I went with some fabulous friends to the Fox Theatre on Friday night to see the movie 42.  If you live in Atlanta, and you have a chance, you should go to see a movie at the Fox this summer; it was super fun to watch a movie in that environment on a gigantic screen.  The movie 42, the true story of Jackie Robinson, was fantastic.  I love true stories, especially ones as raw and powerful as his.  The move contained a great deal of comic relief, but also told the sad and raw story of racism in the United States and the resolve of a few people to risk themselves as agents of change and inspire upcoming generations.  You see the best and the worst of humanity in a story like this.  

When I watch movies like this, there is this tendency to think, “how in the world could they think and act the way they did?”  How ignorant!  How horrific!  And then, I wonder...if I had been  born then, what would I have been like?  How would I, as a white middle-class person, have viewed African Americans?  I grew up in a profoundly segregated and racist town.  There was the private school, where all the white kids went, and the public school, where all the black kids went.  I remember my sister telling me, who was still in high school) when I was in my first year of college, that a black student enrolled at my old high school.  It was this crazy scandalous thing. And later my mother befriended this young black kid who had begun coming to my old youth group and people treated her horribly for it.  When the boy began coming to “big church” and decided he wanted it to be “his church” people went crazy. People would stop my mother in our neighborhood when she was walking and make the most ignorant, racist statements about the boy not belonging.  

There are far more differences within categories of “race” than there are between races.  If we stop and ask ourselves where ideas of racism and one group of people being some much less human than another, I think we are at a loss. I know that ultimately these sentiments are from the kingdom or darkness, but where do they come from in us. Logically, why do we think these things? The truth is we don't know. Many of these things are popular notions that have been passed down and we have no idea why we hold to them. I pray that racist notions, of any kind, are not found within me and I hope that if I had lived then, that I would know the difference between justice and injustice and that I would have acted as an agent of the kingdom of light and not of the kingdom of darkness.