Mr. Charles E. Harris is the Editor and Publisher of The Brotherhood Journal. He is the President of Restoration Ministries. Harris is married and has two children. Check out one of his great articles.
“Don’t Be Color-Blind, Just Appreciate the Unique Differences”
Sometimes people try to express successful conquest of racial prejudices by saying something along this line: “When it comes to people, I am color-blind.” I can appreciate the intent behind that statement.
I actually applaud their progress in race relations if, in fact, they have grown to that point. However, if growing in race relationship to the point of “being color blind” is Exhibit A, then I beg to enter “just appreciate the unique differences” as Exhibit B.
Quite frankly, I believe that life is a lot more enjoyable if one takes time to appreciate the unique differences in people. I remember a statement made by my brother. It said “it’s not required for an individual to be color-blind because then you can’t find your car in the parking lot if you are color-blind.”
Perhaps, one of my least favorite foods is fruit cocktail. I don’t really like fruit cocktail because most of the time you have a bowl of fruit that doesn’t taste like itself. The peaches taste a little like pineapples. The grapes taste a little like strawberry. The strawberry tastes a little like peaches. The canelope tastes a little like grape. The pineapple tastes a little like cherries.
All of these fruits are delicious when eaten separately, but for me when you put them all together, you end up with a bowl of fruit where not anything really tastes like itself.
I think we need to just relax and say it’s ok to be different racially. I remember a unique speech by Reverend Jeremiah Wright. His subject was, “Different does not mean inferior, it just means different.”
Back to fruit again… an apple is not inferior to an orange, we just have to appreciate that an apple is not an orange. I think we all are glad that we know the difference. That way we know to use apples when we want an apple pie. We squeeze the oranges when we want orange juice.
When it comes to race relations, I have believed for a long time that it is not required that one becomes color- blind but just have a healthy respect for the unique differences in people.
As Dr. Martin Luther King stated so eloquently in his dream, he desired a day when people will be judged by the “content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.”
As we reflect on Black History and culture, we present a man with a mission, Dr. Dolphus Weary, author of the book, “I AIN’T COMIN’ BACK.” I found an interesting segment in chapter fourteen, where the book deals with the subject of The road to reconciling the races.
“At Mendenhall Bible Church we have a predominantly black congregation. But there are a few whites plus frequent white visitors. That has helped all of us to get to know each other in a way that respects racial differences yet overlooks them enough to treat each other as people with dignity.
“That brings up a third strategy: we need to get to know somebody who is the object of our racism. If I’m black, I need to get to know someone who is white; not so that I can tell people I have a white friend; but so that I can learn more about whites and about my attitudes towards whites.That’s where growth takes place.” Extracted from the book I Ain’t Coming Back.
As it turns out, I believe his three strategies will work for most human relationship issues.
Perhaps this issue will spark someone’s interest in crossing over racial lines to get to know and appreciate the unique difference in someone of a different race. We just have to keep in mine that “different does not mean inferior, it just mean different.”
Visit Charles E. Harris for more information.