Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Evil monsters: Class and colour ruining the society

Published:Monday | September 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Steve Lyston,Contributor

WITHOUT A doubt, classism and racism are alive and are demons dividing society, as well as hindering growth and cooperation within the nation.

The killing in Ferguson, Missouri, of Michael Brown on the heels of the killing of Treyvon Martin in Florida and Mario Deane in Jamaica, has opened a can of worms on the classism and racism that still runs strong in Jamaica.

Since President Obama became the president of the United States of America, many believe that things have worsened because many believe that a black man should not be president or that certain classes and/or race should not be in leadership beyond a certain level. As someone that does counselling and working in different areas, I have see classism and racism first-hand.

Classism and racism affect many organisations - military, police, politics, religion and education. It even affects relationships because there are some who get married but have never received the blessing of their families due to the race and/or class of whom they marry.

I have seen where persons have made marriage proposals and have been turned down because the family outrightly stated that there must be no marriage if the person is not of a certain race or class.

Even persons who do in vitro fertilisation will not take sperm unless it comes from a certain race.

big hindrances

Both issues are the biggest hindrances to the justice system.

A recent article from The Wall Street Journal dated February 14, 2013, written by reporter Joe Palazzolo, stated that, "Prison sentences of black men were nearly 20 per cent longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years ... ."

Even this affects us in different ways. There are many communities that put rules and laws in place (beyond the laws of the land) to govern those communities to keep out a certain class or race of people. Even if such individuals 'slip through the cracks', they are harassed to frustrate them to leave the communities.

rampant but subtle

And what about the organisations that refuse to employ people based on their address or race? People are mistreated by law enforcement because of the communities they are from.

Recognise that especially within organisations, racism and classism are rampant but subtle.

In times gone by, organisations would not hire persons that were too dark for their front line. Over time, they had no choice but to change that policy. However, they are held back from being promoted within the organisation.

Have we not realised that only a certain class of persons are allowed to head committees within the nation? It is so bad that instead of bringing in new people they recycle the same ones.

Look at our local news media - the Outlook, Lifestyle and social pages, as well as the photo sections, only who's who of the society are featured.

Why is it that people of lighter skin colour are being referred to as 'high colour'? Why are those with other than 'kinky hair' being referred as having 'pretty hair'?

The issue of class and colour extends to the church as well. Within the religious circles, racism and classism are rampant! Jesus outlined in James 2, the treatment of the rich versus the poor within the faith.

There are pastors from well-known 'big' churches who would never mingle with or attend the function of a pastor from a small church, or a pastor that they consider below their class.

There are pastors - even from the small churches - who would never minister to or recognise anyone unless they drive SUVs, hold 'big' positions or are of a certain colour!

There are ministers who would never recognise or acknowledge another minister if that minister does not have a degree in theology or hold a doctor of divinity title.

There are Church leaders who will never promote a person in ministry if they are not of a certain class or race.

There are pastors who refuse to preach at a church that has less than 350 members.

To show respect to a person based on class or race is seen by God as evil! There should be no distinction based on rank or influence. Showing preference for the rich and powerful while ignoring those deemed 'below' is evil.

All human beings have an equal value and by their humanity are interrelated.

Human worth should not be valued by ethnicity, wealth, social standing or educational level, because all are significant and valuable in God's eyes. Jesus' ministry proves that.

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.