I hope this wound doesn’t go away soon. I hope the scar leaves a mark that echoes for centuries. I hope the stories of the four pastors and the bible study and the five year old who played dead in order survive live on in how we talk about a system that is terribly, terribly broken.
I hope this starts conversations that are UNCOMFORTABLE to have for white people. (They should be uncomfortable. We are still not living in daily fear because of our skin color. We can handle some discomfort, am I right?) I hope that compassion and LISTENING to an experience that is NOT OURS will weigh out here. Put your awareness on twitter and#blacklivesmatter. Research what is real, go beyond news sources who are clearly not reporting in a fair or ethical way. Cry. Scream. Lament. Acknowledge this is a problem. Do your research, or listen to one who has. Don’t tell us how you get it because you grew up poor or have issues of your own, or how you were part of a great program of racial conversation in the 90s, because we aren’t talking about your experience, right now. Deciding to stand in solidarity is a daily thing, not one that just happened once in the 90’s. Having a black friend does NOT mean that you understand fully how real this is.
And yet in the midst of all this, my faith tells me that we can’t get to resurrection without death. My faith tells me that Good Friday carries an air of hope amidst the hopelessness. But, children of God, we’re not ready to skip to Easter. We have YEARS of work to do, and half the work is going to be reminding people that it’s real, actually happening; racism is alive, well, and veiled in soft language. It’s going to mean acknowledging our privileges, being uncomfortable, owning our mistakes, and deciding that the system can’t go on this way. Live into these deaths, these scars, these screaming despairs. Swallow your silence, and substitute courage for caution. Listen to the story of they who are oppressed. Talk about that story with people who share your own identities and beyond. Be uncomfortable, and real. Start there… and together we can work for redemption and resurrection, even of a sick system.