I have observed race relations and local politics for more than 40 years in Richmond and Columbia counties.
For most of those years the white community set the agenda, which did not include the best interests of the black community.
Now that the black community has attained a higher level of influence through hard work and patience, the white community is trying to impede that progress.
Anyone who makes an objective and honest observation of our race problems will admit there is still deep-seated prejudice within the white community against our fellow black citizens.
Sadly, a lot of that prejudice is in our predominantly white churches. However, I believe our best hope for improving race relations still lies within the Christian community and churches.
I suggest that pastors and leaders of our churches establish an exchange program similar to student foreign exchange programs. This program would have a certain number of members from predominantly white churches worship in predominantly black churches and vice versa. The black and white pastors would also exchange pulpits on a regular basis.
As a white Southern Baptist minister, I believe in the Genesis account of creation and that God created the first man and woman. Therefore, we are all descendants of Adam and Eve and are related to each other no matter what our skin color.
The sooner we begin treating each other in the relationship in which God created us, the sooner we will solve our racial differences.
The Rev. Paul L. Cook, Augusta
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