On Friday we hosted our first discussion about race relations in San Antonio and beyond in the Alamo Lounge.
I was host, and our panelists included Pastor Jerry Dailey of Macedonia Missionary Baptisit Church, Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood, Willie Ng, Jr, Chief Investigator at the DA’s office, and Pastor Charles Flowers of Faith Outreach Center and the founder of San Antonio in Black, White, and Brown.
Our studio audience was standing room only, and represented an excellent cross-section of the community.
So many great ideas came from our panelists and from our studio audience, and the hour flew by. Hopefully we will be able to have another, or even a series of these meetings soon.
I started the discussion with two main ideas which represent the way I feel about race.
First, all people are made in the image of God and therefore everyone has something valuable to contribute. It’s not about what we see on the outside of a person that matters. Down inside is a child of God carrying a purpose which He put there.
When we have a less-than opinion of someone just because of their race we really are saying God Himself got it wrong when he created him or her. Newsflash, God doesn’t get it wrong – ever.
Second, I think many of us suffer from what I call a “poverty of relationships.” We tend to only make friends with people who are culturally similar to us. Most of the time that similarity includes race. Therefore, it is difficult to understand someone who may look different than us or who may have customs that are different because we don’t know them personally.
That is where stereotypes come from.
Building relationships is not easy. It takes hard work and a huge commitment of time. Building relationships with people who are different than us is challenging because we must confront tradition and social pressures to associate only with people who are the same.
However, if we choose not to forge those relationships it is to our detriment. People who are different than us have so much to offer, and together we make each other better.
Like I said, time flew by and we only scratched the surface. Hopefully we will do more.