a very important new museum being built about 50 miles south of
Washington, DC in Fredericksburg, Virginia, not far from the site of one
of the bloodiest and fiercest battles of the American Civil War. It is
the United States National Slavery Museum. While this museum
doesn’t have a political agenda, it does have a humanitarian agenda—it
seeks to not only tell the truth about Slavery, but to also heal the
long-standing split between the black and white races. In other words,
this museum is not about assigning guilt, but rather about making a case
for mutual understanding and respect between individuals, regardless of
As a matter of full disclosure, I need to advise you that my company, Fund Raising Strategies, is doing some work for this museum, but I must also tell you that my interest is far more than business.
not that this museum will wipe out racism. Unfortunately, racism of all
types will never leave us. It is a part of the human condition from the
Fall. After all, racism is simply the hatred of a class of individuals
without any reason or logic. Racism is simply sin. In the Bible we are
told that "He who hates his brother is a murderer" (1 John 3:15). You
can’t wipe out racism any more than you can wipe out sin, but can’t we
stop dividing folks along racial lines for political gain or to boost
our own esteem?
business of judging people by the class they belong to will tear our
nation apart if left unchecked. It’s what white racists have done to
black Americans for too many years. It’s what the news media did to my
former client, Richard Jewell. Even today, Richard suffers public
castigation when strangers falsely single him out as the "Atlanta
Bomber," although the reality is that he was the hero that saved many
lives during the Atlanta Olympics.
are individuals, not groups. On this earth, each of us deserves to be
judged by our own individual actions, not by the color of our skin, the
size of our bank account, our age, our weight, or any other personal
characteristic. It’s exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King was talking
about and it’s what the Christian religion teaches. We must be held
accountable for our own actions, but not for the actions or words of
Of course we are
all frail, imperfect human beings, so before you strive to get the spec
out of someone else’s eye, be sure you get the log out of your own eye.
If we will all consider our own imperfections and strive to avoid giving
offense, as well as strive to avoid taking offense, this would be a
much better place in which to live.
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