Some people of Burnley connection were wanting to make it known in Manchester on the evening of June 22 2020 that “White Lives Matter.” You can read something about it here. I wrote recently here concerning Black Lives Matter. But what of the sentiment revealed by the “White Lives Matter Burnley” banner?
The first thing to say, viewing the banner’s message baldly, is to say that white lives do matter because all lives matter. That may be a banal point, but is is worth making. And they matter whether that be in Burnley or anywhere. We value every human being and consider none to be in the “not mattering” category.
I would also want to make it clear though that we must eschew any sympathy with white supremacist and far-right groups who might hijack the “White Lives Matter” slogan for their nefarious activities.
We do need to be aware though that many feel unheard amidst the promoting of the Black Lives Matter phenomenon at the present time. It seems that the media and intelligentsia in general seem unable to grasp this point. However, it has been documented that voters for Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump in the US were significantly the white working class people affiliating themselves with a cause whereby they could be heard.
In the UK their sense of disenfranchisement has been exacerbated by cases such as the Rotherham Sex Abuse scandal whereby some of Asian origin were seen as being untouchable. They were untouchable because the authorities feared that if they got involved they would be seen as being racist. Alas so many suffered because of this reluctance.
The present highly charged atmosphere as regards to racism I fear might have two consequences:
- The growth of far-right white supremacist groups who will become more and more militant as they use propaganda to attract many to their ranks. Many can easily have their minds and hearts swayed because of the feeling of not being heard.
- More groups being allowed to participate in criminal activity because the authorities fear being labelled “racist”.
Here are some final thoughts then.
- The whole basis for all this is a search for identity. People want to find themselves as someone of consequence. Race is an easy way of getting that identity. I define myself by my colour and culture. When this happens it can then be taken and used and abused by certain people. Exploitative influencers step in and direct the group to malevolent ends. Oh the wonder of being “in Christ”. We find our life by finding identity in Him. And we find it with all others who are found by His grace.
- We should wonder at the great grace that is in the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Go read Ephesians 2:11-22 and see how wonderful is the grace of our Lord to bring diverse communities together. This is only in Christ.
- The present race-based factionalism is normative in a world where we tend to find meaning for ourselves in our groups and sub-cultures. The gospel transcends and transforms all this. Now people are found in Christ as they come to believe in Him as Lord and Saviour
- And hence the church should shine as a light in a dark place at this time. There should be absolutely no racism therein. That is because we are all one in Christ Jesus (see Gal. 3:28).