“Broken Health Care Debate Revealed An Unhealthy National Spirit” By Randy Woodley
Randy Woodley is a frequent contributor to this blog. He is finishing up his Ph.D. at Asbury Seminary and is currently an adjunct professor at George Fox Theological Seminary. Randy is also the author of Living in Color available on IVP Books. Randy will also be participating in the upcoming 4days4justice conference at North Park (April 14-17).
For the past year we have all known that the debate was much bigger than Health Care. After all, what passed was verifiably impotent compared to what is actually needed in order to take care of the real health needs of all Americans. None the less, the bill had to pass to so we could begin a better health care journey and in order to secure an effective political future for Obama and the Dems. But let’s not fool ourselves by saying that this was true “Health Care Reform.” It was simply a few good, but minor improvements to a terribly broken system. The debate also revealed to us that the Democrats now resemble the former Republican Party of years prior and the GOP (“O” for obstructionist) is left looking more like an extension of The John Birch Society. There is a definite conservative swing occurring in our country accompanied by deeply held racist roots.
The past year of debate revealed widespread racism that is still present in the heart of many Americans. It is no coincidence that the most consistent assault on the current democratic system ever launched in my lifetime was levied during the first year of the nation’s first African American President. Amazing how many people wanted Obama to fail! Even more amazing would be the conversation about WHY they really wanted him to fail. The racists faxes sent, the spitting, the racist slurs hurled at Representatives John Lewis, James Clyburn, et. al. in the halls of Congress from the “Tea Party” folks were simply an example of what was “not being said” all along. In truth, the Tea Party and the Republican obstructionist tactics revealed a desperate movement to reinstate the full benefits of White Privilege in America. There were just too may incidents of racism and impropriety over the past year for them to simply be “isolated incidents.”
In 2042 White non-Hispanics will cease to be the majority population in America. The dominant White culture in power understands what the statistics mean when they reveal “the browning of America.” As followers of Jesus we have an answer to the national angst. We can clearly see that ethnic diversity is a value that flows from the heart of God. We are called to be peacemakers. We are ministers of reconciliation. We even know how to love our enemies. We have the goods. Do we have the courage? If not, who will lead us in preventing the coming American Apartheid?
It is now time for a national conversation on racism to begin in America. Followers of Christ should be leading this conversation-not avoiding it.