together as a result of that belief or statement.
You have to be careful, since it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming that because they’re kindred in some regard, they will share other perspectives or ideals as well. This is obviously a misconception. It may even prove itself to be largely accurate, but even so, it’s not fair to say it was reasonable to presuppose its truth as a rule.
That having been said, were I a betting man, it would be my wager that the mayor in this case, was talking about people who shared the same belief of beliefs, not “people of color” generically.
I count myself Conservative in my views, and folks of my ilk (read here, “you people”) are routinely demonized for our lack of tolerance and acceptance of folks of a variety of types.
If you haven’t heard the things of which we’re accused, I have to ask whether you’re a space alien, or living under a rock. I know, I know, Liberal folks have similar issues—that is, being accused of all having the exact same set of core beliefs of one sort or another, a thing which is obviously not the case.
Here’s the thing, where my primary “hero” is a Jew, name of Jesus (called Christ), I have a number of folks I look up to, who are African by family. There are some I respect, but with whom I don’t agree (Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Barak Obama). There are some I respect, but who I feel have some “growing to do” (Mia Love, Candace Owens). There are some I agree with in some ways and don’t in others (Dr Ben Carson, Bill Cosby, Dr Martin Luther King JR). And a few who I agree with relatively completely (Walter E Williams, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Allen West). These individuals are in groups that are completely unrelated to their supposed “race.”
This is equally true for folks for who I have little respect, or like very little (Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton). I dislike them not based on the “color of their skin,” nor their familial origin, but because of what they support and represent.
I could easily go into detail on any one of the persons mentioned herein, but haven’t the time to do so in this article.
The point here is, my allegiances, my agreements and disagreements are not based on skin tone, or from where your family “originated.” Rather, they’re based on what I see them to be saying and doing.
If I had to guess, I would tend to reckon the mayor in question was thinking along the same lines when he said what he said.
I would go so far as to say, I would be surprised to hear that he didn’t “lump” people of African family in with folks who believed likewise to them, but were of European or Asian (or other) lineage.
If this is indeed the case, I think it reasonable to assume that his “grouping” was on some basis other than “race.”
Were I to attempt to divine what the basis of is grouping was, it would be the ideas and ideals the folks in question support in an ongoing way.
The ultimate point is, the assumption that the pastor mentioned at the beginning of this article was making was almost certainly false. Further, that supposition was—intentionally or not—almost certainly “racist” (inasmuch as I can support the use of the term at all, which isn’t very far).
And the fact is, if I’m correct about the mayor being considered, since his statements were almost certainly based on ideas and ideals, not color of skin or ethnic origin, his statements almost certainly were not “racist.”
But my bigger concern is the apparent rashness with which the pastor passed judgment on the mayor.
Yet again, out of any person on the face of the Planet, the one I would expect to be least likely to be rash, would be a Christian “authority.” This is yet more true if that person is one who is likely to be treated badly on basis that presuppose things that aren’t necessarily true, based on their “race.” This too, is inappropriately “rash.”
So, putting a point on what I’m saying, people need to come to a place where they refuse to support a “position of rashness” in any but a very few (usually emergent) situations.
As usual, may your time be good, and thanks for reading.