There was a comment on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, made by the desk jockey in the Oval Office that the United States should not keep welcoming people from “shithole countries” — countries where there majority of the population of Persons of Color. (See: The Washington Post article.) White people from Norway would be OK, though.
I thought I was watching the Simpsons…
It’s ugly speech. It’s rude. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. And it is revealing an uglier truth. In a twisted case of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard), the populist politicians are counting on their fans to agree… and politely ignore the fact that the jobs that they don’t want (busboys, sanitation, dishwashers, housekeeping, etc) are mostly held by persons of color. The conveniences we elite enjoy (fast food, dry cleaners, cleaning services, yard crews) are because of the hard work of immigrants who can’t get white collar jobs.
Note: these are NOT the only jobs People of Color hold (but apparently this is what 45 would lead you to believe.)
They should be welcomed and known as fellow citizens and friends. They are created in God’s image. They are human beings, people of purpose, dignity, wisdom and intelligence. Their homes and cultures and countries are full of beauty. But a xenophobe only sees them as unworthy.
But there is another ugly truth… Day after day, we walk right by these “invisible” people. We look past them. They are seen as expendable. They are paid minimal wages. And because we too benefit from their mistreatment and underpaid status, we do… nothing. We (and by that I mean I) make all sorts of excuses as to why it’s ok.
This is not the way of Christ. This is not living in a way that honors the Creator. This is selfish, nasty, mean and racist.
As clergy, as a mother, as a member of the human race, I am appalled. At myself for my own attitudes. At my elected officials who let the current resident of the Oval Office get away with this racist outburst. That an elected official would sink so low seems hardly possible.
I condemn this kind of thought and speech, for it is disrespectful and contrary to the Gospel of Christ. It is past time to speak UP against this.
It is time for the Church, especially the white Church, to be reminded of our obligation for “the least of these…” Welcoming them. Employing them. Befriending them. Honoring them. Trusting them. Listening to them. Defending them.
And calling out a racist president for exactly what he is.
I was hungry and you didn’t give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked and you didn’t give me clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.
Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?’ Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.’