I, Racist
John Metta

The very tenor of this sermon is racist. The assumption is that, If I am white, I am part of a racist system, and I am therefore racist. I admit that I have the advantage of being white in a system that does discriminate, but several things tell me that I am not racist. 1) I choose my friends based on who I like without regard for race, sexual orientation or any other damn thing that people have no control over. You treat me right, and I will go out of my way for you. 2) I was a HS teachers in a primarily white suburban district. I had several situations where I had to choose students for honors, the sort that follow you to college and on to a job. I did that based on what I saw as student potential. More often than not, that student was a minority, not always black, because they were the best suited. The only students I ever had get into Princeton were black, and one of only 2 that got into Harvard was black. One wanted to do cancer research & one wanted to work on civil rights. Both are important endeavors, and it is not my place to judge, just to help them reach their goal. One of my black students started as a football jock, but discovered he had academic talent as well, and became my boss. I accepted him based on position, and he treated me as a professional, but if there was a point of contention over a procedure, there was no question in either of our minds who was the boss. I had no problem with that.

Sure I had the advantage of not facing the same level of discrimination. Part of my ancestry was Irish, who were also sold as slaves. Part is Native American. My family came from indentured servants. I don’t pride myself on having gay or black friends. I have friends who happen to be black or gay or Italian, or Muslim, or whatever people discriminate against. If you are going to make negative comments about my friends, you are not going to be invited back. I have had white friends make racist comments at my house. They are the ones not invited back. I work through my church to help the poor. It doesn’t matter to me who needs help.

But to call me a racist because I am white is a turn off. You will not be counted among my friends, ever, if you put my ethnicity above my soul. I will offer my hand in friendship first at any gathering or meeting. If you put conditions on accepting my friendship, it is never going to get past the minimum we must deal with for whatever business we must conduct. For you to tell me that I have been placed into a classification based on my race tells me that you will not fit into my circle of friends. Jesus said to love one another as he loved us. The parable of the Good Samaritan tells us to accept people who are not part of our personal traditional social structure. I have lifted up students without regard to race. I have pushed students beyond what they thought they could do. I have had blind students, deaf students students with all kinds of disabilities, and I forced them to do their best. I have raised funding for people without regard to race or sex. And yet, you assume that I am racist because of a background over which I had no control, just as you had no control.

When people learn to associate with other people as individuals, instead of as groups, we can defeat racism. This includes police, Donald Trump, and you. Until then, a racist rant on your part is not likely to change anything.

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