white like me {chapters 3/4}

Feeling stretched a leeetle too thin at the moment. Trudging through the last week of Module 5 of language school. Grieving for a beautiful little boy lost too soon. Working on some editing projects to support our family. Trying to be a good wife, mom, missionary, & help the people I live with find meaning and purpose in their days (etceteraaaaaaaaaa).

But the topic of racism/racial injustice/racial reconciliation will always be important to me, so I don’t want to give up on this book club. Jolie’s (the leader) blog is here. My first 2 posts can be found here & here.

Hopefully some nugget I pulled from these two chapters will prick somebody’s heart in some way.

Chapter 3: Middle Passage

This chapter wasn’t my fave and didn’t have a lot I want to write about. Except this: colorblindness. He talks about how teachers will often say they “treat all kids the same and don’t see color.”

He says this claim is absurd. Studies show we all see color.

But, that aside, “colorblindness is not the proper goal of fair-minded educators.”

“The kids in those classrooms do have a race, and it matters, because it says a lot about the kinds of challenges they are likely to face. To not see color is, as Julian Bond has noted, to not see the consequences of color. And if color has consequences, yet you’ve resolved not to notice the thing that brings about those consequences, the odds are pretty good that you’ll fail to serve the needs of the students in question.”

“To not see people for who they are is to miss that some, but not all, students are dealing with racism.”

(I would add that, to not see color, is also to discount the unique beauty given each of us by our Creator. We should celebrate the things that make us unique, while finding ways to bring us together in harmony. Unity, not uniformity, should be our goal. Unity in diversity.)

“To treat everyone the same is to miss the fact that children of color have all the same challenges white kids do, and then that one extra thing to deal with: racism. But if you’ve told yourself you are not to see race, you’ll be unlikely to notice discrimination based on race, let alone how to respond to it.” (p. 67)

This is at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement. (Here’s a very good explanation of why the tagline is Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter. Maybe white folk would understand it better if the word “Too” could be tacked on to the end, but let’s try to understand it anyway, with its understood “Too.”)

Chapter 4: Higher Learning

Hate isn’t the opposite of love. The opposite of love is indifference. Somebody really smart said that once. Thanks, Somebody.

I’m afraid most of us have the idea (even if we don’t admit it) that, because we don’t do or say overtly racist things, then we don’t have any racism in us. But we do. And sometimes that shows up most clearly in what we don’t do.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

“I have long thought I would prefer a land filled with angry and hateful people,” Wise says, “than one populated by spectators who watch the drama unfold, and no matter how bad it gets, never miss a beat of their predictable lives.”

Oh, this gets me. And it’s one of the things I feel God has called me to do with this one life he’s given me: wake people up out of their coma of comfort and indifference.

“Kids dying in Mississippi? Gotta remember to call Betty and make my hair appointment. Water cannons being turned on black people in Alabama? Gotta pick up the dry cleaning and grab a few things at the grocery. Medgar Evans shot down in his driveway? Did I remember to feed the cat?” (p. 108)

THIS is what the folks behind the Black Lives Matter movement are saying. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE OVER INJUSTICE?

(This is also how I feel about the current refugee crisis, and I’m soooooo thankful so many people are actually taking steps to notice, to become informed, to pray, to HELP.)

Ooh! Just found the probable source of that first quote. And an extended version of it. Thanks, Elie Wiesel.

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

Friends, let’s purpose right here, right now, that we will be ANYTHING but indifferent.

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