By Victor Ochieng
Christians are marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ this week. Today marks a day of light and joy, having come from the darkness that characterized Good Friday from a biblical perspective.
In America, there is darkness, and that darkness is the “original sin,” which has been to devalue the lives of indigenous Americans and African slaves. There is a systematic effort to show that people of color are lesser beings compared to their white counterparts. Racism and the myth of white supremacy have been deeply rooted in the society.
Interestingly, both people of color and individuals who support them have spearheaded movements to seek equity, racial justice, and equity. These groupings are focused on embedding values within the American culture. Their efforts have registered enormous improvements and have also influenced other people across the world to initiate their own movements for similar reasons.
The continued fight for justice and equity should define our Easter; it should be our prayer this season.
Right now, we still see powerful individuals relying on this original sin to prosper. One such person is GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who, although not the originator of the American sin, is using it for political expediency.
Since the 1964 enactment of the Civil Rights Act, things changed within the Republican Party. Several presidential candidates started exploring the politics of hate to gain political ground. Some of these are Karl Rove, Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater and Ronald Reagan. Republican Party has thus been used as a party for white southerners and northern suburban families. The politics of hate has been used as a way to restrict voting and limit development in places occupied by people of color.
It’s of this same hate that Trump is building his campaign.
Using the politics of fear, hate, and white supremacy, Trump is busy consolidating his constituency that share in his agenda.
What are religious Americans supposed to do about Trump and his campaign? How are religious leaders supposed to come in? It’s saddening that some white evangelicals support Trump in spite of the hate he’s spewing.
When Pope Francis dismissed Trump’s idea of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, some Christians went as far as criticizing the Catholic Church leader, revealing how much still needs to be done to ensure that the Bible becomes the code for all Christians.