Saturday, January 27, 2007

My favorite peoples

I don’t know what it’s like to live in a country of homogeneous people. I’m from the United States, a North American, born in Jamaica in the West Indies but raised in Brooklyn and New York. I’m a multiculturalist at heart. And I have certain multicultural tendencies. For instance, I have favorite "peoples" – that is, there are certain tribes of the world that I love, that I tend to click with really well.
First, in no particular order, I’ll tell about my top favorites: African-Americans, Hispanics (especially Puerto Ricans and Cubans), Jews, Italians, Irish, Native Americans, and Arabs.
Now, for my favorite people: Jewish People.
I suppose that should be the case because I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. Lots of Italians and West Indians there too. The funny thing is that Jewish folks also like me. It’s a lucky thing because sometimes a person is on the outside of a group looking in. Many minorities, for instance, look up to the larger white culture or to the White Anglo-Saxon culture. Sometimes they even lust for the other cultures at the cost of denying our own culture. That’s why there are such slang words as bananas, apples, oreos (where are minorities are one color on the outside and another color on the inside.)
But self-loathing aside, it’s wonderful when one likes one’s own people and also like other people. And it’s especially good if one is liked by people in the other group.
The City that now exists, the city of heavenly Jerusalem is my true city. It’s of all those who love and rely and trust in Yahweh. We live on earth now. But the City now exists – according to the New Testament, according to Jewish writings in and about the Torah. I know some Christians think that when we die we go into soul-sleep but they’re mistaken. The city of God is alive and well. As are all its citizens on earth and in heaven.
However, some folks on earth are not of that city. Indeed, they often hate people who belong to Shiloh’s great city. This annoys me because I’m also a citizen of earth – for the nonce– and I don’t like being hated. But what really upsets me is when people from God’s city – those of us who call that great city "home"– hate the people in the world, or have prejudices against certain people. And I especially hate it when people hate Blacks (the ethnic group I belong to) and Jews (the ethnic group which is my favorite people)
It is good if we have a love for our own race –there is nothing wrong with that and Blacks have had to deal with a lot of self-loathing because American society has told us to hate ourselves, our skins, etc. All races have been chosen by God for specific reasons. African-Americans are called to do something great, I’m sure. The Jews are called the Chosen People because God chose them to bring His word and His savior to the world. And other ethnic groups also have chosen destinies.
But we must not hate our brother – whether he belongs to our ethnic group or not. If we do not love our brother whom we have seen, how can we love God whom we have not seen?
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