Our systemic problem – beyond racism

To the editor:

People say that all whites have systemically racist attitudes. Is this true? When I look in the mirror there is no denying my whiteness. Do I also see a systemic problem? If I’m transparently honest I have to admit that I do have serious systemic issues. However, my problem is a lot worse than being systemically racist.

My ill treatment of others encompasses a lot more than one race. The thoughts, words, and actions I sometimes direct to my loved ones, friends, and the people I come in contact with daily are a lot worse than those I might level at any person of color I have ever met. Every single day I am so wrapped up in my own thoughts, opinions, and needs that I often disregard how what I say and do affects others.

Does my systemic problem also affect my thinking and my actions towards people of other races? It is so all-encompassing that, given the opportunity, I would have to say it would. Do I think about and treat people of color worse than I treat people of my own race? I can honestly say, no. I have had much more opportunity to react in a negative way against those with whom I come in contact on a regular basis.

It is certainly true that our treatment of others, including other races, needs to constantly be examined. But let’s turn our attention to the source of the problem. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is all-inclusive, and, let’s face it. We fall short with regard to our dealings with everyone we encounter, no matter what race.

Focusing on denouncing racism and white supremacy, and talking about white fragility, white guilt, white defensiveness or white diversion in others is in itself a diversion. It plays right into the hand of Satan whose plan is to downplay the root problem of the human race.

Pointing the finger at others to make sure they know about their selfishness and guilt shifts the focus off of one’s own sin and shortcomings. That is a diversion of which we are all guilty, and it could be eternally fatal. Critical race theory and pushing the white supremacy narrative is not spiritually healthy for black or white.

Something major would be left out of our analysis if we stop with simply recognizing the problem. There is a fail-safe solution. The Savior of the world who had no systemic problem of His own lived a perfect life for us and died to conquer Satan. He has promised to be with us in our daily fight against sin, the systemic problem which is part of life on this earth but will no longer plague us in heaven.

Mary Thom

New Ulm


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