How to Put a Big Dent in Bigotry and Racism

Saturday, July 27, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




©2019 Bryan Hudson

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"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Allow me to share an effective method for addressing bigotry and racism. There is no absolute cure because sin and evil possess the hearts of people who are unwilling to change. I know from experience and from first hand accounts that some number of bigots and racists have been turned around, or at least neutralized, by the methods I suggest here.

First of all, I am defining racism in a narrow sense.  I’m talking about disrespect, bad treatment, and marginalization of African-Americans by persons who feel superior or entitled as a "ruling class." Certainly, racism by black people towards white people exists, but it is small in effect and largely powerless since black people do not control very much in the larger society.  Black racism is more of a nuisance. Not as many white folks face problems being subject to black people who hold power.

Racism in the form of whites against blacks (or other ethic minorities) is far more harmful owing to majority status with holding more influential and impactful stations in life. Nearly every black person has a white boss or works for a white employer. It is an inarguable fact that most reported acts of bigotry and racism in the USA have occurred against African-Americans. (Note: In many ways, black people are representative of all other people of color).

The only good news I can share with you about racism is that I believe it is limited to a small number of people in relative terms. I am always disturbed by assertions I have heard from some black folks that nearly all white people are racist by nature. As black people, we don’t want to be judged by our “bad apples,” so we should not do the same to others.

There is a pervasive problem that makes people appear racist when they are not. When people who are not racist remain silent about their awareness of others within their circles who display racist behaviors or attitudes, they perpetuate the problem. We’ve all known people who have “crossed the line.” We permit problems to persist when we don’t speak up to address people we know.


TWO SOLUTIONS  

ONE:  Help, educate, and correct your family, acquaintances, and friends 

If anyone within my sphere of influence displays bigoted or racist behavior (and that would be mostly African-Americans), I will take the responsibility to address that matter, person to person. There are not many actions more impactful than being confronted by a friend.

It is likely that every racist person has a non-racist acquaintance or friend who has had the occasion to be appalled at something he has seen or heard from his friend, acquaintance, or family member.  When we fail to take the opportunity to address people we know we permit that behavior to go unchallenged, which may result in the spread of behaviors that could be curtailed if not stopped altogether.

TWO: Use Your Privilege 

Three stories:

We all have privilege in the sense that we carry a certain level of influence and authority that others might not carry. Without being actively aware, we have access to places and people that others do not have. It is not possible to be fully aware of one’s privileges because we are living it and are unaware of any other standard.

Story #1 
When I was 19 years old and in college, I made a big mistake following a concert that landed me in the lock up at the downtown Indy police headquarters. I spent the night in jail and was scheduled to appear in court the next morning. I was scared and nervous watching weekend “regulars” brought in to that large room. I saw the chaos, witnessed fights, and just prayed that I could sleep through it. With my one phone call, I called my father. Even though I did not serve God and disrespected Him, He showed me mercy and let me sleep through the chaos all night, unharmed, on a narrow metal bench against a wall.

The next morning they brought a number of us into a holding cell behind the courtroom for a judge to hear our charges.  I knew my father would be out there to help me through the situation. However, when I appeared before the judge my father was not in the room and there was no one to represent me. The judge ordered that I be taken back to the holding cell. That was one of the most devastating feelings one could imagine.

As it turned out, my father went to the wrong courtroom. After some time passed, my name was called and I came from the holding cell to the courtroom and saw my father standing with an attorney. This young African-American attorney happened to be in the court room when I came out the first time. Somehow, he connected with my father because he observed that I “seemed out of place” and saw my dad was distressed looking for me (perhaps the attorney identified with me in some way). He was not seeking a client and my father was not looking for an attorney. 

This attorney used his privilege to help me. He didn’t have to do it, but he did. 

It is amazing what can be done when we use our privilege to help somebody in difficulty.  What is more amazing is using our privilege to defend the dignity and honor of people being insulted or mistreated.

Story #2 
Many years ago as a pastor our church had the occasion to purchase a commercial property on a prominent street to use as our main facility, We were denied a zoning variance for reasons that were unjust and racially motivated because of the nature of the opposition we faced. In a meeting to which I was "invited," I was handed a list of “suitable” inner city properties and “encouraged” to pursue one of those instead of the one we wanted. When we refused, this group of businessmen influenced the zoning board to oppose us.

We retained an attorney and appealed to Superior Court. We easily won the day and overturned the zoning board’s decision on Constitutional grounds when the city attorney decided to drop their case because he couldn't win. What made the difference, in addition to the expertise of my attorney, was that the seller of the property assigned his own attorney to join in the effort to help us (and of course to help conclude his sale.) The seller, a white gentleman, who happened to be a wealthy owner of a commercial real estate company, personally knew many of the business people who opposed us.

The seller used his privilege and influence to help us.

Story #3 
I read a story of two sisters who looked very different. The one looked more African-American and the other look like a white lady. They were both shopping at the same grocery store. The sister who looked more like a white person was in line in front of her sister. The cashier rang up her items and she presented a personal check for payment (which was more the custom at that time).

