December 27, 2020
Letter to the Editor
Jeff Brumley’s Dec. 16 story on Kerri Fisher’s race equity work at Baylor University caught my interest because of its focus on “cultural humility.” I believe cultural humility is a critical step in the work of recognizing how systemic racism has blinded white Americans to the realities of life that oppress people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds in our country.
I first recognized my own blindness to white America’s cultural arrogance after reading the autobiography of Malcolm X In 1969. I realized that one cannot grow up in this country without being spiritually disabled by racism, and that even the best-intentioned of us, after years of healing and strengthening our defenses against racism, will carry the spiritual scars that desensitize us to the racism that permeates American culture. Systemic racism is not “out there.” Racism resides in the heart of every one of us until we die to self and are born again in pure love for God and humanity, his creation.
Unlike some, I consider “anti-racism” efforts ill-advised. Eliminating racism is only half the battle. Racism occupies space in people’s hearts and minds. If racism is evicted, something else will take its place, as a vacuum in a sealed vessel will be replaced by whatever else is in the air when the seal on the vessel is broken. Christ did not teach the elimination of negative qualities; he taught love. And the Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, wrote powerfully on how to practice it.
Systemic racism will be defeated most quickly and completely by sincere people overcoming self with a sustained focus on loving all humanity without conditions.
Tom Armistead, DeLand, Fla.