[*] Race

Gene M. Bridges was opining the other day in our comments section about whether Steve Hays or I would get around to discussing the matter of race and Hurricane Katrina. Before you read what I have to say about it, you should begin by reading what Larry Elder says about it today. Larry is a standard-bearer against the illegitimate use of the race card, and his essay is spot-on.

My additional comments are as follows:

Last night my (6-year-old) son brought home a letter from the school district regarding the 540+ refugees that are being housed locally at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly grounds (and, perhaps, the 1000+ being housed just over the AR/OK border at New Life Ranch). There are children in the ranks of these people who have been completely pillaged by the tragedy of New Orleans, and our school district is going to integrate them into our schools over the next couple of weeks.

This morning, we got up early to get ready for school and for work because I wanted my son to understand what was happening. We left early to swing by the ABA so that he could see the people and the place before we talked about why there were going to be new kids in his school. When we got there, we could only drive by because traffic in and out of the grounds is controller by the state police. He looked out the window, and he said, "Daddy, those people look like [Simbi]." [Simbi] is not a real name, but he is a real boy who lives here in Siloam Springs with his parents who attend the university as grad students. [Simbi] and his family are from Africa.

"Yes," I said. "What do you think?"

He thought a minute. "How did the hurricane take away their houses?"

I explained that the hurricane caused the water in their town to come up as high as the roof of a house -- it covered everthing. He thought about that, too.

"I'll bet they're scared," he said.

Now as my son was saying this, I was thinking about my Dad. He's a refugee from the communist suppression of Hungary in 1955. He was a refugee from terror, not natural disaster. In those people, I saw my father's face.

I told my son that Jesus taught that us to give a glass of cold water to those who are thirsty, and to take care of those who have nothing -- even if it is costly to ourselves.

"What if I only have my milk?" he asked me. He's 6. He was listening. "Should I give it to someone who doesn't have any?"

It's hard to drive your son to school when you're crying because you realize he just understood the Gospel better than you could teach it to him. His response is the basis of my response to those who charge racism in the response to this disaster. The only way to call the outpouring of aid to those who are suffering right now "racism" is to call a 6-year-old's willingness to give his milk at lunch to a child who doesn't have any "hatred" or "malice".

Shame on all people who call aid to the desperate "racism". May God forgive them for their blindness and their selfishness.

Sorry for all the re-edits. Bloody typos.