The year 2020 has more for the history books than almost any other year of my life. September 11, 2001 was memorable and did change a lot. However, this year feels different going through the first global pandemic in 100 years and now protests and violence erupting all over these “United” States of America due to police brutality and other racially motivated deaths of black people. It’s heartbreaking and heart numbing.
What I’ve learned as a pastor, chaplain, and now as a therapist, is that human beings have a lot of pain within themselves and “hurt people end up hurting people.”
Racism is a form of hatred and hurt from one race against another. The behavior of racism comes from our internal thoughts, beliefs, and feelings and if we don’t address these underlying core beliefs then we can never truly change our behavior. How can anyone deny that racism is alive and strong in this country and in the world? It’s especially important to recognize that the world looks to America as a model; people are watching us and seeing how we think, feel, and behave. If we can confront racism and change and heal our nation, then I believe it will impact the world.
All racism is evil and as a follower of Jesus and his message of love for everyone, even our enemies, I cannot be silent or do nothing.
My intention is to address my own racist tendencies, to own up to them, and simply to do something about them. My goal is to be known as a person who is against racism – an anti-racist.
So I’m on a journey to speak out against and do something about racism. I’ve decided to commit to self education and offer an opportunity to you. I’m starting an online group with the goal of education on what other races have to face in our society because of the color of their skin. I’m not planning to be the expert in this group but I will help facilitate a discussion. The group will be devoted to reading and watching anything that will help us be more loving and accepting of all people starting with Robin Diangelo’s book – White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
My intent isn’t to guilt or shame anyone into doing or saying anything. Be free to do what you feel is best. I do encourage you to search your own heart. If you’re not completely happy with what you see or even if you just don’t know enough about the issues, then decide what you should do about it. If you feel led to educate yourself then find a way to do that.
I hope you can hear that my heart in this message is to call out for unity and peace. There’s already plenty of divisive rhetoric all over the media. I believe we can rise above the negativity and grow into a peaceful, loving nation. That all starts with systemic change in our hearts at an individual level.
If you’d like to join me, sign up for the group and get the link to buy the book on my website newroadscounseling.com/antiracism.