Reddick: Local race relations have improved

By Greg Miller

STAR STAFF
gmiller@starhq.com

   Race relations in the Elizabethton/Carter County area have improved over time according to the Rev. James Reddick, Jr., pastor of Brown's Chapel AME Zion Church, Elizabethton.
   "They are growing to the extent that we now have a black county commissioner," said Reddick. "Before that, we had a black city councilman."
   Nationally, race relations have also improved, according to Reddick, a graduate of the Carter County Leadership Tomorrow program.
   However, Reddick said America is a push button society.
   "As St. Paul said, 'It's not the one who runs the race, but the one who endures.'''
   Reddick said Americans of all races should check themselves out and recognize and have courage enough to see the goodness within themselves.
   "They should also recognize that the goodness was not given by them, but was given by the one who created them. Once they have come to grips with themselves and accept who they are, where they are, and what their needs are, then they can begin to recognize that there is no silver or golden platter that will stand or fall. We are all constantly learning, and if we can accept that, we are always aware of God's goodness and how He can use us to be better human beings," said Reddick.
   Although improvements have occurred, improvements are still needed in race relations in the American Church, according to Reddick. "When Jesus came on the scene, the majority of the people who were looking for him did not accept him," Reddick said.
   Reddick explained that a parallel can be drawn between the story of Jesus and race relations today. The same problem that caused Jews not to accept Jesus is causing Christians not to accept one another and progress.
   "Our selfish interests are tied into us more than the need to serve God in spirit and in truth," Reddick said.