Suffice to say, the Trump campaign has evolved to become the level of appalling, representing some of the worst I have seen in American politics.
From declaring Mexicans to be rapists, to villainizing Muslims, it is a campaign that intends to evolve people’s insecurities into hate as some vain approach for political points. And as others have pointed out, the campaign may be over at some point, but the people that remain are the chaos that will be our country.
I was at work this week, unable to work, as I became emotionally distraught over the aftermath of what the Trump campaign is doing to people. It seems that his image has brazened the face of racism, xenophobia, and hate for our neighbor.
It is difficult to say with certainty what this will amount to, but I know that most of my heart is heavy and in need of encouragement. Thankfully, in the midst of such chaos, I found two encouragements that I wanted to share with friends who are disillusioned with the state of our country. And I hope it gives you hope in this hour.
First, I am thankful for my humble white friends.
When I read articles of KKK attending Trump rallies, when the language being thrown around are always geared negatively towards minorities, my honest immediate thought is ‘Wow, I hate white America.”
I hate seeing privileged people play a victim card and blame it on poor and powerless people. It makes me never want to travel to certain parts of our country where the color of my skin or the origin of my parents will evoke a sense of inferiority and even danger for my life.
And I’m Asian-American, with a decent set of privileges. I can’t even imagine life as a Black or Latino person.
Yet with that being said, I know that the people that are drawn out in this movements do not tell the whole story about white people. I will not do in my heart what Trump is trying to do–to paint a broad stroke over an entire people group with the paint of a few.
And with that being said, I am thankful for the white friends I have who are humble, race-conscious, privilege-aware, and who treat me as a dignified human being.
For every white fear-mongering other-hater, I know there are white people who have no share in that wickedness and stupidity. There are those who view this movement with as much disdain as those who are being victimized by it.
Let us resist what Trump wants to produce in us by embracing and honoring White people. To not villainize them even as we are being villainized. To pursue a perspective of hopefulness for our white neighbors, and not dispair.
I find solace knowing that I have great White friends. They love me and care for me. And I hope that if you’re reading, you have white friends in your life that will strengthen your hope as well. They’re out there, and they are not your enemies.
Secondly, I am zealous to be united with true brothers and sisters in the values of our faith.
Behind the man who punched the black man at Trump rally is one who apparently claims to adhere to the Bible.
It is then I realize this is not just a cultural issue but a spiritual one.
Religion is often a facade to cover up the true condition of our hearts. The dividing line is therefore not what one preaches but whether we exhibit characteristics of ‘being in the light’.
We are not united because we say we are Christian, but because we live like one. Anyone who does not love is not a Christian. It doesn’t matter what state you’re from, what church you go to, how many religious experiences you’ve had; whoever does not love is not a Christian.
It is seeing the opposite which incites me to gain clarity about what is the essence of our faith. It’s in seeing violence from “Christians” that I turn my head to my brothers and sisters wide-eyed and ask, “What is the essence of our faith?”
“Is it not forgiveness? Is it not grace? Is it not love for our neighbor? Those different from us? Even those who hate us? And are these not all things we’ve received from our great God?”
And so I will latch on your shoulder and declare, “Yes and so let us pursue these things. In Jesus’ name.”
This embrace I say to all who profess to follow Jesus. To my Black brother and sisters. To my white brother and sisters. To my Latino brother and sisters. To all who are different than me yet trying to follow Jesus.
And I will say to you, “There is always more that unites us than separates.” That despite this movement’s best efforts to divide, that to heal our nation is to run in the opposite spirit together, and to boldly represent the peace and unity our God taught us.
Raise your voices. Pursue peace and love. And let light of our faith outshine the pervasive darkness.