It’s been quite the week.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were determined to be the sandwich of white privilege by a Hispanic principal in the Portland schools.
As a white person, I didn’t eat PB & J growing up. I don’t like peanut butter! Yet, I am stereotyped with all white people, the very thing this principal is trying to avoid. Does this make any sense to anyone?
Then we learn that the Cranston Public schools in Cranston, Rhode Island, were legally forced by the ACLU to ban father-daughter, mother-son dances and activities because a single mom, whose daughter could not attend a father-daughter dance, decided this was a violation of state law concerning gender stereotyping. According to reports, the school tried to give the mom and daughter options. Her option was to sue the school and use $173,000 of taxpayers money to pay the bill. Was this the only way she could resolve her wish to have her daughter be a part of school dances?
There is something disturbing about the tone of the day in which anger and offense are reinforced every time someone feels discriminated against. It’s like a dysfunctional family who can’t work things out, talk about differences and appreciate each other without the threat of lawsuits.
I am not denying that there is discrimination. But if we constantly respond with lawsuits and revved up anger, we only become more divided. It doesn’t work in families and it doesn’t work in society.
Dr. Martin Luther King had the antidote to dealing with discrimination. In Strength to Love, he says,
"Evil can be cast out, not by man alone nor by a dictatorial God who invades our lives, but when we open the door and invite God through Christ to enter. 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.' God is too courteous to break open the door, but when we open it in faith believing, a divine and human confrontation will transform our sin-ruined lives into radiant personalities."
The love of Christ is the solution to discrimination. It won’t end by labeling sandwiches as divisive or dictating to schools what is gender stereotyping. It will only fade when we love one another with the love of Christ. Love is the only answer.