I can’t sleep.
The images and sounds of these modern day lynchings haunt me. They literally keep me up at night. For days and days, weeks, months I have been grieving and lamenting the loss of people of color due to white supremacy in America. It makes me physically ill actually. And I can’t even say, “I don’t believe it,” because I do believe it and have seen it with my own two eyes.
White people: CAN YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING?!? Do you hear the cries of our fellow human beings? Will you please do something?!
I have two brothers and five brothers-in-law. I can not imagine idly standing by as any one of them were brutally and unjustly murdered in broad day light in front of billions of viewers. And yet day after day after day, one by one, our (that is yours and my) brothers of color are systematically lynched in our streets and there is no sign of stopping.
I join the lament, the crying out, with my brothers and sisters of colors. My heart hurts for them and with them. But what good is my sorrow if I do nothing and say nothing? How can I possibly help end this systematic killing of their bodies if I silently consume them in my social media feed?
I have spent time praying and calling out to God for justice. LORD, Hear our cries! I have and continue to repent of the ways my silence and ignorance has perpetuated this horrific violence.
I have felt the overwhelming despair of helplessness, feeling unequipped, unprepared and powerless to bring change to a system that so clearly rewards whiteness and seeks to literally kill blackness.
As a follower of Jesus I would have hoped that "the Church" would lead the way to protecting the marginalized, speaking up for injustice, comforting and healing the brokenhearted… That they would be on the front lines of defending every single one of God’s image bearers…. But instead the overwhelming silence and inaction from many faith communities is deafening.
White people: do something! This violence needs to end and it starts with us.
Repent: own your part. Sit with your racism, your white supremacy, your white privilege and say “no more.” Commit to turning away from any and all behavior that is motivated by hatred.
Be ignorant no more: Read, Listen and Learn. Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise. Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here. Resmaa Menekem’s My Grandmother’s Hands. Robin DiAnglo’s White Fragility. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist. Shaun King’s Break Down. Latasha Morrison’s Be The Bridge. There are so many resources out there you need only to open your eyes.
Do something: Words are great and we should use them, but action is even better. Put your money where your mouth is and support businesses, organizations, political figures that fight for the dignity of Black People. Do not financially support any business, organization or political figure that remains silent while the lives of black people are stolen.
Here is a list of even more things white people can do for Racial Justice.
The reality is that systems are made of up people. A single person may not disrupt the system, but people together can. We must join together, work together, stand up and say “no more” together.
We aren’t alone. Even during social isolation and quarantine, even though we are separated by political boundaries or oceans…. We are one people, one family created in the image of God. We are interconnected.
As Randy Woodley says, if there is even one person without peace, then no one has peace.
There is no peace for the Black community right now. This means there is no peace for the white community. We are one community of people and we are on fire.
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