On Monday our country will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As someone who grew up after the Civil Rights Movement it is hard for me to fully understand what life was like 25 years before I was born.
For the last three months, I have been an itinerant staff with InterVarsity at Penn State University, visiting every other week and meeting with a small group of students eager to plant a new fellowship on campus. This past Tuesday when I visited Penn State, a different type of energy welcomed me.
Where on campus do you see white, black, Asian American, Latino, biracial, and international students together? At Occidental College in Los Angeles, it’s in Lower Herrick chapel where InterVarsity holds the most diverse student meetings on campus.
I’ve been thinking recently about the issues of race and racial reconciliation and the struggles that white people have when it comes to these issues. One of the major hurdles to a fruitful (and genuinely Christian) approach to the issue is that white people often don’t understand that McDonald’s is ethnic food.
Drug lords run rampant in Mexico. Iraqi civilians pay the ultimate price in a war into which they were thrust without any choice. Nation rises up against nation. One people group rises up against another. Our world is plagued by lines of division between peoples.
“I’m not lost. My pa always says, ‘You’re not lost unless you meet three criteria: (1) You don’t know where you are, (2) you don’t know how to get to where you want to go and (3) you don’t know how to get back to where you came from.’ OK, maybe I’m lost.”