On Sunday I posted a blog calling us, as many pastors thankfully did, to remember the call given to each Christian from their baptism - to resist evil. The evil in question and on display from the weekend is the pernicious sin of racism in American society. In responses to that blog, a reader on Facebook pushed back on the notion that institutionalized racism is still an issue in our country.
To be clear, institutionalized racism is still very much an issue in America. Simply googling 'is institutional racism real' will lead you to any number of verifiable studies that prove the sin of racism is constant.
And, in fact, it's not just institutionalized. It's normalized. For People of Color, dealing with racism is an everyday thing. A thing that this pastor, a middle-class, over-educated, white clergy person can barely begin to grasp.
As things went on in the comments, the reader offered this prompt to me, which I then offered on my personal Facebook page:
Here are just a few of the responses, unedited, but without names. Some of them are from people of color, some of them from white people. Some of them are from family members, others are from people that I knew in college and haven't seen for a dozen years. Just read. These are examples of normalized, institutional, every day racism.
Read, but don't get fragile. Read, and be motivated to be different.
I could share more responses, but I'll stop there for now. The infographic at the top of this blog has also been passed around much on social media in the last few weeks and a friend posted in her response to the above prompt.
I dare all of us to be willing to ask for and listen to stories of racism. I've decided that I can't ignore the stories any more, no matter how heartbreaking they are.
The sin of racism is a Kingdom of God issue. Treating any person as less than human is denial of the very image of God in which we are all created. Our liturgies in worship should call us into liturgy in life and there may be no greater calling in the Kingdom than to work together to eliminate the sin of racism.
More to come.