Most people would not consider themselves to be racist. A person might admit to being prejudiced but certainly not racist. As Christians, we know it is our duty to love others. St. Paul reminds us that we live by the Spirit and the “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We must be honest with ourselves. Each of us should examine our conscience and ask if these fruits are really present in our attitudes about race. Or, rather, do our attitudes reflect mistrust, impatience, anger, distress, discomfort or rancor?

When we begin to separate people in our thoughts for unjust reasons, when we start to see some people as “them” and others as “us”, we fail love. Yet love is at the heart of the Christian life… This command of love can never be “live and let others be.” The command of love requires us to make room for others in our hearts. It means that we are indeed our brother’s keeper.

(to be continued)