But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Although we know the difference between good and evil, we often do evil things, and racism is one result.
In the late 1930s, Billie Holiday, one of America's foremost blues singers, made a singing tour through the South. As she passed through one Southern city, she saw the bodies of several black men hanging from the trees in broad daylight. Stricken with the horror of the sight, she became one of many black singers who used their music to speak out against injustice.
She wrote a song entitled 'Strange Fruit.' In her piece, she noted that strange fruit was hanging from the trees in the South—the bodies of black men—a fruit not designed to be there.
Shortly after anti-lynching laws were passed, the physical sight of strange fruit became rare.
However, the racist elements of America would not cease. Although the law prevented the lynching of Negroes, they devised other methods that were both enigmatic and puzzling but would produce fruit just as strange, just as harmless, and just as dead as those Billye Holiday saw hanging from the trees.
The faithful have the responsibility to remind believers of the covert and snake-like nature of the enemy.
Each ensuing generation must be warned that the same evil mentality that caused black men and women to dangle at the ends of ropes generations ago still exists today. More permanently and destructively, it threatens to destroy our race internally, just as effectively as if we all dangled from trees.
With the cross of Christ before us, we must remind ourselves and this nation that freedom is a right guaranteed to all of us and should not come at the cost of our manhood, dignity, or self-respect.
Racism can be subtle and disguised. It can manifest itself in things like microaggressions, implicit bias, and institutional racism. We must be aware of these forms of racism and speak out against them whenever we see them.
African Americans have been subjected to racism and discrimination throughout history. This has had a devastating impact on our communities, and it has led to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and incarceration. We must continue to fight against racism and discrimination and work to create a more just and equitable society.