Friday, February 26, 2016

How Far Have We Come?

Micah 6:8 (NIV) “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

How far have we come, not very far. Let’s see, last night we watched Long Walk Home with Whoopie Goldberg and Sissy Spacek, about the segregation of blacks in America and what it took to change. The other night we watched Railway Man about a POW in a Japanese Camp. I can’t say too much about this movie but I know, if you watch either of these movies you walk away feeling the ignorance that has led you in life. Maybe you don’t even realize the depths of your prejudice but it is there, to some extent.

Why do people call segregation a movement when nothing moves forward or a concentration camp when it’s not camping?

I’ll tell you why because man has been coloring his words so they don’t look racist or prejudice. When you can hate blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Polish, German, Muslim what are you hating? Do you despise a person’s color, religion, ethnicity, a difference from you? We are all different so do you hate yourself for hating? Of course not, you love yourself for your stoic stance and are quite proud of the person that you’ve become, you’re a Christian, right?

Did you know there were Japanese concentration camps in America at one time? Some will say Concentration Camp is the wrong term to use but did you know that F.D.R himself called them Concentration Camps? Someone remarked that this was ‘a stain on our history’. A stain?

Stain definition:
- a discoloration produced by foreign matter having penetrated into or chemically reacted with a material; a spot not easily removed.
-a natural spot or patch of color different from that of the basic color, as on the body of an animal.
-a cause of reproach; stigma; blemish:
a stain on one's reputation.

One blemish on our history? Among how many other ‘stains’?

The Japanese Concentration Camp is another post on facebook that caught my attention and I had to do some researching on this to see if it was the truth because I was never taught this in school. Not one to be fascinated in history here lately I am finding myself very fascinated, I should say shocked by history. 

This stood out to me:
“The order set into motion the exclusion from certain areas, and the evacuation and mass incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast, most of whom were U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.”

The Japanese Concentration Camps began in 1941, and we progressed. Are we going to call slavery a stain also? Just because the British thought beating slaves into working for them in the 18th century, those other white men that came to America followed suit? Why did this ‘stain’ of slavery last so long? Abraham Lincoln TRIED to make amends by ending slavery but man did not allow that to happen because white man was and is an ignorant being clinging to the ME factor, it’s all about ME, my pride in self and my boasting!

In 1955 the African American’s like Rosa Parks, were still struggling with the hatred of the white man. And to this day, the ‘stain of American history’ is still here as you can see across the country in protests and riots.

Last year I found myself more curious about Auschwitz – the Nazi German Concentration Camps. I did learn about these heinous acts in school but very little and not to the extent I found myself diving into last year and not just through Wikipedia either. Site upon site, YouTube and anywhere else I could go. 

I was reading the news about a man, of former S.S. guard Oskar Groening, 93 who was being tried for his part in the atrocity. Here’s a man who is about to die himself, being tried for crimes he committed in his youth. He was a bookkeeper and sentenced to four years in jail. 

I found myself seeking information in depth on what happened and why. While America has a list of worst moments in history, none compare to Nazi Germany because we’re above frying people, right? We are not above enslaving people, torturing and abusing men and women, condemning people for their sex, religious beliefs or building a wall to keep people who don’t fit into what we want here, out! How long before we place illegal citizens and ALL Muslim people in concentration camps? That would be fine by you, right?

Can you imagine if the Native Americans had built a wall and didn’t let the ignorant white man onto their land? We would not be here. Such as it is, we are in the here and now fighting the exact same things over and over continuing to ‘stain our history’ as if stains are okay and can be removed. 

Before you condemn me for what you might see as a finger-pointing post please try to understand that I am trying to grasp why there is so much hate in the world and why abhorrence of your fellow man has become an acceptable way of life. All I need to do is look at history; I can see how far we have NOT come. 

Job 3:5 “Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.”

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