If you find yourself saying “oh, no,” or wanting to skip reading this post, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I didn’t want to write it. Racism isn’t a topic I talk about readily. The events of the past several months call me to speak on this topic with the hope that you will open your hearts to an important truth. If you love Jesus, and you love your children, it’s time for you to get to work to dismantle racism.
We find ourselves in a divisive moment in our country. As a parent of daughters of color, I’ve had conversations with my girls about where it’s safe to be and when. We talk about what to say and do if police stop them. We examine the news and dissect incidents around race and gender. I share stories from my own experiences and those of my parents’. I won’t even get into the personal experiences we’ve had. I want my girls to be proud of who they are, and I also want them to live–not only live their best lives. I want them to live, period.
At General Convention this past July, my diocese received a grant to pursue the work of Becoming Beloved Community. I’d been asked to be part of the task force to undertake this work since January, but I resisted. I’m tired of talking about racism, I said. Thinking of doing this work with the diocese did not bring me joy. I gave it over to God and left it alone. Well…
God called me to do the work. The Spirit reminded me of the sacrifices of my elders and ancestors from which I cannot shield my eyes and turn my back. As a parent, I can’t know that I could have helped, and didn’t. Not with something as important as racial reconciliation.
Perhaps you’re thinking; I’m an inclusive person. I’m teaching my kids to love everyone. That’s wonderful. But it’s not enough.
How far are you willing to go to be inclusive? Who are you ready to stop and challenge when they make a racist comment? Side note: if you ask yourself “Hmmm… was that racist?” it probably was. The recent events with Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick and the deaths of men, women, and children of color mean I have to work to dismantle racism. What are you prepared to do?
If you wish to join me in being part of the solution, read more about Becoming Beloved Community. Learn about what our church endeavors to do as we reconcile ourselves to our history and our present. Call out racism when and where you see it. Talk to your children, as it’s age appropriate, about inclusion. Seek and create family experiences where everyone doesn’t look like you. Ask questions in the comments – I’ll do my best to find answers.
Racial reconciliation calls for us to be strong and brave. It invites us to do the work of Jesus. All of our children deserve to know love and peace. Let’s work together to bring love and peace to all.
How do you talk about racism with your family? What can you take on that you’ve been resisting as we dismantle racism in the United States?