I think I just committed an act of racial profiling - and what's more, it was a good thing. An Hispanic mother and her two young daughters came to the door, looking to pick up "Devon" to take him to school. "He doesn't live here", I explained. They were distressed, for if they didn't take him to school he wasn't going to get there.
They didn't know the address they were looking for either, so I couldn't help them that way. But then I remembered that a new family had moved in two doors down about three months ago.
"Is he black?", I asked. "Yes", the older girl answered. I explained about some black kids having moved in. Her face lit up, "That makes sense, because he's new in class!"
And so they thanked me, apologized for the bother, of which there was none, and everyone went on their way. It was a nice convergence of three races helping each other.
What bothered me about the incident is that it reminded me that our benighted powers-that-be have deemed mentioning race to be a bad thing. Under the beneficent regime of political correctness, how many times have you read of a dangerous criminal on the loose, and been given all kinds of identifying information save for the one parameter that would immediately reduce the field by anywhere from 50% to 85%: his race?
My guess is that they don't want to feed racial stereotypes, both on the side of whites fearing non-whites and of non-whites having poor self-identity.
Those are laudable goals, but the problem is with their outcome-based strategy in reaching them. They are not telling us the truth and it is hurting us.
First of all, it hurts all of us to have criminals running free because the public has not been adequately equipped to identify them. So some guy could continue to murder, rape, and steal, while we're merely told to be on the lookout for a male between 5'-7" and 5'-9", when the simple inclusion of race would narrow the field down by 50% - 85%.
Secondly, it hurts us all because if we're going to build trust and reconciliation, not only will opportunities need to be opened up for the disadvantaged, but communities with a high incidence of crime will need to get honest about their problem.
A few minority leaders have been honest about this. Jesse Patterson and Bill Cosby come to mind. But for every one that does tell the truth there are one hundred who instead demagogue on race.
And our spineless celebrity politicians, who care only about their careers, their lifestyle, and their pension, go along with the politically correct danse macabre, all the while posing as great humanitarians.
You cannot bring reconciliation through political pressure based on misinformation or disinformation. You do it with respect, good will, and truth-telling. The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love.
And the problem of social manipulation doesn't concern merely race. More and more of our Christian heritage and of the influence of the Word of God on our institutions is sinking into the mud, and we can only conclude that the Church - that is, people who love Jesus Christ - is going to increasingly find itself the target of political, economic, and cultural pressure. Simply put, it is becoming illegal to be a Christian.
I have an online friend who penned a take-off on the Song of David: "Oppression has silenced its thousands, and tolerance its tens of thousands."
It's a shame, because as my little racial incident this morning showed, the races can acknowledge their differences and still get along and help each other. That's what good will does. And it does it despite, not because of, manipulation by cultural elites.
The West is rapidly approaching a quasi-Marxism, and the church is increasingly finding itself a remnant, outside the halls of power. We already see this under the Obama administration, and dramatically so. But though the church will be "on the outside", hopefully it won't be "looking in". Hopefully it will instead fix its gaze on the Rock from which it was hewn, take a cue from our long-persecuted brothers in China and elsewhere, and again become the dynamic movement we see in the Book of Acts.