How should I handle racist remarks?
I’m very sorry that you’ve had to experience racist remarks. I’ve also been the recipient of racist behavior in the past, so I know how hurtful such words and actions can be. However, I also know that GOD doesn’t consider color or ethnicity. The social divide among races and ethnic groups was created by people, NOT God. The Bible says this about Him:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful (Psalms 139:13-14).
God delights in the beautiful variation among His people and just like everything else that God institutes, Satan tries to cause chaos and division among different groups. We should understand that racism is just another attempt by the enemy to distract God’s people. With that said, here are a few tips to deal with racism:
- Don’t retaliate. As hurtful or infuriating as racist remarks are, don’t retaliate with cruel words or other ungodly behavior. Some people are just mean and no matter what you say, they’ll continue to believe what they believe.
Responding in a negative way does NOT bring glory to God because God instructs us to love everyone, including our enemies. (Don’t worry, God will deal with those people in His own way.)
Instead, try ignoring them and walking away. You might also try responding with KIND words, which will probably make them feel pretty silly.
However you respond, make sure you’re demonstrating the love of Jesus–you never know who may be watching. Your response may be what leads an onlooker (or the racist person him/herself) to God. Besides, when mean people realize that they can’t get a negative response out of you, they’ll likely leave you alone and be on their way.
- Seek help from a trusted adult. If the racist remarks are repetitive, you’re being bullied, or if you feel that your safety is in jeopardy, please seek help from an adult IMMEDIATELY! It’s NEVER okay for someone to bully or harm you in any way!
- Pray for them. Racist people don’t understand the Gospel and are probably lost. As Christians, it’s our responsibility to pray for their salvation. Despite the hatred that they inflict unto you and others, pray that their eyes eventually will be opened to the ways of Christ. Consider Paul: He hated Jewish people and actually killed many, many Jews, yet he found the road to salvation and ended up writing most of the New Testament of the Bible!
- Don’t internalize the hatred. NEVER take anything that racist people say or do to heart. Unfortunately, they’re allowing Satan to use them, and Satan will use anyone or any situation to try to distract God’s people. Always remember that you are exactly who GOD meant for you to be!
I know that racism can be pretty hard to deal with, but always remember that God created you in HIS image. He loves you and He has a purpose for you. No amount of racism can take that away. Be blessed and never forget that YOU ARE SPECIAL!
Written by Aysha Ives