God's Word for today

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

That horrible "R"-word - again!

Last night we had our Seminarian Council meeting at the seminary, and two of the items up for discussion were likely to cause a fair bit of steam to rise - and so it proved!  I guess it's inevitable that when you have nearly 80 seminarians plus families trying to live together in community, the odd moment of disharmony is bound to crop up from time to time.

But the thing that got under my skin was that during the discussions, the hoary old chestnut of race reared its ugly head once again.  And while this is inevitable given South Africa's past, I wonder when it will be time to put this one to bed?  Often we raise the issue of race when the matter under discussion has nothing to with race whatsoever.

As I discussed with one of my black colleagues afterwards, suppose that (hypothetically) I was playing my music a bit too loudly, and he knocked on my door asking me to turn it down.  The issue would have sweet blow-all to do with race, and everything to do with me violating my colleague's right to some peace and quiet.  And he agreed with me.

If one is hurling racist abuse, that would be another matter entirely, but the majority of our disputes have nothing to do with race.  Why then do we have to whip out our "race cards" at every opportunity?  Is it because we are too afraid (or immature) to address the real issue at hand?

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