July 23, 2010
NRAAC's National Chair
Dr. Jean Howard-Hill
National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] Blog
Racism in America, …We Have Got to Go There. Got to!
“I guess you can say, I just took my first sip of tea and now I know at least there can be some good found in what is being brewed, if only we can deal with it!”
Strangely enough, the Tea Party Movement has forced America to take a look at itself, by opening doors that require dialogue and a recognition that something is wrong in America. Among those doors opened is a much needed discussion on race.
A few months past, I blogged for the NRAAC, a series entitled: The National Republican African American Caucus Has It’s Say!: 18 Day Political Revival. During those eighteen plus days, I very openly dealt with the subject of race, just as an African American, I had attempted to do with the Republican Party going back to 2001. l even wrote a book about it, Black Eyes Shut – White Lips Sealed in 2004.
Now it is 2010, and still I am seeing those who are in denial, refusing to see that this is an issue which has to be addressed in America, if we are to go forth as a strong, united and healthy nation.
Maybe it is just the preacher in me, but each time I deal with this subject, the more I am convinced that racism is an issue of the soul. Because in my business, which is the business of redemption, saving, healing and maintaining of the soul, you gain expertise in the area of diagnoses, prognoses, treatment and prescription in caring for the human soul. Therefore, when it is sick, you cannot dance around this in denial. It is hard to ignore a diseased soul, when all of the symptoms are there and spilling over into society! The truth of the matter is that racism is a spiritual issue which first has to be dealt with by the spiritual institutions of society that includes the church. I never met a healthy soul, which did not require some sort of spiritual remedy to remain healthy.
I know there are those who will beg to differ, citing separation of church and state. But as a part of our political socialization, who we are spiritually, socially, economically, and even our education, where we were born, to whom we were born, how we are raised, all of this play a part in who we are.
Short of establishing a national religion, requiring that everyone believes the same, or forcing someone to believe against their will, one’s spirituality factors into who they are. There is no getting around this, nor should we try. There also is a recognition that there are some things which are best left to those spiritual elements of society to deal with, of which, if we neglect to do so, it will gravely impact government and society.
Whether we like it or not, racism is not an issue in which government should be the sole, or primary monitor. Government at best can legislate and attempt to enforce equality. But it is the inward soul, which has to be dealt with in order to provide a remedy for racism. It is not until brothers and sisters of kindred spirit, sit down at the table or kneel at the altar, acknowledge, confess, ask forgiveness, and forgive each other, that we are going to resolve America’s race issue. So who am I saying should step forward to provide a remedy for racism?
It is the spiritual institutions and elements of society!
It is those who have allowed racism to be manifested in spiritual doctrines of separatism, racial superiority and even hate.
The history of racism in America comes from the doctrine of the white church which taught that Whites were superior to Blacks. Therefore, Whites were created by God to be masters, and Blacks as slaves. Because of the doctrine of the Black race stemming from the curse of Ham and that one race is more favored by God than others, this became a foundational doctrine in some religious elements in our society overtly and even subliminally believed.
Historically it was the doctrine behind inferiority and ownership of slaves as mere property, which worked its way even into our Constitution through the “pursuit of happiness”. It provided an excuse for man’s inhumanity to man. This is the spiritual basis for the present racism in America. But as history has proven, this is an error in doctrine. However, for far too many years, this error has remained unchallenged and uncorrected by society – namely the church. Now this has become a doctrine so embedded within the foundation of some Christians, that to challenge it as being wrong is to require some to denounce their faith.
So no wonder when you hear some say, “God and Country”, you find what they truly mean is “God and Country to the exclusion of others”. This is what has caused the disease of the soul called racism. This is what keeps it alive, well nourished and even justifiable for some by way of the church.
When you believe this doctrine, it blocks the conscious from being pricked. It prevents the mind from rationally seeing and understanding that because of the sickness of the soul, the mind, the heart and even society are infected.
What do we do about it? We, the spiritual leaders of America, and more specifically the church, have got to go there! Got to!
As spiritual leaders, regardless of religious affiliation, we have to step forward at this troubling hour within our nation, acknowledge this as a spiritually created disease and provide the cure.
The cure is simple. It is affordable. It bears no fiscal note, nor does it add to the national deficit. It does not involve any form of taxation. It is not something which needs the force of law in order to be enacted or enforced. In fact, it is not anything that even can be legislated by Congress or through a Presidential Executive Order! It needs no interpretation by the Supreme Court. It is, what it is. The simple cure is LOVE!
The precedence set for it is found in two spiritual principles. Regardless of the color of one’s skin or nationality, age or gender, love others as you love yourself. Do to others, as you would like them to do to you. It is just that simple, and if those of us who claim we are spiritual leaders began to teach this within our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and ministries, those who attend and are participants within society would reflect a doctrine which by definition has no place for racism.
In turn, those who lead in government, who spring from a spiritual base which teaches the principle of love, would bear that fruit in government. The market place would be full of its fruit and before long, there would be no place within American society where the power of love does not bring healing, transformation, and unity of hearts, minds and souls.
But first, before this can take place, those within religious circles have to stop denying there is a race problem and be willing to revisit this from a spiritual as well as historical prospective. Even if it means opening up old wounds for a minute, if it is necessary in order to surgically remove the cancerous cells of racism, we have to go there. Because if we continue to skirt around this issue, pretend it does not exist, refuse to deal with it because some parishioners may not be comfortable with the subject, or because it is not politically expedient, then we will be the ones who will be held responsible for a nation which cannot find healing of the soul.
The bottom line is this. The responsibility of the soul rests with the spiritual institutions of society and not government! You cannot heal the land, until you first heal the soul! This means the spiritual leaders of America need to step up their game, come forth, assume our rightful duties, and do what we do best, which is redemption, saving, healing and maintaining of a healthy and loving soul.
I guess you can say, I just took my first sip of tea and now I know at least there can be some good found in what is being brewed, if only we can deal with it!
423-702-5622 NRAAC office
She has taught full time and as an adjunct, American Government, State and Local Government, and International Politics and Culture of Nonwestern Countries at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, and was voted 2006 Outstanding Professor of the year. Additionally, from 1976 to 1979, she designed and directed the "Democracy In Action" Program, which was a civics program taught in the local school systems. Howard-Hill also is a local political commentator and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Law. She also is ordained clergy and heads The Healing Place Ministries International, overseeing 47 ministries throughout Africa.
She also is a TN third district congressional candidate. If elected, she would be the first African American Republican and female to be elected from the third district. Her campaign website can be found at: http://ladyjforcongress.com and http://jeanhowardhillforcongress.com; http://jeanhowardhillcampaignnews.blogspot.com; http://blogwithladyjforcongress.blogspot.com; http://jeanhowardhillforcongress.ning.com; http://www.youtube.com/JHHCongress; http://twitter.com/ JHHCongress.]
More information on the NRAACcan be found at:
http://theblackolivebranch.blogspot.com [NRAAC National Chair's Blog]. Each State Caucus can be accessed by state. See related links at http://www.nraacaucus.org/index_files/Page816.htm. Also can be found on the RNC group page at http://our.gop.com/Groups/National_Republican_African-American_Caucus_NRAAC.