“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.” vs. 2
This little verse from Isaiah is familiar to folks who worship on Christmas and is often used as an introduction to the liturgy. Yet in recent years there are some who maintain that the light/darkness metaphor has contributed to the continuing problem of racism. They say that when light represents good and darkness represents evil it affirms common racist convictions regarding skin color. Of course many consider such observations to be pure poppycock and evidence of runaway political correctness. At the same time we must certainly agree that the issue of skin color has had enormous significance in our country. For hundreds of years it has determined a person’s place in the American caste system. It has nothing to do with intelligence, beauty, aptitude, or ability. On the surface it’s a ridiculous way to evaluate a person’s worth, yet skin color has been used exclusively to determine where people fit in. Historically, white color skin gives you a spot at the top. If you’re any shade of black you’re at the bottom. We can agree that this is not right, pass laws against discrimination, and still the problem persists. Perhaps those who see the light this holiday season will be able to agree that there is beauty in darkness, and then work to root out all remaining vestiges of racism among us.
Thought for the Day: Where do I fit in the American caste system?