I’ve been at a loss for words this week. Even now as I type, I cannot seem to wrap my brain around what happened to George Floyd. A police officer slowly snuffed the life out of a son, a father, a brother, a partner, a friend, a human being. Three watched and did nothing. I do not know how my Black brothers and sisters wake up every day. The consistent crushing, relenting for no one, how do they live? And why is it acceptable to allow our people, our friends, our family in Christ to suffer one more day of this?
It’s so heavy.
We need to feel it.
Can you feel it with me?
Let’s mourn a life lost too soon. Let’s create space to repent of the corporate sin of racism in our communities. Let’s sincerely ask God to shine light where racism lives in our own hearts and minds and fully face whatever we discover.
This repentance, this becoming like Jesus, this turning from evil and to God is going to be a process. This is going to take a lifetime of saying no to anything less than seeking God’s kingdom come for our Black brothers and sisters. Here are a couple of things we can do right now.
- Follow Ally Henny on social media and look into her resources. As iron sharpens iron, I pray she may challenge us. I pray she may offend us, so we would have the opportunity to reflect on that offense and dig out what it has unearthed. Below is a list of helpful things we can do that she posted on her Facebook page on May 31, 2020.
- Pray and ask God what you can do specifically in your sphere of influence to address racism. The problem is complex and overwhelming; because of privilege, White Christians can look away, and nothing will change for us. I cannot imagine being a person of color; there is no option to look away. Sometimes the enormity of it paralyzes me. For me, I considered my spheres of influence. I am a Christian, a parent, and a teacher. My spheres of influence are the church, the home, and the school. I reached out to my friend who teaches history at the school connected to my church to see what resources I could purchase for her that address racism. I contacted the school’s principal to see what resources I could get for the elementary classes. I also texted our children’s pastor to see what she may need and ended up purchasing multi-cultural dolls.
To be honest, these two steps feels pretty pathetic in comparison to the problem. I acknowledge and own that. I’m just done with prayers and posts…and then the forgetting about it until it happens again. It’s a vicious cycle. We tell ourselves the same story over and over again every time we take another Black life, every time we rob a family of a precious loved one, every time an image bearer meets God way too soon: “This is awful! I don’t know what to do. I’ll post my outrage. Oh, I feel better now.” And nothing changes in ourselves, in our churches, in our communities. So I invite you to join me in my pathetic step or come up with your own pathetic step. I am 100% confident that I will make mistakes along the way as I address racism within myself and my community. I am 100% confident I will need to apologize and continue to grow and learn. I am 100% confident that buying dolls will not be the last step for me. May it not be the last step for any of us.
MOVEMENT STEP: Spend time this week mourning with God over the murder of George Floyd. Pray and ask God to show you a movement step to address racism in your sphere of influence.
This list is from Ally Henny; it was posted on her Facebook page on May 31, 2020. Follow her here: https://www.facebook.com/allyhennypage
- Listen to people of color share their experiences.
- Educate yourself. That means reading books and connecting with anti-racist resources.
- Pay reparations to individual POC that have expended their emotional labor dealing with your privilege. Pay reparations to POC institutions. Pay activists and content creators for your education.
- Disrupt the racism that you see from your fellow people of whiteness. Tell people that they’re being racist. Refuse to entertain insensitive talk anywhere, including this app.
- Get uncomfortable. Put yourself in situations with people who are not afraid to speak their truth to you.
- Do the work. Dedicate time and energy to learning to deal with your whiteness. Since you were born, you have been exposed to a lot of negative ideas about people of color. It is going to take a lot of time to dismantle the things that you thought were normal and okay.
- Be ready to be offended and to have your feelings hurt. People are tired of being oppressed and a lot of folks are gonna let you have it right now. Will you learn or will you retreat into comfort.
- Listen to people of color who you might not necessarily agree with rather than defaulting to the same voices that don’t challenge whiteness.
- Don’t demand emotional labor from your black, brown, and indigenous friends. Especially right now. Take whatever they have to offer and don’t make demands upon them.
- Manage your white tears. Your eyes are being opened to the injustice in the world and that’s a good thing. But your black, brown, and indigenous friends should not have to wipe your tears when they’re too busy wiping their own.