While his response drew a healthy applause from the audience, I felt a little disappointed. I know those who just want us to get over race issues will use Carson’s remarks as ammunition in the race relations discussion. I anticipate people responding like, “Look, one of your own just said we should move past it, so what’s the big deal?” I do not doubt Dr. Carson’s sincerity for a second, but his response was incomplete at best. Here is why:
Skin Colors and Hair Textures
The color of our skin and texture of our hair does matter, because every shade of skin and every hair texture displays the creative brilliance of almighty God. Our ethnic distinctions exist for the glory of God. We see in John’s glorious visions people from every nation, tribe, and language worshiping around the throne of God. These distinctions were God’s idea, and for the glory of his great name.
Trying to simply get past race denies the image of God reflected within ethnic diversity.
Honestly, this is both silly and confused:
i) How important is my hair to my identity? If I'm a middle-aged man who's going bald, should that trigger an identity crisis?
It's important to know that God numbers the hair on our heads. But surely hair is pretty incidental to my core identity.
ii) This isn't really about race but history and narrative. About whether people are defined, not by race, but by American history and a racial narrative. Are people today defined by the actions of people who lived 150 years ago (give or take)? Are you a prisoner of the past? Are you trapped in collective memories?