Which Torch Will You Carry?

Lady Liberty beside torch-wielding white supremacists

Will we carry the torches of hate or the torch of Lady Liberty?

Our nation is at a tipping point. Racism, alas, is not new. It has at times been driven underground so that we who benefit from the privilege of our race didn't have to look at it. But it has been there, strategically ignored by too many in power. Ask any person of color of any economic background in any part of the country.

What has changed is not racism, but rather the open encouragement of it at the highest levels of our government. There is one actual Nazi (Sebastian Gorka) and two open white supremacists (Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller) serving in the President's inner circle--a President whose father was a member of the Klan and who himself has a history of housing discrimination.

The Attorney General was deemed too racist for the federal bench decades ago. Coretta Scott King wrote a letter back then that helped keep him from being appointed as a federal judge. When that letter was again being read at the confirmation hearing for his current post, it was silenced by the Senate Majority Leader.

In the months since January 20, the civil rights divisions of all agencies have been either weakened or eliminated. Policies that had begun to scratch the surface of racial inequities in the criminal justice system have been reversed, and the Department of "Justice" has withdrawn its support for cases of voter suppression making their way through the courts.

The President's "both sides" statement from yesterday is being cheered on white supremacy sites across the internet.

The horrors of Charlottesville provide us with a choice. Will we carry the torches of hate or the torch of Lady Liberty? Will we open the doors to the hellfire of white supremacy or will we take the light of Christ and banish the evil--not just in "them," but also in us? Which flame will we allow to burn in our hearts and throughout our lands?

Prayer is good. But God's intervention comes through us. We are the hands and feet of Christ in this world. Our prayers should not be simply for an end to racism. Our prayers should be for the courage to step up and end it ourselves. The light in New York harbor dims with every passing day. We must decide whether we will let it burn out or whether we have what it takes to renew the flame of liberty and justice for all.


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