“Racial Disparity” is the new way to describe the treatment of people of color by white people. Well, it is really not new but it is becoming more prevalent. What is happening in this country of ours?
Sunday, the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Pentecost. A remembrance of a moment in human time when the Holy Spirit was so present that people began to speak in all kinds of languages and perform all kinds of healing acts to the astonishment of the crowds and no one was left out. What has happened to us since that moment?
I don’t think we have to look far at all to see answers to that. Most recently, consider Philadelphia, PA, and Starbucks; Warsaw, NC, and Waffle House; Saraland, AL, and Waffle House; New Haven, CT, and Yale University. People of color may not loiter, may not nap and, most certainly, may not talk back to authority figures under any circumstances in public places. We tell their white counterparts the same thing, but the responses to their actions are almost always far different.
The Holy Spirit is seeking ways to break through the barriers we keep putting up to protect ourselves from those who are different, from ideas that make us uncomfortable, from solutions that take us far out of the boxes we put ourselves into and call personal space. We say we want the Holy Spirit to come, but what does that mean? When we know that accepting the Spirit will mean new life and probably change, do we still want it? I think we do. We just have to pray harder to know what to do when we feel the presence of the Spirit.