My Musings

A Dream or a Nightmare?

A Dream or a Nightmare?

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., from his “I Have a Dream” speech, August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

I share this dream. Bigotry disgusts me. Bullying is for cowards. Human beings should be treated as equal in worth and dignity, regardless of their skin color, gender or class. Racists, on the other hand, focus on surface characteristics to make judgments about people they don’t even know. America is not about unifying people around their common physical traits, party labels, ethnicities or pedigrees. We unify around common principles and convictions, like liberty, truth and justice.

Below is a video I want you to view before continuing. Please consider how it impacts you before reading my take on it.

Jane Elliot is a teacher and diversity trainer. She is also a bully, paid to abuse and intimidate. I realize her bullying was part of a role-playing “learning” activity. However, it remains unjustified because the “lesson” being taught was itself deceitful, destructive and nightmarish. Here’s why:

  1. The teacher’s use of profanity evidenced her irrational hostility to dissenting points of view.
  2. Her reference regarding a girl’s legs being spread apart to achieve an “openposture” was inexcusable. Then she said, “Bring it on, honey!” A man would be fired for such disrespect.
  3. When a girl left the room after being verbally berated, the teacher immediately referred to Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and Emmett Till’s hanging as pretexts for justifying her own abuse of the student. The teacher also presumed that her abuse was okay because the girl was not in “physical danger.”
  4. It dehumanizes people of color to claim that they have no choice on how to respond to abuse. It was intellectually dishonest to expel a returning student involuntarily while claiming that the student made the choice.
  5. The student who refused to apologize said, “I will not apologize because it’s not a matter of race always.” Her use of the word “always” made her spot on right. Yet, she was ejected and demeaned after she left.
  6. The student who wanted to be seen as a “male” was being taught to sell himself short. He should rather want to be seen as a “man” and manhood has nothing to do with body parts, facial hair or voice pitch.
  7. The teacher asked a black student if his color was important to him and he said it was “because that is who I am.” Actually, he is much more than that! It lowers everything that is best about human beings for them to fundamentally define themselves (or be defined by others) on the basis of inborn surface traits that have nothing to do with their character.

Today, Americans are being bullied into buying health coverage plans they don’t like and having the ones they do like canceled, by force. Christian bakers and photographers are being brutally bullied into betraying their faith as they are forced to offer their services to sanction homosexual marriages. The government attempted to bully Hobby Lobby into supporting abortions. E-Harmony was bullied into adding a homosexual dating branch to their business. Bullying is big time business today and while unscrupulous lawyers lead the way, many politicians and teachers foment it as well.

The video featured above infuriated me. It promotes state-sponsored racism and turns King’s dream into a social nightmare! The teacher exploited the youth and inexperience of students to manipulate them into a more divisive race-based mentality. She did this through cruelty, disrespect, profanity and crassness. She undermines the good that needs to be done to unify people rather than isolate them on the basis of surface qualities that should have little to do with how we treat each other. She breeds bitterness for a living. Please, do not let yourself be intimidated by racialists like this teacher. Rather work for unity, kindness, grace and respect for all regardless of race.

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About the Author:

Joel graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.A., completing two majors: Art and Religion. He went on to earn the Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.