Well friends, this has been a WEEK.
I have been challenged and I have been changed.
It was a week of growth and education… and like I said - challenge. It was challenging mentally, emotionally and relationally. I’m not kidding when I say I believe I’ve been challenged more this week than I’ve ever been in my whole life… about anything. And although it’s been exhausting, it’s been a good thing.
I have been challenged by conversations with friends, by podcasts, articles, blogs and social media posts. My thinking, my biases, my beliefs and convictions have all been questioned and challenged by both people I agree with and people I disagree with. Some days were hard and heartbreaking. Other days were beautiful and eye-opening. Over-all, I know it’s worth the struggle.
I used to think when someone challenged you on something, it wasn’t good. Now, my eyes have been opened to the benefits of being challenged. It’s really the quickest way towards getting to the truth. And the truth is ultimately what I want to see.
This week I participated in the “I am Muted” pledge, where I didn’t post anything about my own life, instead spotlighting the plight of the black community and supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement. It was pretty amazing to see how many white people grew tired of my posts and un-followed me. Maybe some un-friended me too, I don’t really know. If they did, that makes me sad, because it means they don't want to be confronted with another view other than their own.
One of the most challenging aspects of growth is being questioned by those you love who deeply don’t agree with you. “You’re posting too much about racial stuff!” said one friend who was clearly uncomfortable with my posts this week. Yes, I know - it’s much more comfortable for everyone if I just go back to posting about my music, or pictures of Charlotte smiling, sprinkled in with a recipe or two. Trust me, I’d rather be posting about that stuff too. I’d give anything if I didn’t have to post about police brutality and racial injustice because that would mean it wasn’t happening anymore. Sadly, i can’t do that, because it IS happening.
As this week comes to an end, I won’t be posting about racial issues everyday anymore, but I don’t plan on backing down to fight for equality for my black friends. I am committed to doing what I can to stop racial injustice in this country. This has been buried in my heart now and my eyes have been opened. REALLY opened to the systemic injustice going on in our country. And once you finally SEE this, you can’t un-see it.
Yes, I have been challenged and I have been changed.
On a positive note, I do believe we are seeing some progress on this. The peaceful protest in Nashville this week, organized by teenagers in this area was nothing short of incredible! Over 10,000 people peacefully let their voices be heard! I watched with chills as they marched downtown. And this time it wasn’t just black people marching for their rights. It was black and white and hispanic and asian… a completely mixed demographic of people all fighting for the rights of each other! It was inspiring and encouraging and makes me think we do have good change coming around the corner.
To end this, I’d like to highlight 3 main ways I have been challenged:
1. As a white woman, I have been challenged. I’ve been challenged to see my whiteness and acknowledge my privileged place in this society. I’m not quite as privileged as a white male, but I’m second in line and we white women need to understand how we have pushed minorities down so that we can hold onto that 2nd place position. For a resource on that, I recommend watching “White Women’s Toxic Tears”, by Lisa Sharon Harper and Jen Hatmaker.
2. As a Christian, I have been challenged. I’ve been challenged to see how the Christian church has failed the black communities. I’ve been challenged to see how the church is still the most segregated body in America today. In THIS YOUTUBE CLIP, Martin Luther King speaks about how sad it is that the “11:00 hour is the most segregated hour in our country” and what a tragedy that is. This clip was from 1960, and sadly, not much has changed 60 years later.
I'd also like to say that the silence from so many white Christian leaders on racism has been deafening. White theology is still loud and proud in America. If it wasn't for the black Christian leaders speaking out so eloquently and standing strong in the faith, I might be questioning my own religious beliefs -- even more than I already have been these last few years. I am grateful to them.
3. And as an American, I have been challenged. America used to be proud of it’s diversity. On the Statue of Liberty, these words are engraved:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I pray our country can celebrate it’s diversity again, by truly giving equality to all. By showing human decency, respect and love to each other, no matter what our backgrounds are. No matter what our skin color is. No matter what language we speak. I love this country. I love it so much. THAT is why I’m fighting to make it better. I’m fighting to make it a wonderful place for ALL to live.
Yes, this has been a challenging week on so many levels. But I have grown and feel like I’m a better person. A stronger person. I pray everyone is taking the time to do the work they need to in order to educate themselves on the truth that is happening in our country.
If you want to learn more but don’t know where to start, I listed some resources for you at the bottom of this blog. I hope you will take the time to understand… truly understand, what is happening in this country. Don’t let your prejudices and biases blind you from the truth. I can say that because I used to be blinded by my limited perspective… and I would argue with you ALL DAY LONG that I wasn’t. I thought I could see… but i could not. I didn’t know how to “Weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Now that I understand the real plight of the minorities in this country, I have been weeping. I have weeped all week. I just pray my tears continue to push me to make a difference.
Yes, I have been challenged and I have been changed.
… and I am grateful.
Love, Peace and Blessings,
A few trusted leaders to learn from :
Latasha Morrison: https://latashamorrison.com/
Lisa Sharon Harper: www.lisasharonharper.com
Jo Saxton: www.josaxton.com
Kyle Howard: www.kylejhoward.com
Ibram X. Kendi: https://www.ibramxkendi.com/
BJ Thompson: https://twitter.com/bj116
Websites to check out:
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Waking up White by Debby Irving
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
White Awake by Daniel Hill
Beyond Colorblind by Sarah Shin