3. It really is possible to have a conversation about racism.
This deeper dive happened because almost 10 years ago, two pastors: one White and one Black, decided to have a conversation on refections on racism, and to build a friendship. They talked about their differences and learned they had more in common, but they also learned together.
That is one of the keys to any learning and conversation, but especially one on race.
Humility to face the things you’ve done and face the things people have done in the past.
Yes, there is a good chance you will ask a question that you will feel dumb when you ask it. You might say something offensive or hurt someone’s feelings, but apologize to them quickly and make it right. Repent and ask for help. That is humility.
4. There are a lot of scared people in our country.
Every day on social media, there are stories upon stories of the fears that our African American brothers and sisters carry. Fears of walking out the door, being pulled over, shot in the back. Those fears are real, and they cannot be brushed aside.
There is a fear of how fast things are changing and honestly, the changes that I think bring about fear in many white people is the loss of the world they’ve known. The majority culture is being confronted and that isn’t a bad thing. We must learn what is in our history, what has been done and “what we have always known.”
When my kids play with other kids, I watch the eyes of the other dad’s. They are on Judah, not my other boys. I don’t think they do that on purpose, but they are watching him play with their kids, especially if they have a daughter. What makes them afraid of him? My soft-spoken black son. Someone, somewhere, taught them to be afraid. I heard it growing up and that is the places of our stories and histories we need to repent of and face.
5. Reflections of Racism – Educate Yourself.
Change starts with you, with one person.
One thing I was reminded of last night is that people really do want to learn and engage. Yes, there are people on all sides of an issue that have no desire to listen, no desire to learn, and just want to shut it down. But most people aren’t like that. At our deeper dive, people asked questions, raised issues, but I imagine they leaned in and listened. I’ve heard from so many people who have said thanks, thank you for pressing in on this and pushing us. Right now, my wife is taking our kids through a book about things I never learned in history and it is uncomfortable but we need to know those things.
If you go to our deeper dive page, there is a list of resources to help you move forward in this conversation.
I loved what Grady said, change in our culture will come from the church, not the government. We cannot sit on the sidelines. I want to be a part of that, and I’m trying to learn how to do that.
This article on reflections on racism originally appeared here, and is used by permission.