FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, June 7, 2020
balooy2k@gmail.com
Arizona, USA
HOW TO DISMANTLE INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM IN AMERICA

"Let your prosocial behavior model their antisocial behavior - Yahaya Balogun

eed your enemy when he is hungry; give him water to drink when he is thirsty. You shall reap gold on his head. I am attempting to paraphrase this vintage Bible verse.

The ugly events in the last few months in the United States and around the world have triggered a crucial conversation and thought process in the minds of every inquisitor. While we are scampering for isolation, lockdown, and safety from the menace of COVID-19 pandemic, the bad eggs in one of our law enforcement agencies have induced our psyches with additional trauma of endemic and systemic racism in America. Everyone (White, Black, Asian, and Brown) is now emotionally charged and tensed after witnessing the racial injustices; the avoidable and prevailing circumstantial ugliness (racism) in our society.

With due respect to my intellectual and quintessential Pastor Ezekiel Ojo of the Solid Rock Redeemed Christian Church of God, we want to humbly indulge in his pastoral teachings to help us unpack and explain this paraphrased inspiring verse from the Holy Bible. This may help to educate society and blossom some of us who are witnesses to God's abundance and unconditional grace in our lives! While we do God's bidding every day, God’s grace prevails to bless us and assail the minds of evil-doers and evil-minded people around us!

At this reassuring time, Pastor Ojo’s pastoral help may unearth the paraphrased Bible’s verse above to assuage the minority’s ordeals from the hands of a minority of the majority in America. As a Muslim, I have benefited immensely from the juxtaposition of the verse with the first Hadith, says: “man shall be judged according to his intentions.” The Bible verse above is a verse my senior sister gave me from the Holy Bible more than three decades ago. We can feed the famished (immoral) minds of enemies when they lack moral decency and use the potency of biblical words to soothe the paucity of indecent minds in society. The Bible and Hadith verses have morally equipped this writer to be cordially responsible for the discernment of the real, unreal, and imagined enemies around him. I have used the Bible verse in my entire life to deal with the frenemies, bigots, racists, and resentful individuals! The verse of the Holy Bible works like magic or a miracle! Anyone can use it as a weapon of grace to deal with the bad individuals in our society.

In reality, how do you morally defend injustice and feel at peace with your mind? How do you explain a society you profess with unflinching love, support, unfettered optimism, opportunities, and exceptional qualities to the outside world? It is very disheartening to see a nation you love with grace and example of man humanity to man transforms into a society etching to a society with man inhumanity to man. America will bounce back. There is an urgent need for our society to redirect its walks, and walk away from a famished road to chaos. While we are expressing our agonizing emotions, we must exercise self-control, and be responsible for approaching the issues about racial injustice in America with caution and sincerity. Prophetically, this is where the Bible’s premise paraphrased in the opening of this article comes to play and crucial. When your enemies are doing the wrong things; do not bring yourself to their level. When they go low; you must make every attempt to go high. Let your prosocial behavior models their antisocial behavior. Let the totality of your human mind, consciousness, and unconscious be at the bay area to conscientize the racists and haters.

Moreover, we are all human beings; because we are all human beings with inalienable rights, therefore, while all lives matter, Black lives matter, too. It is pertinent to appeal to all the stakeholders in this turbulent period to be considerate, understanding smart, and mature. We must use the impeccable Bible and Hadith verses espoused above to feed the inhumane and moral deficiencies being exhibited by haters and resenters in our clime. The arresting and perpetrating four officers who killed George Floyd are now cooling off in their own once upon a time police net. The heinous crimes and modern-day the lynching of the unarmed black people must not go without the perpetrators facing the consequences of their bestial actions. In this 21st-century modernization, these patterns of primitive irresponsible behavior must stop. When justice seems not to have been done in the face of prevalent injustices, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are usually enabled to commit more of lynching in another day.

Undoubtedly, there is institutional racism in America. There are surreptitious frenemies in your families, and at your workplace, you just pay close attention to them. This is the best time to have honest conversations and understanding to resolve the stereotyped and endemic institutional racism in America. The intrinsic bias against the black people in America must be dismantled to bring closure to 401 years of racism and implicit bias against the black generations of Americans. Let us activate the peaceful legacy and campaigns of the late Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. to ease the troubled and disturbed minds.

There is nothing wrong with us to boldly expose the racial injustices against the minority of Black Americans. But we must always walk a fine line, and not to be implicitly biased to generalize and stigmatize our decent white brothers and sisters of racism in America. There are so many White folks who are very uncomfortable with the generational bias and treatments of their Black folks. The stereotyped nuance of the “superiority complex” of the white majority should not be a license on the perceived "inferiority complex" of the black minority. In this auspicious time, it is important to begin honest conversations with an honest understanding to eradicate the menace of institutionalized racism everywhere.

Salaam, Peace, and Shalom

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