When Whites Can See Blacks As Beautiful
By Atticus Andrew
YEARS AGO, when I was a grad student, I remarked to a Black man of new acquaintance that I had never felt sexually attracted to a Black woman.
"You've never been in a social setting with an attractive Black woman," he replied.
True, I had to admit, and to something that had never before entered my mind, certainly not in a manner I had retained.
We Anglo children of America were raised not to have positive feelings toward Blacks, other than those felt by a Master, Boss or Superior who finds them useful.
That's how deeply ingrained in us are our prejudices, which can also be aimed at other "different kinds" of people: Heterosexuals are taught from early on to be uncomfortable among gays and lesbians; and many if not most Americans born and raised in the United States have lifelong hangups regarding persons of other nationalities and regarding men and women who speak a language other than the English of their region.
One could even argue that we human beings are innately biased in favor of our kind and that to overcome the negatives that go with such self-centered-ness we must somehow, and in renewing ways, be exposed to a healthier attitude toward the varieties of our species.
For sure, there's no better place to begin this journey toward health than with me, by my not "prejudging" persons by their looks, or merely by the tonality of the very words they may be uttering in my presence For underneath, deep inside each, there lies a "child of God," one who by the miracle of Grace is a living, breathing human being. .
Each "other" is as sacred as I am, certainly to their Creator. Once we're able to affirm that, we are on our way to experiencing the greatest possible "beautiful" in humanity.
The second step in our growth toward this "beautiful" is always "to look for the good" in the other. If you see anger and hate, you ask why. If you see acceptance and affirmation, you give thanks. Regardless, the other enjoys before you the precious thing which bonds us all—life itself.
But we still have an underlying problem, do we not? Am I to accept the murderer, the rapist, the Liar-in-Chief as a person of "divine" worth. Does evil not matter?
Surely it does! We cannot ignore evil or be casual and indifferent about it, not if we are to hold true to our belief in basic human goodness. Human beings can spout ugly words, they can hurt their fellow human beings by killing or maiming them, by lying about them, by viciously attacking their person. And that is not Fake; it is simply true.
Equally true, more so in fact: when we fail to resist the Evil One, or choose to brush off evil as inevitable, we deny our own integrity.
Which brings us back again to the beautiful. When we reject the ugly, we center on the beautiful. And whenever we see that beauty in another, we have truly loved as our Christ loved.
Amen to that!