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Looking forward to Christmas. Christ is a Man of Color, Judged and Tried in His Living. The Intangible Treasure of All humanity. True Jesus. True Justice.

Dr. Olga Nickole Kuyan

17 Dec 2021


Anthony Ray Hinton. True Justice. Just Mercy. Have you watched, red, listened to, perceived?
On behalf of humanity we beg his pardon. His thirty years spent between life and death are our best treasure, the intangible treasure of all humanity. Without him we are without a source of many wonderful things. His thirty years were not vain. His thirty years are saints to us. And our gratitude to Brayan Stevenson, EJI, is endless.
We feel ashamed in front of Anthony and only today we can raise our eyes and look him in the face. Because today is a Novena. We are waiting for the birth of Christ. Despite the fact that in recent years the holiday of Jesus' birth has been superimposed on the consumerist Christmas, an "important" but meaningless holiday. Despite the fact that in Europe it was forbidden to say "Christmas" and even to call oneself Maria. We're waiting for Christ, for Light, for Love, for Hopeness. And Maria is our Mother.
We "take Christmas seriously" and devote attention to this occasion, trying to go beyond rituality, system and ideology.
We go to meet Jesus Christ. Our Jesus Christ is a man of color, sentenced to death, lynched, killed, that one of Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). EJI researchers documented 4075 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia between 1877 and 1950—at least 800 more lynchings of Black people in these states than previously reported in the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date.
Yeah, our Christ is a man of color. Jesus likely had a darker complexion than we imagine. Princeton biblical scholar James Charlesworth goes so far as to say Jesus was “most likely dark brown and sun-tanned.” "Jesus of Nazareth likely had a darker complexion than we [in the West tend to] imagine, not unlike the olive skin common among Middle Easterners today," wrote social psychologist and theologian Christena Cleveland in Christianity Today in 2016. The earliest depictions of an adult Jesus showed him with an “Oriental cast” and a brown complexion.
Not only is white Jesus inaccurate, he also can inhibit our ability to honor the image of God in people who aren’t white. Many critics claim that the Eurocentric representation of Jesus has been used to perpetuate white supremacy and reinforce racist stereotypes that deify whiteness while demonizing Black individuals. The white washing set the stage for the justification that Jesus stood with the powerful rather than the disenfranchised. We will never agree on the fact that Jesus was white. Nor will we agree that race is completely inconsequential. Race has been used as a construct to subvert and deny the rights of generations of peoples and that matters. Race is still used–whether explicitly or not–to justify the murder of Black and Brown people, and that matters.
So yes, understanding that Christ was NOT a white man who stood for status and abuses of power matters. Actually, it does more than matter; it is imperative.
Jesus Christ came to liberate humanity’s minds, bodies and souls. He came to teach us to do unto others as we would have done unto us. He came to show us that we should stand with the oppressed and never allow injustices to go unnoticed. Understanding what he looked like while he did it is not an inconsequential thing in a world where skin color has literally meant the difference between life and death.
When it is said to a man of color: look that you have court judgment for death penalty, handsome - handsome, sitting in the center of a state's criminal justice system like a king on the throne, then this one - if he tries to have faith - does one thing before others: he begins to list what matters and what doesn't matter; and he decides to write to Jesus .. as the last hope .. as if he were the Supreme Court .. Maybe he no longer has hope in the human justice system..
And he writes:

"Dear Jesus ...
I really don't believe in our Christmases at all: on the contrary, I think it is a profanation of what Christmas really means, constellations of lights go crazy through cities and towns to the point of blocking the view of the sky. Ours are cities without sky. For a long time now! It is a world without childhood. We are all old and tired. No one is born here anymore: there are no more children among us. We are all tired: a whole world of old and tired people.
You, Jesus, would be the only child in our houses, but you are a plaster child! In this world where no one awaits anyone anymore nothing is sadder than our cribs. No longer the West expects anyone, much less you: I mean the true Jesus, the one who would not really find a place welcomed to him. Because, for you, for true Man God, the true Christ, that of "blessed to you who are poor and woe to you who are rich", who says "blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness..", for you, true Jesus, there is no place in our homes, in our palaces, in our Courts, not even in certain churches, even if your images hang from all the walls…and you know, your image is a white man image..
Indeed, white Jesus is everywhere: in the art like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel and Warner Sallman’s light-eyed, light-haired “Head of Christ''; white Jesus is featured on most Christmas cards; and the recent History Channel mini-series The Bible dramatically introduced a white Jesus to more than 100 million viewers. In most of the Western world, Jesus is white.
While Christ the Lord transcends skin color and racial divisions, white Jesus has real consequences. Without conscious intention or awareness, many have become disciples of a white Jesus. White Jesus has already become the ideology.
But I realize that you aren't white. And you are not innocuous.
People have made of you a harmless Christ: who does not disturb. We have lost you, a heated Christ; we have put one that is according to the dominant tastes; which became the property of an entire white and consumerist bourgeoisie.
Yet you come to us, Jesus; you cannot not come ... You always come, Jesus. And you come on your own, you come because you want to come. This is the law of love. And you come not only where a silent and desolate humanity still flourishes, where there are still children who are born; where no one kills and no one is lynched, judged or excluded, yet you come in the little that one has, and there the bread is shared together ... You come to us, in the prison ..
But you also come into houses so cluttered with expensive and useless things and so spiritually miserable. you also come to the rich man's house, as you entered one day into the house of Zacchaeus, who was also a corrupt man of wealth.
You come to a new life, like new wine that blows old wineskins. I'm convinced of these things and certain that you will not abandon me anyway .. Fight for me, love me, Jesus ..
Come at night,
but it is always night in our heart:
so come always, Lord.
Come in silence,
we no longer know what to say:
so come always, Lord.
Come in solitude,
but each of us is more and more alone:
so come always, Lord.
Come, the son of peace,
we do not know what peace is:
so come always, Lord.
Come and console us,
we are more and more sad:
so come always, Lord.
Come and find us,
we are more and more lost:
so come always, Lord.
Come and save us,
without you we are without justice, Lord..
I love you..."

If we can understand that man of color, then perhaps we will no longer allow to use Jesus as an ideology. Perhaps we will be one step closer to understanding who Jesus was, what he stood for and just how revolutionary he truly was.
Truly Jesus is the son of that man of color and the son of all these generations of men and women, suffered, lynched, killed, in the intertwining of known and unknown people, people of colour with white, of saints with sinners, but we all are sinners! Their sufferings are part of Jesus' sufferings. Christ, the last link in this chain, is imbued with all the lights and shadows of such men and women, as they are, with everything that preceded them. He was killed for the crime he did not commit.
God wants to take upon himself in fullness this flesh, this history.
How beautiful is this God who is not afraid to graft himself into a story made up more of shadows than of lights.
But today it is the value of life that we want to put at the center of our thoughts, our dreams. Every life is precious.
In reality, even the world’s smartest minds will never truly know whether Jesus was Black or white. But one thing is for certain. By opening up a conversation about how the representation of Jesus can be more inclusive to those seeking faith and fortitude, we are expressing hope that the conversation about Jesus can shift more to a discussion about justice that can be built on Christ's basis. True Jesus. True Justice. That would be an idea worth having faith in, regardless of what Jesus looks like.


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