Somethin's Happening Here
Seems to be a lot of unrest in our country these day - much around race issues.
One group says it's a culture thing - certain people or organizations live in a culture biased against Group #1. That culture works unfairly and unjustly and they are, in a sense, victims (although "victims" has negative connotations these days and might not really describe the situation adequately). It's a systemic issue and the system needs repair.
The other group says the problem arises from one or two individuals who behave poorly. They don't represent the rest of Group #2 and it is not fair to lump them in with the rest of that group.
OR... They blame the media as the culprit. In order to express a certain viewpoint (biased, in its own way), the media portrays Group #2 incorrectly, taking sides with Group #1 and unfairly (there's that word again) disparaging the innocent.
Either way you look at it, people feel they aren't being treated fairly (and/or justly).
It seems that we've seen this movie before.
In the late '60s, groups also clashed. Whites with blacks. Adults with kids. Women with men. In the end, it seemed fairness and justice won out.
But the conflict has returned. (Remember that saying about repeating the past?).
7 Sanctuaries deals with issues of race in several chapters. The Franklin family faces the terror of a burning cross and the threats that go along with peaceful protests. The radical preach confronts race issues on a march to Washington and when talking with a fellow minister who was in Los Angeles during the Watts riots. Rob and Larry confront local race conflicts in their hometown of Springlike, FL.
Why now? Why the conflict? Why the turmoil? Is it something in our DNA, like hair color or is it something we learn from one another, about which we need to be reminded again and again?
If there is a central message running through 7 Sanctuaries, it is one we sort-of learned back then and should learn again: Knowing about an issue is not enough. We have to take action, as well.
Only then can we say we've really learned from the past.