The main idea that runs through Christianity is that everybody should be treated equally
The main idea that runs through Christianity is that everybody should be treated equally. This is shown when Jesus said “Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another,” (John 13). This means that you should like everybody as Jesus did and so coloured people should not be hated. To any Christian this shows that everyone should get on with one another as Jesus did, nobody is different in any physical form whether they are black or any other different race in the eyes of god they should still be loved. In Genesis 1:27 it says that “God created human beings, making them to be like himself.” So as we are like God we should treat one another as god would. Therefore again showing that we should treat everyone equally including different races etc as God would.
A key point towards the Christian views to racism is written in James 2:8-9 where it states one should love people for what they are not what they look like. So a Coloured person may have a good personality, which you should like that person for, but you should not hate that person because of that persons appearance.
Another point which comes across in Matthew 5:38-40 is one which would be very difficult to practise in a modern day society, as it is natural when somebody hits you for you to hit them back. Jesus in this passage is trying to say ignore those who harm you “if anyone slaps you on your left cheek let him slap you on your right cheek.” This is a statement for the oppressed i.e. like coloured people were. It is an ideal ethic and Christians believe we should aim for it, but in this modern day world it is extremely difficult to achieve. Gandhi used this greatly to his advantage in India, which was occupied by the British, and it worked.
Throughout these passages in the bible it is proven what Christian views should be towards coloured people:
Love them like you love yourself
Judge them upon there character not what they look like
And even if they are your enemy you should still treat them well.
Where Martin Luther king was born was born slavery had been abolished in 1865 but segregation continued. Negroes were rated as inferior and insecure by the whites, they were discriminated against, intimidated, people were prejudice towards them, much of the white population were racist and the Blacks tried to fight for equal rights. Martin Luther king was Christian and when dealing with the problems the blacks faced this was a key factor. When King went to university a person of the name Gandhi impressed him. This was due to the fact of his un-violent protests, which turned out to be a very strong political weapon, and in its whole the use of un-violent protest led to the independence of India. This also related to King’s Christian beliefs, if someone hits you on the right cheek let him or her hit you on the left. In 1954 he became a Baptist minister. He first went to Montgomery, Alabama.
On December 5, 1955, five days after Montgomery civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to obey the city’s rules mandating segregation on buses, black residents launched a bus boycott and elected King as president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association. King was very much for this as it was a non-violent protest and the authorities could do nothing about it immediately as the coloured community were doing nothing aggressive and wrong, in essence they were following the way of the bible and Christian views. As the boycott continued during 1956, King gained national importance as a result of his exceptional “oratorical skills and personal courage.” His house was bombed and he was convicted along with other boycott leaders on charges of conspiring to interfere with the bus company’s operations. But because of his Christian believes he refrained form turning to violence and he followed the bible degrading people who were aggressive and he refrained from fighting back. The boycott ended in 1956 with a mandate from the Supreme Court outlawing all segregated public transport in the city.
During the spring of 1963, he and his staff guided mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local white police officials were known from their “anti-black attitudes”. The protesters acted peacefully under Martin Luther kings guidance. Clashes between black demonstrators and police using police dogs and fire hoses generated newspaper headlines through the world. But whenever they came under attack they would kneel and prey. In June, President Kennedy reacted to the Birmingham protests and the “obstinacy of segregationist”.
King and other civil rights leaders then organised a massive march in Washington, D.C. On Aug. 28, 1963, over 200,000 Americans, including many whites, gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in the capital.
The high point of the rally was King’s stirring “I Have a Dream” speech, which “eloquently defined the moral basis of the civil rights movement.” The moral basis of this was based greatly on Christian views. That of which states everyone is equal and also no black is inferior to a white person as so in the bible. As Luther said in his speech “all men are created equal”.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited racial discrimination in public places and called for equal opportunity in employment and education. King later received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
During the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march, King and his lieutenants were able to keep intra-movement conflicts sufficiently under control to bring about passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while seeking to assist a garbage workers’ strike in Memphis. After his death, King remained a controversial symbol of the African-American civil rights struggle.
Throughout Kings life of protesting he always tried to use non-violent methods. In 1955 he said these following words “…we have no choice but to protest. There will be no threats from bullying. Love will be our ideal. Love your enemies, bless them, and pray for them. Let no man pull you so low as to make you hate him”. Again King always followed his Christian routes making sure he always carried out non-violent protests, loved his enemies and taking whatever the enemy through at him, making him a true Christian.
First of all I would like to address the fact of why people may find it in their hearts to be racist. Around a hundred years ago Coloured people were treated like they were insignificant and less important than whites due to their skin colour in many areas of the world, for instance England. One of the factors in the hatred of coloured people was that everyone else was doing it so you would be the odd one out if you didn’t do it. This is better known as “peer pressure”, where the mass go the rest will follow. Just this fact was one of the key influences. Also some people felt that if the whites stopped mall treating the blacks the blacks would turn back on the whites and ruin them. So they just kept on treating the blacks like they had always done and how they had been brought up to do.
But then you should also ask the question why people didn’t do it. It was generally because of their religions, which they followed strictly, stating that all men are equal and that you should treat your neighbour how you would wish to be treated. Also some people felt sorry for the Blacks and wanted to help.
So after all those years of hatred for the blacks many people would ask what was gained. Somebody from the Ku Kluck Klan may say that it terrorised the blacks and put them in their rightful place. Where as the majority now a days would say it was a pointless waste of lives and terribly unjust, people should be treated by means of their character, not by their appearance whatever that may be.
I think that nobody on earth has the right to be racist in any shape or form. But there is a certain place where I draw the line. Jokes for instance can often be directed at another person’s nationality or colour and the person who is the “victim” of the joke may often find it funny. But to be racist I think it can be a deeply offensive joke or much worse than a joke, hatred for one. Surely people shouldn’t be racist it says in the bible to love one another, to judge people on their characters and not on their appearance and to even love your enemies. On top of this racism is terrible, it can ruins peoples lives, lead to death and leave whole countries in uproar. What is the point in it? I find it totally pointless and also morally unacceptable in the modern world were we should treat everyone equally no matter of their appearance.