In my six years of working with foster children I have come in contact with people from black to white and every shade in between. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why we still cling to racial stereotypes and the hatred that follows. In my experience, there are no absolute traits that define the races. I have met just as many wonderful black foster parents who took in white siblings as wonderful white foster parents who took in black siblings. I’ve seen kids who defy any obvious racial characteristics and kids who seem to possess all the racial profiles, but only at first glance. Once I get to know them, all of my preconceived ideas are proven to be wrong, time and again. The only thing I can say absolutely is this, everybody everywhere is unique and given my willingness to treat them equally, I get treated about the same in return. When I accept them for who they are, they accept me for the man I am, a flawed individual who tries to do his share of the work.
I don’t have an ingenious idea for how America can solve its longstanding angst about race but I do know this much, if racism is the mountain we are asking God to move, then we all have to do our part. I’m glad I got out of white suburbia and made friends with people of all colors. And guess what, I didn’t have to go very far. There are lots of races living in suburbia and taking in foster kids. Their houses look just like my house and they have opened up their homes to kids from anywhere. That’s why racism is the most futile attitude anyone can possess. It doesn’t make any sense to categorize people by their color.
On the other hand, it makes perfect sense to categorize people by their prejudices. Bigotry is alive and well and living in every neighborhood but bigotry is always about perception not reality. Bigotry is the easy way out for those who choose not to know better. I have not been disappointed or deceived by any person of color who earned my respect these last six years. I only hope I earned their respect as well by being faithful to the cause of foster care. We all share the work equally and we do it in spite of the regulations imposed by the state. The people I work with know who we can depend on because we prove ourselves every day and we don’t need a bureaucrat to tell us how to do our jobs. It’s not hard to figure out, when we all just do our share and no amount of regulation is needed for us to succeed in helping these kids. We just do what the kids need, right then and there.
If there’s one thing we can all learn from this Christmas Day blog, it’s this, Jesus Christ showed us all exactly what it takes to move mountains with faith. All He asked was that we share the work of humanity equally among all the people of the world. I’ll be back at it again tomorrow, care to join me?
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