With buildings still closed, and a slow to return to busy-ness as usual, I’ve had some time for sitting at home and reading. One of the latest books I’ve read is Why Im no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, it’s a powerful and timely addition to the discussions around racism and white priviledge that have resurfaced as a result of the Black Lives Matter Campaign.
It is a fact that talking about racism is hard for white people, but it wasn’t until recently that I realised how hard. I’ve never considered myself to be racist, I have in the past (not on every ocassion*) challenged racist comments and behaviour from others, I’ve never knowingly discriminated or treated someone different because of their colour, I’m proud to have black God-children and my own grand-daughter is mixed heritage.
That final fact though shows perhaps my biggest shortfall, my grand-daughter is black – and I’ve always been colour blind to it. Never ashamed, happy to know she is black, but never exploring what might therefore make her life experience distinctly different from those of my other grand children who aren’t black. The avoidance of such conversations is just another cop out that is allowed only through white privilege, I didn’t see or hear of any of the racial taunting she heard at school – but I didn’t ask either, because it never entered my head. I never questioned that the world might not see her in that same “colour blind” way that I did, but as the book says: “You can’t skip to the resolution without having the difficult, messy conversation first.”
So I’m starting the conversation ….. and I’m listening.
Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered.
In our community, we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures.
Open our hearts that we may be bold in finding the riches of inclusion and the treasures of diversity among us.
We pray in faith.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
*There’s the “white privilege” showing again – some people don’t get to choose when they confront racism because of the colour of their skin