I'm grieved, broken-hearted and outraged. I wept when I heard the families of the victims of the Charleston shooting offered forgiveness towards the shooter. I can't be silent any longer. This act of racial hatred is wrong and evil. This quote by Edmund Burke swirls through my head as I try and make sense of the madness.
I have many thoughts and questions, mostly for myself. I have been looking inward since the devastation. This post is my way of processing this tragedy.
- What do my black brothers and sisters need from me, a white Christian woman?
- How can I be an agent of change in my generation?
- Why is the Church largely silent? (I have been somewhat encouraged that white churches are speaking out against this heinous act.)
- How can I reach out to my black brothers and sisters? I don't know what to say and honestly, I am afraid I will say the wrong thing.
- I want to understand what it is like for my black brothers and sisters.
- What can I do to make a difference? How can I best respond?
- What does it feel like to be treated in an inferior way 24/7?
- How can I be a reconciler?
This week, my eighteen-year-old son and I did some practice driving. I looked over at him and had this realization that he most likely may never experience being marginalized because of his race. Aidan probably won't ever know what it is like to be judged, treated with suspicion, treated unjustly, falsely accused, pulled over by the cops, beaten, chased or killed because of his race. At that moment, I began to understand "white privilege" and it grieved me that this happens in our country to black people and minorities often.
I am prejudiced. Prejudice simply means to "pre-judge" though there is nothing simple about prejudice. Sinful, yes. I confess I pre-judge all the time. I hate that this is true of me. I pre-judge people according to their race, political beliefs, doctrinal stances, clothing choices and many other things. The Lord has called me on this time and time again. Forgive me, Lord! I am asking Him to change my heart.
I am calling on the Church to lay down these prejudices, come clean about them and move toward love and unity. Admit our shit. Seek to understand what it is like for the black and minority people here in America. Speak up. Stand up for those who are oppressed! Love. Humble ourselves. Ask forgiveness on behalf of the white people who have done harm to our black brothers and sisters.
I want my black brothers and sisters to know that I am ashamed of this act of injustice (and many others over the years.) I ask your forgiveness for all the brutality and injustice. I value you as Imago Dei humans, made in the beautiful image of God. The Body of Christ is not complete without you!
"Love is a day in and day out fending for the dignity of another, despite race and cultural difference. A love this nation has never seen, across all lines, will cause us to rise, and rise we will." ~Adam Thomason
If you agree with the thoughts in this post, will you pass it on? It's time to stand up for the oppressed.
Labels: Charleston, Charleston strong, community, forgiveness, injustice, love, my beloved community, prejudice, racism, unity