When her African-American looking sister presented her check, the cashier reached for a binder in which the store kept copies of bad checks. The cashier proceeded to scan the names on the bad checks looking for a match. The cashier made the bigoted assumption that the black looking lady might be trying to pass a bad check.

When her sister saw it, she returned to the check out and asked the cashier what she was doing. In the presence of the cashier, her sister, and other white customers she demanded that the cashier accept her check in the same manner hers was accepted.  No one could’ve known this was her sister.  

It looked like a white person using her privilege to defend the honor of a black person.

Again, 1) Help, educate, and correct your family, acquaintances, and friends, and 2), Use your privilege. 

I remember a sad occasion on a Facebook friend's discussion thread. One of his Facebook friends publicly insulted and disparaged me, my church, and my family (in an indirect way) when I expressed a strong disagreement within the discussion. I privately asked him how he was going to handle it. He said he would write a personal note to the man. I advised him that friends stand up for friends in the same place where things happen, anywhere in life. He made the choice not to use his privilege to publicly stand up for me. At that moment, I realized we were not actual friends. Sometimes people want a "black face," but they do not want an unfettered "black voice."

Each of us needs to take responsibility within our spheres of influence. We also need to rid ourselves of leaders who perpetuate bigotry and racism. We must not enable such persons through silence, inaction, or support. Persons demonstrating racist behavior need to be educated and reproved by people who know them. Legal action should be taken when laws are violated. We should not coddle bigots and racists.

If we lovingly and directly handle matters within our spheres of influence, I believe progress can be made.


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What it Means to "Leave" and "Forsake"

Thursday, July 25, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

God promises to sustain you and therefore encourages you to "be strong and courageous" and to "not be afraid." One of our greatest fears is abandonment. Without support, it is very difficult to be strong and courageous. Two things God never does is: 1) Leave you, or 2) Forsake you. Unfortunately, it is something that people do all the time. T.D. Jakes suggests that to "leave" represents someone's physical departure, while "forsake" represents someone's emotional departure.

There are people who cannot be with you, but stay connected with you emotionally through alternative means of contact. Some people BOTH leave you and forsake you. It is hard to handle, especially when coming from someone who is special in your life. 

However, this is why we love, follow, and relate to the Lord. He keeps all this promises! 

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Your Mind and the Mind of Christ

Monday, July 08, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Watch the teaching,"Your Mind & The Mind of Christ," from the teaching series, "The Master Key."



One of the greatest advantages in life is walking with Christ and having His mind influence your mind. Because of this relationship, you can choose your thoughts and think things on purpose. You don’t have to just think about whatever falls into your mind. 

We can love the Lord with "all our mind." Learn about six key principles to empower your mindset.

Mark 12:30, ’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31"And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

1 Corinthians 2:12, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

MASTER KEY: You can choose your thoughts and think things on purpose. You don’t have to just think about whatever falls into your mind.

DOWNLOAD PDF OF KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Enjoy this latest teaching on the Firm Foundation podcast:

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-master-key-part-7-your-mind-the-mind-of-christ/id81271386?i=1000443894794

Podbean: https://bryanhudson.podbean.com/e/the-master-key-part-7-your-mind-the-mind-of-christ/

TuneIn: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Self-Development/Firm-Foundation-with-Bryan-Hudson-p1088629/

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How to Know What God Has Prepared for You

Wednesday, July 03, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



1 Corinthians 2:6 (NLT) The wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. 

There are many mysteries in life. There is more that we don't know than we know. However, the little that we know is a preview of the greater things available to us.

The sad truth is: Too many people never discover more because of many factors including: Lack of curiosity, lack of education, hanging on the lesser things, connecting with people who lack imagination, and most of all -- not loving and following Christ, Who is the Source of all good things.

As the Scripture suggests, we don't have the innate capacity to see, hear, or know the things God has prepared for us. The good news is this: God has revealed these things to us by His Spirit.

One of the biggest misconceptions in life is believing that only material things matter. Too many people only want what they can see --- and the more shiny it is, the more they want it. Life is MUCH more!

One Master Key in this Scripture passage is this: Your relationship with the Lord is the key to knowing the wonderful things God has freely given you. 

Another Master Key is: When you love God, He goes before you to prepare your way
The Bible Greek definition of “prepare" means to make ready, to make the necessary preparations, and get everything ready. The word is drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable and set out provisions.

This is what God does for those who love him. It is one of those realities you cannot see, hear or imagine because it is part of His future plan. The future is something of which we cannot be certain, but it is something for which we can prepare. Preparation with God puts you in position to see, hear, and experience a future full of blessing, adventure, purpose, and overcoming obstacles. 

LISTEN TO THE TEACHING, "What God Has Prepared for You"

Podbean: https://bryanhudson.podbean.com/e/the-master-key-what-god-has-prepared-for-you/

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fathers-in-3d-our-design-our-destiny-our-duty/id81271386?i=1000441753859

TuneIn: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Self-Development/Firm-Foundation-with-Bryan-Hudson-p1088629/

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