Episcopal Lotus Flower in Bloom

Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace

Am I A Racist? Are You?

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend. –

Martin Luther King Jr.

 Today is the day we honor one of our very best – Martin Luther King Jr. and I wonder how far have we come, how far do we have to go?  Am I a racist?
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” Galations 3:28.
 Love one another, this is what Jesus has told us to do and I think we “think” we are, but are we?

After Micheal Brown, I found that my facebook feed consisted of white people posting articles in favor of the police officer. Friends of mine that were black posted the stories of the innocent unarmed teenager. This blog isn’t about who was “right” who was “wrong,”in that situation, my point for this blog is that there was a divide, a most definite divide.  It seems to me that if we were past the divisions of our ancestors there would have been people on both sides both races.  Then it wouldn’t be about a “black” boy a “white” police officer.  I have to tell you my first thought was — Why would he not obey the officer?  Why would he hit the officer?  He obviously did not obey the law and that’s what happens (basically).  The problem was really intelligent friends of mine that happen to be of another race spoke so plainly opposite to those thoughts — I had to wonder.  Do I because of the color of my skin have no idea what it’s like to be stopped by the police?  Do I not understand a dynamic that goes well beyond my perspective lenses of my life?  I do not know the answers to those questions – I do want the reader to contemplate those questions for a few minutes before jumping to your normal stance, not saying they are right or wrong just think IS THAT POSSIBLE? That as a white woman (all my life) I don’t -no- can’t truly understand?  Is it possible?  I do know that when we are free from our racial prejudices we will have people arguing about police force and criminal activity and what it means to make sure one is armed before shooting and not a “black” teenager and a “white” police officer. How do we get there? I think first we have to have that honest hard conversation, a conversation that I am not totally comfortable with myself.  I do know that King wanted us to peaceably love one another to fight prejudice with love not shootings and fires.

I was raised in the rural south, I was raised in a place where people of color were not allowed.  I was raised in a place in the 90’s where there were still KKK meetings.  I went to school with only white kids for the most part, and racism was all around.  This is not something I am proud of just something that is a fact.  Thankfully, my home was not that way.  I was never taught anything but love for all of Gods children.  Nevertheless it was all around me.  You have to wonder how much of the talk, the whispers, the tasteless jokes seeps in?  When have I heard the slurs or racist jokes and turned a blind eye?  In that moment was I not at least an accomplice to the racism?  A grandmother used the word negro, much to my horror.  I often had deep and fierce arguments of how it was not polite or godly to use that term.  She  thought nothing of it – that’s what “they” are called she would say with indignation.
When asked about racism today I would say “We have a black president!” There is no mountain one can’t climb.  I often think how long ago did we have slaves?  I certainly didn’t, my mother didn’t, my grandparents nor their parents.  How long must we pay for the sins of our ancestors?  I think the answer is much like the cheating husband that asks the same, until it doesn’t hurt anymore.
I find myself unsure of what I can say what I cannot. African American?  It seems so silly to me – I don’t go around calling myself Irish American!  Although I know that is my ancestry I nor my people as far back as I can see, remember, or be told of came directly from Ireland!  The word “black” let’s look at that for a minute. First thought is what’s the problem? I’m “white” your “black?” Yet what do we say about black things? “Black sheep of the family” good guy wears the white hat…etc.. maybe I haven’t taken all of this into consideration maybe WE haven’t really thought of our brothers and sisters.  I heard Oprah one time say “people of color“… I love that! Makes sense to me! I am white – so blank but my brothers and sisters of color are so rich and beautiful from the light bronze to the deep hues of brown and gold, people of “color!”  Then I heard someone say “don’t say that” as if it was the N word?  So now I am not sure.   Even so with my love and consideration I find that I fear often of saying the wrong thing.  I don’t know, and I don’t know if every white person feels this way, but I certainly do -unsure always – as if I am walking on shells trying to make sure no misconceptions? I am often unsure and afraid of saying the wrong thing.  Then again how can I cry when my brothers and sisters are afraid too, but they are afraid they will say the wrong thing and be shot they may find themselves somewhere and lose a life because of the prejudices of others?

I think we have come a long way my children often relate who someone is to me by he’s a little

darker than me, or yeah he’s brown.  I have even had them not know what race someone is they are just Jesse or Elijah, Jill or Madison.  King would surely be proud they they are not judging by the color of skin.

I think we must be sensitive and know that our walk may not have had the stones and sharp objects in the way that others have had.  We must know that until we have walked a mile in another man’s/woman’s shoes, we cannot say what they feel or what we would do.  We must also learn to stop crying wolf over every situation that has people of different hues of skin and give us a chance to move on. I pray that I listen more, that I love more, that I honor the path I do not truly understand.

Am I a Racist?  No, I don’t believe I am, but I know I also have a lot to learn.  We all have a lot to learn, and I want to do better and live in a world that sees color for how diverse and beautiful it is, and nothing more.

May God Bless you and Keep you All the Days of your Life and May We all Enjoy the Diversity Created by our most Awesome God.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
-MLK

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2015 by .
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