Black Lives Still Matter

           I have watched in dismay in recent months as state after state legislatures/governors try to protect fragile white egos from having to deal with the fact that racism, specifically systemic racism, exists in the United States. From school board meetings to legislatures, people attack CRT (Critical Race Theory), a legal theory that is used to diagnose systemic racism. While no one really seems to understand what it means and while it is rarely if ever taught in American schools it is the bloody flag being waved across the country by White folks who fear being replaced by People of Color. So, building on that war cry, we are seeing all manner of legislation being passed. In some states, college students are being empowered to sue professors who make them feel bad about themselves because they’re white. Curriculums are being challenged that could lead to districts stripping away discussions of slavery. In Florida, laws are being put in place that would prevent corporations, like Disney, from providing diversity training. Just so you know, most mainline Protestant denominations, mine included, require some form of diversity/anti-racism training for all ordained clergy.  

                All of this stands in the background of Senate hearings featuring the first African American woman nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice. Even before she was nominated Ted Cruz complained that Joe Biden was being unfair to White men by limiting his list to Black women as if White men haven’t been well represented on the Supreme Court. In fact, there are currently five white men, two white women, one African American man, and a Latina. I will admit I am not watching this hearing, but what I’m reading is shameful. Ketanji Brown Jackson is being lectured by privileged white Senators about racism (and why the United States isn’t racist). Whether or not the 1619 Project is flawed, slavery and Jim Crow are central pieces of American history. The nation fought a war that killed thousands because of slavery. Sundown laws and redlining are of recent vintage. We need to know this information, not bury it in the sand. So, it is ridiculous for privileged White Senators to attack an African American woman because they don’t want to face the reality that systemic racism has and continues to plague this nation. As Christians, we should call racism what it really is, and that is systemic sin!

                I write this post as a straight, cisgender, White male. I know that I have certain privileges that accrue to me simply because of who I am. It is a reality that has been reinforced through my conversations with friends who are People of Color. Added to that are my conversations with friends who are Gay or Transgender. They too are feeling pressure from the same places that People of Color are feeling it. All of this doesn’t make me feel bad about myself, but it does make me aware of who I am. Hopefully, that makes me a better person. As it is said, until Black Lives Matter, All Lives Will Not Matter. 


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