Segregation Disguised as Diversity
by Joe R. Price
The Bible says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). The gospel overcomes societal sins of inequality and injustice between races and cultures (Colossians 3:11). Our unity in Christ does not segregate us into racial groups (black and white, Asian and European, Islanders and Indigenous). We are all of one blood, the human race (Acts 17:26).
Yet, such separation is happening on a growing number of university campuses. For example, Western Washington University (Bellingham WA) has inaugurated its Black Affinity Housing program that “aims to create ‘a caring and connected community among residents’ and support ‘wellness centering the Black experience’” ["Black Students-Only Housing Set Up at Washington University, " newsweek.com]. The advances made in the U.S. to eliminate racial segregation (i.e., “separate but equal”) have turned into a new form of segregation (“be separate and celebrate your own experience”). The university denies this is segregation, saying, “WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race,” and, “The program explores and celebrates the diversity of Black and African American people and culture, with historical and contemporary context. All Western students residing in the program help foster a warm and vibrant community supporting social, personal and academic success” ["Black Affinity Housing," housing.wwu.edu].
It ought to be obvious that racial hurt and division are not healed by further division. Yet, that seems to escape the intellectually enlightened of this age (II Corinthians 4:3-4). Yes, Satan is hard at work to divide and destroy.
Christian, beware. Tendencies to segregate can infect churches (James 2:1-9). The basis of our unity is Christ and His truth, not race, social order (i.e., castes), wealth, poverty, or any other external factor (Ephesians 4:1-6). We are “members of one another” (Romans 12:5).