I'm Not Racist, But...

I'm Not Racist, But...

You and whatever you are about to say is definitely racist.

As a person of color, I can describe the emotions that take over me when I hear the words "I'm not racist but...". Nothing good can ever come out of this phrase. If you ever feel yourself about to utter these words in a sentence, stop. You know why? Because whatever you are about to say is absolutely, positively racist. No matter how much you convince yourself you treat people of color equally, or you respect people of color if you have said the phrase "I'm not racist but..." you don't, and you are. Enjoy some of the best "I'm not racist but..." statements that have been blessed upon me recently.

"...but why does everything have to be about race?"

In the current state of our country, police brutality, racism, and race, in general, has become a hot topic. It is important for people of color to speak up about issues that are affecting us. If we don't speak us who will? Who will be our voice if we are all silent?

"...but I wouldn't date a black person"

There are many reasons for why you may choose not to date someone, but if you're reasoning is because of their race - that's an issue. That is indeed discrimination because you are treating a person in a biased way due to their race.

"...but slavery is over, get over it."

This kind of ties back to my first point. Yes, slavery is over and people of color have more rights than ever, but that does not mean that we have attained equality. Until people of color are viewed and respected by all in the same way that white people are, we will keep speaking up about the injustices we face on a daily basis.

"...but I should be able to say the n-word"

I don't care how society has rebranded the n-word to make it "mean something different". The word still personally offends me. It make me uncomfortable when ANYONE says the n-word. Even as a person of color, I do not feel comfortable saying the n-word. The fact that you feel as if it should be ok for you to say that word ever is wrong, there is so much negativity tied to that single word - why would you even want it to be a part of your vocabulary?

"...but America is for Americans"

It should be noted that people of color include the Hispanic and Muslim populations. If you claim to 'not be racist' yet you are restricting the freedom that our country provides, the freedom that was created by immigrants should be restricted. There is no good reason that you can give me that justifies keeping races of people outside of out country. Yet again that is called discrimination.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Humans: Not for Sale

I refuse to look the other way when others are suffering.

The flourishing life is something that most people thirst and strive for, but never actually feel satisfied in attaining. This is because their interpretation of the flourishing life does not align with reality. Many do not know, want to believe, or understand that a relationship with the one, true living God is integral to their flourishing as human beings. The best way to explain the flourishing life is by expounding on the Hebrew word “shalom”. Shalom means peace and it originates from a root signifying wholeness and completion. It is the deep longing for the best of another. Shalom is the way God intended things to be, so the flourishing life involves shalom. As God’s beloved creation, every human being has intrinsic value.

We are all image bearers of our Creator.

From the very beginning, God created us in His image and poured His love into us. Yet, as a result of the fall, we have disregarded who we are in Christ.

Humans have been marred and have forgotten this intrinsic value that comes from being made in God’s image. Evidence of this is how some people are dehumanizing others through human trafficking. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery where human beings are controlled and oppressed for profit. Offenders often use force or deceptive coercion to ascertain power over their victims. Even though human trafficking is defilement to both national and international laws, it remains a booming criminal industry.

According to the International Labour Organization, this disturbing business typically generates about $150 billion profits per year. Sexual exploitation and forced labor are the two most commonly known forms of human trafficking. Sex trafficking is a profitable sex act that occurs by use of force, fraud, or oppression; including the sexual exploitation of minors. Women and young girls make up a shocking 55% of victims of sex trafficking and a one in five are under 18 years old. Forced labor is any instance in which the victim is forced to work because of a threat of punishment with little to no pay.

One of the most disturbing facts is that both of these instances occur in plain sight. Many victims in the United States are underage girls who have a poor home life, run away, and eventually become involved with prostitution. After years of existing in the negative environment of prostitution and drugs, the girl’s self-worth is systematically broken down to the point of non-existence. Some victims do not even understand that they are being trafficked. They are deceived into believing they will get a better, brighter future if they stay in captivity. But these are all lies; instead of providing a refuge, their pimp takes their profit and threatens to kill them if they try to escape, leaving them no option but to stay in the life of trepidation and agony.

