The broadcast of a recent video of Oklahoma University fraternity students singing racially charged lyrics (including a refrain that speaks of lynching black people and uses the "N" word with clearly casual ease) shocked many people.
Frankly, I wasn't too surprised. I run into such attitudes frequently.
What troubled me most was the light-hearted, nonchalance of those involved.
Where does one learn the "values" of such an insensitive, thoughtless, hateful, racist frame on life?
On the other hand, where does one learn truth, the sort of truth that resists evil when it's encountered.
Here's the horrific video.
Watch it again.
Let it soak in.
As you watch, try to put yourself in the shoes of your African American neighbors.
If you are a parent, use this shameful display of hate to teach your children the truth they will need to be a force of transformation and unity that stands resolutely over against the darkness of this latest example of the spirit of racism that remains alive and thriving in our society.
Over 60 years ago, Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. She stayed on the bus and she didn't get up or off.
Today we face a similar choice as white people.
When we face moments of hatred and racism, we must be brave enough to deal with the bus we may be riding.
In our case the challenge will be to stand up, speak out and get off any bus going into the terrible darkness defined by our nation's past in this country.
Form your children in love, acceptance and celebration of the beauty of all of God's children.
And, by all means, never tolerate expressions of hateful racism.