The Transylvania Times -

The Rainbow People Of God


Last updated 4/1/2021 at 11:22am

Benard was my bunkmate during Marine Corp training at Parris Island, S.C. We were together during infantry training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and in the same barracks at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Benard was African-American but objected to being referred to as black.

“I’m not black,” he would protest, “I’m pecan-tan.”

Benard was no more black than I was white, literally speaking. Human beings are not black, white, red or yellow. As far as human skin is concerned these colors do not exist. These skin colors are constructs created or invented perhaps for convenience sake or for other, more sinister, reasons. Like race, which is based on pseudo-science, white, black, red and yellow are fabrications that distort the truth.

Whatever the rational – or irrational – is, we continue to identify ourselves using these polar opposites. And we have been conditioned to think they really exist. This is an example of categorical or stereotypical thinking that pervades a lot of how we think (or don’t think). Yet, it is more than just categorical thinking; it is pre-judged thinking founded not on truth or facts but on biased opinions that have become ingrained in our minds.

My wife and I don’t have the same skin tone, but we are both considered white and share the same privileges, rights and freedoms that are often not granted to those who are “non-white.”

The truth is we are, in the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “the rainbow people of God.” We represent all the shades of color in the great and beautiful color spectrum.

We are told in the book of Samuel, “God does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” We are not God and cannot see what is in another person’s heart, but we should at least try to avoid judging others by the color of their skin and as Martin Luther King Jr., once said “judge them by the content of their character.”

- Rev. Ernest L. Mills, Brevard


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