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Know Jack #283 Welcome Home, Jim Crow

“…a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present and get us past that idiot delusion of the exceptional Now that blocks good thinking.” John Dos Passos.

Black History Month is over. The rancor it inspired lingers on. The willful, blind hypocrisy of the celebration sows the seeds of hatred and division reminiscent of the late Jim Crow in that “idiot delusion” that bars good thinking.

Mr. Crow, you may remember, was the advocate of racial separation—separate bathrooms, separate entrances, segregated communities—well, everything to tell the truth. Clear recollection reminds us that Jim and his ideas were not supported by the parents and grandparents of those who today want separate but equal national anthems, histories, colleges and college funds, disciple/standards in schools, and set-asides in every area of opportunity.

Is the present generation so evolved; so better equipped spiritually, that they can handle the prejudice despised by their ancestors? That seems the case as the chief proponents of returning Mr. Crow from exile are those who continue to bewail loudest his birth.

I am a firm believer in Jesus’ command to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Now, modern thinkers take that to mean, allow your neighbor a free pass on his every error. God has, on at least one occasion, taken a different stance on what it means to grant one’s neighbor his desires.

On their exodus from Egypt, Israel proved themselves a querulous bunch. They had multiple complaints about how Moses was managing things—in God’s eyes this was a direct reflection on divine supply. God sent them bread from heaven—angel’s food. All that they had to do was go pick it up.

They demanded meat.

In this instance, God did not open up the earth and swallow the complainers, nor did he send poisonous snakes or a plague into the camp. He sent them their desire—quail. He sent them quail until it came out their nostrils. At the same time, He sent leanness into their souls.

What has that to do with racially separate activities? Just this—be careful what you wish for—you just might get it. The idea that we can toy with separateness as a means to an educated harmony is the worst kind of hypocrisy.

Years as a minister and a nurse have taught me that I will be ignored. They have not taught me to keep silent. So, I will repeat myself. Curing the perceived wrongs of the Now with the failed wrongs of the past is truly an idiot delusion that, if successful, only serves to replace one set of oppressors with another in an unending cycle of oppression, division, and hatred.

I’m picking on Black History Month because it just passed by. Division by any other name would smell as rancid. Perhaps that is the goal of those who preach glorifying racial, gender, religious, and lifestyle separateness. And, perhaps, the remedy is to give them their desire until it comes out their nostrils.


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