A Resource for Reeducation On Racism

About two months before I was wrapping up my time at my last appointment, a church planting residency at Union Coffee in Dallas, I was given a unique opportunity.  I was connected with two young people in the community that were concerned about the ethnic diversity of our church and wanted to do something about it.  

My mission, which I chose to accept: get these two young people together, sit down, listen to what they had to say, and develop a diversity inititative for Union.

I was prepared for the conversation, but I also really wasn't.  My time at Union forced me to confront my privilege on a daily basis ... White, middle-class, over-educated, male, clergy, privilege.  I check ALL the privilege boxes, just about.  And here I was, at the table with a Latino American and African American, in a seat of privilege and tasked with handing that privilege (including my mic, when possible) over to two these two articulate, passionate, and gentle-with-me People of Color.

I was sensitized to racial issues and desensitized to my own feelings of guilt - also known as white fragility.  This was a term my friends introduced to me as they started educating me on their stories as People of Color and the stories they came to know as people of Dallas, a city with its issues, but a city that is working on them.

One of the things I asked these two young people for in our first gathering was a list of resources, which I'm really just beginning to dig through, and top of the list is a podcast episode from The Liturgists:

Black and White

"Michael Gungor and Science Mike talk with Propaganda and William Matthews about race, racism, white supremacy in America."

This episode was recorded in March of 2016, but rings REALLY true given recent events in America that have further put racial tensions and presuppositions on display.  They also give a good reading list.

We all have an opportunity at this time in America to reeducate ourselves to the plight of groups that have been labeled as 'minority.'  Give this podcast a listen on your commute, on a run, however you might do it.

Listen, but don't get fragile about it.