On Riley Cooper and the Fallacy of “Racial Sensitivity Training”

So, here we go again.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, who is white, is scheduled to undergo “racial sensitivity training” as a result of a video which surfaced last week of him using the word “nigger” at a Kenny Chesney concert in Philadelphia. That’s right – racial sensitivity training. That’s like sending an adulterous spouse to “vow sensitivity training” or a bank robber to “currency sensitivity training” or a suicide bomber to “munitions sensitivity training”.

See where I’m going with this?

By the way, I can’t help but wonder, is “racial sensitivity training” a category you can look up in the Yellow Pages?

Notwithstanding that Riley Cooper is no more guilty than many black people who use the word ‘nigger’ in everyday discourse, the notion that for the one who holds to such a sentiment it is simply a matter of a lack of racial “sensitivity”, is just as ridiculous as thinking the issue for the adulterer is that he or she simply doesn’t have an appreciation or affinity for what it means to keep a promise.

It goes deeper than that.

Much deeper.

Consider the words of Jesus Christ in Mark 7:20-23, And He [Jesus] was saying, That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Emphasis mine)

Racism is a matter of sinsitivity not sensitivity. 

The racist – like every other human being since Adam and Eve – is a sinner in desperate need of transformation not training (Romans 3:23). This is further supported by the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2 which reads, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” 

Biblically speaking, the “mind” and the “heart” are one and the same. So, in the context of the aforementioned passage in Romans, when the apostle Paul speaks of the ‘mind‘ (‘nous’ in the Greek, which denotes the intellect and understanding), he is also speaking of the ‘heart‘ (‘kardia’ in the Greek, which is the center and seat of the spiritual life).

What is at issue here is developing a renewed mind not a trained one. 

If Riley Cooper is being required to attend racial sensitivity training, then, perhaps Jay-Z of “Nigga What? Nigga Who?” fame should be the one conducting the training. At least that way you’d have the opportunity to, as the old adage goes, “kill two (racist) birds with one stone.”

Think about it. 

DBH 

Scripture references are taken from the MacArthur Study Bible New American Standard translation

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