We need inspiration from people just like you to keep fighting racism.
I really appreciate these efforts and these stories. As someone whose goal it is to support these efforts and the people who are doing the work, one thing I do look for is how to be a support without getting in the way of the people who are doing the work.
A friend of mine wrote a book that has a great quote in it: “I held my tongue in the name of unity among believers, but they never held theirs.” (FAITH UNLEAVENED, by Tamice Spencer) One of the key things for me is that I try to speak out, even when it's uncomfortable to me, even if I must stop my friends in their tracks when they they are speaking harmful words, even when it could mean that people might be offended at my interruptions.
The work of The Witness is what has helped me to get to a place where I am comfortable with making myself uncomfortable. It was The Color of Compromise. It was How to Fight Racism. It was the seminars and meet-ups and conversations that I got to listen to as a podcast or see as a video. Y'all helped to get me to think better and then y'all helped me to push myself to do better.
Not to be the "good white guy." But to live out the meaning of my own life which is given in service to the uplifting and healing of people and societies.
We can't do everything. But we can do something.
I’m wondering if there is any headway to be made in trying to short circuit the spate of bills forbidding teaching about racism. All of these bills, in one way or another, speak about the topic making white children feel shame and/or guilt. I’ve been pushing back in my personal relationships by explaining that shame is most often a tool of the powerful against those with no power. Bosses use it to maintain control and keep their position, teachers/administrators use it against students (mostly students of color) they deem “unruly”, politicians use it to enrage a small portion of voters against the majority of voters, police certainly use it in their brutality against anyone not white, and sexual predators for sure use it against their victims. You can hear the fear in these bills, white patriarchy is terrified of losing it position as the pinnacle of America.
When not used as a tool to maintain power, shame/guilt functions as a mechanism of a healthy conscience to say “you were wrong, you caused pain”. I keep thinking about James Cone...perhaps a reckoning around this country’s history of racism is meant for healing and not punishment.