I love the South.  I love it for its natural beauty, warm client, and for the most part its culture.

But, a part of me hates the South, not its people but that secret semi-hidden culture, the one that has never acknowledged racial equality, especially in personal relationships.

I have dated outside of my race. I am open about it. Why shouldn’t I be? Some of the men have been Southern. A few I loved. A few loved me. But I noticed a pattern in most of these relationships. Some families, a few black, mostly white, have a special rule when it comes to dating here in the South.

You can be friends but never date.

You can have sex but never fall in love.

This rule has been the demise of a few of my personal relationships. I know why this ends something potentially good but I will never understand it.

A person who breaks this rule risks everything. They could lose their family, business and friends. By going against what is socially acceptable, they risk becoming an outcast.

You’re probably thinking: Is this 1950?

Yeah, my sentiments exactly.

I was sad with the ending of each relationship, not only because I lost another love but also because people can’t or won’t accept each other for their character. They vainly cannot see past the color of their skin.

Part of me wanted to hate my suitors for not standing up for what they truly believe and not breaking that cycle of hatred and prejudice. Part of me understood that it is a lot to ask to be that brave soul who finally tells the truth.

But I wonder…

I wonder what kind of heaven these people think they’re going to.

I wonder how they will answer when God asks if they loved everyone.

How will they explain the exceptions?

I wonder if they will even go to Heaven.

Yes, most of these people say they are Christian. There are some in the pulpit, preaching and teaching love. But, they would never speak to their daughter again if she brought home a black man to marry. If Jesus shows no preference, who are you to do so? (Acts 10:34)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

For years, my parents were stuck in this thinking. They were guilty of making distinctions among themselves as it is written in James 2. I remember my mom telling me that “the Bible said to love them; but it didn’t say fall in love with them”. I always thought it was an ignorant thing to say. And, I never found that verse.

I wonder how could they? How they say they love God, say they are Christian and hate someone solely because they look the way God made them? Thank God she repented before she died. My father had a change of heart shortly after. They finally understood and trusted in scripture like Galatians 3:28.

My parents, like so many, twisted the scripture. The love of Christ is not conditional. His love for his creation is without prejudice. He commands the same of us.

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: James 2:8

My question is: If the Holy Spirit truly lives in you, why is there so much hatred? Can the Holy Spirit dwell in a hatred filled environment? To quote the Apostle Paul, “God forbid”!

I don’t hate anyone. I hate the practice. In fact, my heart breaks because they are all victims, blinded by the lie. It will always be my prayer that we learn to love each other and turn a blind eye to the lie that has been passed on for decades and continues to be passed on, yet poisoning another generation.

Who will break the cycle?

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32