Word of Superior

I  too, am racist 

Gille Barette

A young person without a ticket was in a compartment of the train where I was.  The controller requests the ticket.  The young man replied: "Racist".  It was not because of the color of his skin.  The facial features showed that the young man was originating from Algeria.

     The missionary is called to meet others and to live with different people through their culture, food, language, etc. I am Canadian, and my culture is not the center of the world. I sometimes talk about others disrespectfully and am inclined to judge him.  Officially, I think myself non-racist, but the diversity, difference and otherness of others disturbs me. 

   If I recognize that I make myself the center of the world: it makes me grow in humility and in truth about myself. The presence of others should enrich me but, sometimes, prejudice prevails.

  Let's not go far: in my family, in my workplace and in my social relations, the temptation to make myself the center of the world exists.  Accepting others builds a common future, a great brotherhood.  For me, as Christian, it is a springboard to discover the true face of God, who is THE OTHER.  In God-Love, in whom I am trying to testify, there is no racism.  He loves me as I am, with my story.  He created me different, different from him.  God, he is not racist. 

     As a disciple of Jesus, as a missionary, I have to meet others in their different ways of dressing, reacting, eating and speaking in a different way.  Who am I to judge? Prejudices are overcome only through encounters and sharing.  When the other becomes a brother, a sister, racism is over.

      I, too, am a racist: to recognize it is a way of growing in humanity.  It is a path of liberation.

 Gilles Barrette, M. Afr.