IMAGINE: You live in a community, every house is the same construct and color, each vehicle driven is identical in make and model, all residents attended the only community school and university available and their degree choice had already been decided by the generation before them. Being an American, its almost impossible to imagine living in a community with restrictions and without choice as an individual (however, with COVID-19, just bear with me). However, I did visit a place comparable to this a couple of years ago; East Berlin. The actual visit required specific travel plans because in order to travel to West Berlin, we needed permission to travel through East Berlin. In essence, by train we drove through East Berlin to arrive in West Berlin. We had a chance to see and experience this then Soviet sector via Checkpoint Charlie.
The year, 1987, once inside East Berlin, it was like time travel because East Berlin had not advanced since the wall was erected. During the tour, we were told, there was a list to receive a car that usually took a minimum of 12 years to obtain and the car was literally not worth the purchase price because the materials were subpar. Its a sad day when things remain the same, people don't evolve and technology is inept. I believe Martin Luther King Jr. had empathy for the East Berlin people because he knew what it felt like to have stunted growth in America as an American black. He learned that day, not just the color of your skin could separate a people: A wall can be physical in stature or psychology of the mind. With everything we say and do; we are erecting walls or constructing bridges.
On 28 August 1963, over 250,000 people, not including the thousands of press and journalists, participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous I Have A Dream speech to ignite the flames of equality and douse out the flames of segregation of any kind.
Almost a year later, he was invited to West Berlin by Mayor Wily Brandt and to East Berlin by Heinrich Grüber in 1964. Although the U.S. State Department certainly did not authorize this visit, King accepted both. There he said these words, “It is indeed an honor to be in this city, which stands as a symbol of the divisions of men on the face of the earth," he told East Berliners. “For here on either side of the wall are God’s children and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact. Whether it be East or West, men and women search for meaning, hope for fulfillment, yearn for faith in something beyond themselves, and cry desperately for love and community to support them in this pilgrim journey...the hub around which turns the wheel of history. ..proving to be the testing ground of races living together in spite of their differences: you are testing the possibility of co-existence for the two ideologies which now compete for world dominance, wherever reconciliation is taking place, wherever men are breaking down the dividing walls of hostility which separate them from their brothers, there Christ continues to perform his ministry of reconciliation."
In the same year of 1963, while thousands of people descended on Lincoln Memorial, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the law of centuries of American laws banning miscegenation, i.e., any marriage or interbreeding among different races. Restrictions on miscegenation existed as early as the colonial era, and of the 50 U.S. states, all but nine had a law against the practice at some point in their history. This was a personal fight of Richard and Mildred Loving against the ideologies of a group of people who that race-mixing was against God's laws and therefore should be the law of the land. However, any person assuming this may have read the Bible but have neglected to study and receive revelation. This has nothing to do with preference of choice but free will of choice. I'll leave that right there for you to marinate on.
Earlier in the text, I mentioned the State Department did not want MLK Jr. to visit East Berlin and confiscated his passport to deter his efforts. Also, remember, "A wall can be physical in stature or psychology of the mind. With everything we say and do; we are erecting walls or constructing bridges." MLK Jr. presented his American Express card and was given access through Checkpoint Charlie. It has always been said of the American Express Card, don't leave home without it; maybe this was the reason they used that slogan? MLK Jr. would not be denied access because his access and authority did not come from the State Department! I can't resist:
In addition, in 1964, due to the sacrifices of MLK Jr., tireless efforts and loss of life of numerous American blacks and few courageous American whites; the Civil Rights Act was passed. Continuing progress, in 1965, the Voting Rights Act was also passed. These two laws would be an almost 11 round knock-out to the reigning champion of the south, Jim Crow laws. During the same year, the Lovings' lawyers presented their case to the VA Supreme Court of Appeals and in 1966, the same court denied their appeal for conviction of interracial marriage. This opened the door for the case to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court in April 1967 and its ruling in Loving v. Virginia on June 12, 1967. "In a unanimous decision, the justices found that Virginia’s interracial marriage law violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. 'Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the state,' Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote. The landmark ruling not only overturned the Lovings’ 1958 criminal conviction, it also struck down laws against interracial marriage in 16 U.S. states including Virginia."
We are in the 12 and final round now and before the end there was a knock-out punch from the U.S. Supreme Court and finally dismantles the Jim Crow laws of the south!
Also, remember, "A wall can be physical in stature or psychology of the mind. With everything we say and do; we are erecting walls or constructing bridges. However, MLK Jr. and the Lovings rose to become a BRIDGE for and to the next generation!
I remember a similar story about race and color, most people miss it, as did I but it is relevant to society as the two instances prior.
While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman.
Cushite refers to dark-skinned people of African descent, it doesn't say whether Miriam and Aaron had a disagreement prior with his wife or simply did not agree with her because of her heritage; but it is clear and written in the Bible that his biological sister (a prophetess) and brother (a priest), two people considered today with titles and in ministry within the church to be the ones criticizing others. It goes to show that all people God chooses are perfectly flawed.
They said, “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the LORD heard them. (Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.)
Miriam and Aaron not only have a issue with his wife because of her heritage but also that God supposedly only speaks to Moses. Now we can look at this two ways, do they believe Moses' wife has influence over his decisions concerning them or they clearly upset that although they are considered a prophetess and priest; are they considered irrelevant in their offices?
Why do we decide to question and put down God's elect and people as if there will not be any consequences? King David, the best example of this, even though God had rejected Saul, David would not harm him, let others harm or speak ill of him. Until Saul's death, David called him 'the Lord's anointed.' Maybe this story of Aaron and Miriam gave him this revelation....
So immediately the LORD called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle. Then the LORD descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. And the LORD said to them, “Now listen to what I say: “If there were prophets among you, I, the LORD, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” The LORD was very angry with them, and he departed. As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.
When Aaron saw what had happened to her,
he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.”
So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!”
But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.” So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again. Then they left Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran. Numbers 12
MLK Jr., the Lovings and Moses did not have an issue with what the Lord had made; no matter the race or color. I BELIEVE that when you know God and walk with HIM, there is no such thing as superior race or ethnicity. As for white supremacy, the only time the Bible mentions white concerning a people is leprosy. Let that marinate for a moment....
I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there—all nations and tribes, all races and languages.
And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:
Salvation to our God on his Throne! Salvation to the Lamb! Revelation 7
Different is the new normal - Claudette Esmerelda