A handful of black footballers, including England internationals Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose, are spearheading a movement of resistance to the creeping resurgence of racist hate speech. They are brave, and they are right - hence my "Hallelujah!"
In an interview on April 8th, Sterling said this:
"Growing up, my mum has always told me that I'm a wonderful black child. I know this."
Although these words are absolutely relevant to the fight against the evil of racism, they also go beyond matters of race. This is a declaration of just how important it is - for everyone - to be affirmed, to be told "You are good - just as you are, whoever you are". There is no better starting point in life, no better antidote to the voices saying "you're rubbish", no better armour against the haters. "I know this" - how powerful those 3 little words are!
In a world where division and prejudice often loom large, if we claim to be Christian - if we claim to be human in the right way - if we recognise the healing power of compassion and acceptance - then our job is to insist: every child of God is wonderful, and nobody has the right to say otherwise!