In fact, according to the International Labor Organization and the End It movement, there are about 48 million people worldwide who are victims of human trafficking. Of these people, 68% of the individuals are exploited in private labor, 10% for state work and 22% for sex trafficking.

This problem continues to grow and, because of the hidden nature of the issue, it is hard to get an exact number of the victims.

The Christian community in America should be fighting on the front line against human trafficking because it is directly opposed to the way God intended life to be. For the souls who are trapped in this filth, the opportunity to have a flourishing life is ripped from their hands, along with their identity, decency and opportunity to live a normal life.

Human trafficking violates fundamental human rights; every human being is an image bearer of their creator and deserves to be treated as such. The fall has taken this from us and has caused others to negate human worth, but that does not contravene the truth that human beings are image bearers and have intrinsic value. The victims who are trapped in this wheel of injustice have no voice, identity, or hope.

The Bible specifically instructs Christians to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves in Proverbs 31:8-9. It is our job to defend those who have no rights, speak for those with no voice, free those in bondage, and stand up for those who cannot stand on their own.

Human trafficking is a very dark, universal issue that sometimes may feel almost impossible to change. Luckily we serve a God who specializes in the impossible. Whatever efforts made to bring about a change in this issue will bring glory to Him. I steadfastly believe that the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness in the beginning of time has the power to shine light on this horrific darkness today.

"You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know." — William Wilberforce

* * *

Works cited:

Geoffrey Rodgers, “THE PROBLEM.” US Institute Against Human Trafficking , October, 2005/April 26, 2017, http://usiaht.org/the-problem/

Guy Ryder, “Statistics and Databases.” International Labour Organization , 1996, April 27, 2017, http://www.ilo.org/global/statistics-and-databases...

Geoffrey Rodgers, “What is Sex Trafficking?”U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking , October, 2005/ April 26, 2017, http://usiaht.org

Samantha Ferrell, “End It Movement.” Choice Ministries , August 2016/ April 24, 2017, https://enditmovement.com/index.html

Cazzie Reyes, “Forced Labor.End Slavery Now, April 19 2015/April 24, 2017, http://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today/f...

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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Being A Girl Is Pretty Damn Hard

Girls have numerous daily struggles that often go unnoticed.

The alarm clock goes off two hours before you actually need to leave the house. Why? You’re a girl who has to get herself ready instead of a boy who can simply roll out of bed, get dressed, brush his teeth and get out the door.

While this extreme may only be true for the girls that need to do their hair, pick the perfect outfit and apply a face-full of makeup, all girls have a similar struggle. With long hair comes a longer shower. Boys don’t understand how much longer it takes to wash out the soap from the extra locks and to apply conditioner, something they rarely need to do.

Being a girl can be pretty damn hard sometimes.

Along with having the long hair, girls are also expected to dress and act a certain way. Boys can wear shorts every day. Here in Wisconsin, boys wear shorts year-round—even when the temperature is below zero. Girls are “supposed” to dress cute and girly, which includes dresses, skirts, uncomfortable jeans and everything in-between.

Athletic clothing is frowned upon. I’ve seen many posts and comments on social media referring to workout clothes and their place in everyday use—which is limited to the gym. “Workout clothes are for the gym, and the gym only.” Although these clothes are arguably the most comfortable, and for many the ones they feel most confident in, it is judged if girls choose to dress this way every day.

But it gets worse.

Each month girls are forced to suffer through a period.

This can last for a week or longer and brings with it many nasty side effects. Cramps, bloating, cravings, overall uncomfortableness—these are just some of the symptoms. We suffer through this, all while listening to the constant jokes and remarks made at our expense.

Did I mention how expensive tampons are?

All of this is only added to as girls age and become women. Women are expected to take care of the house and kids, to cook and to clean—all while holding some type of job. With all these tasks, women have little time to themselves. They selflessly put the needs of their families before their own needs.

After all of this is pointed out, it is easy to see that being a girl can be hard. We have many daily struggles that often go unnoticed by those around us.

Next time you think about making fun of someone for “acting like a girl” or “being on their period” just remember: being a girl can be pretty damn hard, and your joke isn’t funny.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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