They were stolen-away from their homes and brought to the New World against their wills. They were not born slaves, but on their native soil had been free farmers, craftsman, traders, hunters, musicians, dancers, artists, sculptors, and poets. Some had been rulers of both large and small kingdoms.
Their cultures were rich and noble, diverse in custom, tongues and clothing. They came in chains, but their spirits were too strong to remain in bondage. They not only wanted to be free, they insisted on equality.
Among their ranks rose great champions for liberty and parity like Benjamin Banneker, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Ida Wells Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. Their contributions not only significantly improved the plight of their own people, but also the God-given rights of all races.
America has come a long way since those days when blacks were stereotyped as Charles Marden said they were in 1952 in Minorities in American Society: "Popular white thought characterizes him in this way: 'The Negro is lazy, won't work unless he has to, and doesn't know what to do with money when he gets it. He is dirty, smelly, and careless in his appearance, yet given to flashy dressing. He is much more sexy than the white man, and exercises no restraint in its expression. He has low mental ability incapable of anything but menial labor. He is naturally religious, but his religion is mostly emotion and superstition. On the other hand, in his simple way, the Negro is a likable fellow, clever in a childlike way, and has natural abilities as a singer, dancer, actor which surpass those of most white folks.'" How demeaning, atrocious and racist!!!
Racism is a terrible insult to God. The Bible declares, "This royal law is found in the Scriptures: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.' If you obey this law, you are doing right. But if you treat one person as being more important than another, you are sinning. You are guilty of breaking God's law" (James 2:8,9).
Someone once said, "We are all ethnics; some of us just work at it harder than others." Because prejudiced thinking is at the heart of human depravity, racism will likely be a challenge for every generation.
One form of racism, however, that has largely gone unnoticed today by the African-American community is abortion. I agree with Rev. Johnny Hunt of the Life Education and Resource Network, who says abortion is racism in its ugliest form. "Because of some very suave planning by abortion supporters and providers," writes Hunt, "abortionists have eliminated more African-American children than the KKK ever lynched." Of course, Hunt, a black American, isn't excusing the dastardly deeds of the KKK, but is simply pointing out there is a much bigger injustice currently being perpetrated against blacks than was being committed against them when the Klan was at its zenith. Hunt contends abortion has robbed millions of black Americans of the most essential of all rights -- the right to life ... the right to opportunity ... the right to give something.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than three times as likely as white women to have an abortion. The Family Research Council says that African Americans represent 12 percent of the population but suffer 32 percent of the abortions in America. The Culture of Life Foundation & Institute adds that more than 1,400 black children are aborted every day. Since Roe v. Wade, that makes about 15 million African Americans removed from the population who can never make any contribution to their race or their country.
The Culture of Life Foundation & Institute further notes: "Given the increased rate of abortion among African Americans, it is fair to ask whether this community is specifically targeted by the abortion industry. The writings of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, gave ample evidence of her belief in eugenics and her plan to reduce the African-American population through 'family planning'. But that was over 60 years ago. Today, however, we do see a concentration of abortion business in African-American neighborhoods. For example, according to Michigan Right to Life, of the 36 abortion clinics remaining in Michigan, 11 are in Detroit, a black majority city. Of those 11, nine are in African-American neighborhoods or have predominantly African-American customers."
Yet the NAACP and most high-profile black leaders are squarely on the side of the abortionists. Certainly some will deny this claim, saying to defend "choice" is not to be "pro-abortion." You can personally be opposed to abortion, they argue, but believe that it's improper to impose that standard on others. But isn't that like the fallacious contention you can be personally opposed to slavery and still defend the right of some to practice it? Isn't that like saying, "I believe lynching a black person is wrong, but people still ought to have that choice"? Gregg Cunningham in Why Abortion is Genocide correctly summarizes the matter when he writes, "The effort to outlaw abortion, like the campaign to outlaw racial injustice, isn't merely about personal morality. It is not merely about what a person does. It is about what a person does to another person."
In February our nation celebrates Black History Month. It's an important time to remember the role African-Americans have played in the history and culture of our nation. Their influence for good has been profound! Nevertheless, I fear blacks are largely missing the challenge of this new day. Too many are unbelievably satisfied with the status quo of black genocide.
Perhaps the challenge of Martin Luther King ,Jr.'s, "I Have a Dream" speech would become the clarion call of all our black brothers: "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."