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This issue will be somewhat sensitive but also incredibly important based on what is going on in our state and nation right now.  I will be called racist by some who don’t read through this message and understand it for what it is, a message of unity.  The issue of race has been prominent for a while but last year it came to the forefront.  Last year resulted in protests, which are needed when there is injustice and the riots, which are wrong and cause much harm to the wellbeing of the nation have brought race to the front of most people’s thoughts.  Now we are dealing with such things as Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project and other supposed curriculum that, on the surface, are meant to have a healing effect to what is considered race relations but they do the opposite and I reject them for that reason.

I hope to bring another aspect to this discussion and feel it needs to be stated.  Although I spent most of my growing years in NW Iowa where there isn’t a lot of diversity regarding skin color, I did spend 25 years in the military and that is diverse.  I also spent 4 years of my military service as an Equal Opportunity Advisor and 15 months of that time was in Iraq on a base as diverse as any larger city.

What I personally have come to find is many issues of race are simply due to a lack of people talking and learning about one another.  My personal feeling towards race and skin color, if it were more widespread and accepted would make this world a much better place.  To give you a sense of my perspective, let me tell you, it is based on my religion and before some criticize me for having a separation between religion and government, let me say that I have just as much right as a political leader to have 1st Amendment rights as anyone else.

I am a Christian and because of that I believe in Old Testament and New Testament Biblical Truths.  At the very beginning of the Bible it states that God created the Heavens and the Earth, the animals, and finally He created Adam, a man.  After He created all these things, he said “It is Good”.  God didn’t make anything bad according to the scriptures that I have read.

Nowhere in that round of scripture did I read that He created white people and brown or black people.  He created the Race of humans.  Ethnicities and differences in how people look developed after all this happened.  But the truth is still there that we are one people.  Along the way, skin color and ethnicity has been used to justify atrocities throughout history.  There have been atrocities even in our own countries history that we must recognize.

Despite the bad our country has been a source of good and greatness that has improved more lives than it has harmed throughout the world.  We are a great culture and country.  I reject the movement to classify each person as a group.  Some try to classify many groups such as men, women, black, white, brown, gay, straight, and many others too numerous to mention.  I would say that we are one people and if you are in Iowa legally, then you are an Iowan.  If you are in the United States, legally, then you are an American.  Let’s do away with labels and division and seek unity.  Iowans and Americans are one people and we are a great people whose capacity to do good is unrivaled in the history of the world.

Finally, Jesus said, what many call the 11th Commandment, “Do unto others as you’d have done unto you”.  What this means to me and what I am commanded to do is to treat each person equally no matter who they are or how they look to me.  If we did away with labels and directed our energies towards good works what a great amount of good, we would do, indeed.

Author: John Wills


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