Prejudice must first be understood. It is basically a pre-judging or judging before there is a more perfect or an accurate knowledge. We all tend to do this. It is part of our fallen nature. It is also part of a sense of pride that makes one believe he or she has a better understanding or knowledge than others. This tendency toward pride and prejudice is particularly a problem in an age of computerization and instant access to knowledge. Prejudice fights against objectivity and gets us into trouble! How often have you pre-judged something or someone, only to learn later than you had misjudged? How many friendships are hurt or lost due to prejudice and people saying things that first come to mind before thinking them through or spreading their first thoughts and ruining someone’s reputation? How often are situations brought to a point of worry or distress because someone raced to judge prematurely?
This now brings me to the discussion of the prejudice of race, which is in the forefront of many minds in the world, especially since the passing and memorializing of Nelson Mandela. Educated in law and working as a lawyer, Mandela argued and fought against the prejudice of what was called Apartheid (literally meaning: “the state of being apart”). He eventually became the first black President of South Africa from a fully representative democratic election and served in that capacity from 1994-1999, after having spent 27 years in prison for his efforts to overthrow the Apartheid government. During Apartheid, the ruling party’s prejudice led to segregation in all aspects of society, meaning that blacks had separate and even inferior education, medical care, and access to public services. Sadly, this prejudice had gone on for many years, having come about through the Dutch Rule following British Colonization. What is referred to as racial prejudice is actually indicative of an error in thinking about what is said to be “races.”
When speaking of human beings, we should not race to prejudice and believe that there are different races of human beings. This actually stems from an evolutionary philosophy which says that people have evolved from different animals in various parts of the world and thus have become different races of people. There is no archeological evidence for this! Yes, we do see how certain physical characteristics in human beings have developed and become dominant over the years in the various regions of the world. We do not, however, see different “races” of people developing in physically inferior or physically less human ways than other people! Human beings are just that, regardless of their skin color or national origin. There are various nationalities or ethnicities, but NOT various races! If however, one talks of different races of people, it must be understood that all humans (mankind) are created equally human. The United States Founding Fathers had it correct in The Declaration of Independence, stating, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
Friend, I trust you will not be one who races to prejudice, before you fully know or understand a situation or person. I trust you will understand the theology of what the Apostle Paul said in Athens long ago. When speaking to people on Mars Hill about their Creator, God, he said: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26). I trust you will be certain that you know this Creator in the Person of Jesus Christ and not race to prejudice!