Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Emancipation II

"Negros," is what people of color were commonly called when I was a child. The maternal side of my family came from the South (Virginia) to the Northwest. They used a different word. Somehow I avoided inheriting the use of that word even though the family tossed it about like any other noun.
But it is not just like any other noun.
The word my family used was derived from the Spanish and Portuguese, "negro" which in turn found its roots in the Latin "niger," meaning black.
Men of meanness have a way of using etymology as a tool for hammering home insults. When the Italians emigrated to America many arrived without any papers so Ellis Island officials first documented their entry into the country as "without papers" which over time devolved into the pejorative W.O.P.
Unfortunately this was true of the Polish, the Jews, and most other immigrants that came to America.
As one ethnic group would move up the sociological scale and leave the slums of New York or Chicago new immigrants would move in and become the butt of prejudice and epithets. Welcome to America.
Methinks pejoratives are still alive and sick, but now are whispered instead of shouted (probably still freely used around the dinner tables and in the woodsheds), and great-grandpa still slips one in now and then.
But the nation has its first president who is a man of color; a black man, a negro, a (Latin) niger. I see this as a second emancipation that far exceeds Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in the same way that "full color, High-definition TV" exceeds the first four-inch black and white TV I ever saw.
The nation has finally permitted people of color their Emancipation cum laude; long awaited and long overdue. Somewhere(s) in all parts of our nation there are those who are grumbling; who heard their parents grumble and are teaching their children and grandchildren to grumble.
A new generation of children are learning the pejoratives, the epithets, the slang, the attitudes...and the sad part is that these claim to be Christian. Obviously they do not know the meaning of the Word. They do not realize that heaven (if they get there) will be ablaze with color; people of all colors who are trophies of Christ, His suffering, His death, His sacrifice for all men.
"For God so loved the world (read people of all colors in the world) that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever (read of all colors and languages) believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." [John 3:16].
If we do not love the children of God how then can we say that we love their Father?
Think on these things. e.c.

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