Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 24 October 2003

Did you see that TV documentary The Secret Policeman about trainee police officers?Where a handful of new policemen were exposed as holding extreme racial prejudices?I was horrified to think that people to whom we had given great authority were ready to act with prejudice and with favour.I am glad they were outed and forced to leave the police service.I hope that there are few undetected rotten apples in our police service, who slur the name of the great majority of the police force, who do a difficult job fairly and well.

 

Prejudice is a great time-saver. It helps us form our opinions without getting the facts straight. Not one of us is entirely free from prejudice of some kind.I donít like so-called Rap Music; I donít like slack-jawed childrenís TV presenters who have poor diction; I canít bear Coronation Street or Eastenders.Now, these are pretty trivial examples of prejudice, and I bet you have plenty of your own.But none of these are on a par with racial prejudice and racial stereotyping.

 

Racial prejudice is another confirmation that mankind has fallen away from Godís intentions.Because we all stem from the same common ancestor.Whether that is the Bibleís Adam, or the 5.4 million year old fossil found in Ethiopia doesnít matter.Either way, weíre from the same root stock.Your DNA isnít very different from that of any other human being on the planet, whatever racial group they might belong to.

 

Remember Shakespeareís Shylock?Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

 

The prejudice then was against Jews.Today itís about people whose skin is a different colour.But God spoke through the prophet Samuel, saying I judge people differently from the way humans do.Men and women look at the face; GOD looks into the heart.[1 Samuel 16:7]

 

I remember a man with a hope that stood against prejudice.A man with a God-given inspiration to speak against the forces of negativity and the folly of stereotyping.I ask you his question:Do you have a dream today[1]?

 

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[1] This is, of course taken from Rev. Martin Luther Kingís immortal ďI have a dreamĒ speech.