I’ve been posting a fair amount in the last three months on my social media sites about something a lot of white people don’t like to talk about.
I’ve been warned.
“don’t post anything political”
“don’t post anything that can be seen as negative”
“don’t use that hashtag about Black Lives cause it is only going to hurt you, and your business”
No, I’m not going to keep my head down and keep posting only sweet photos of Ginny, and positive stories about work, skating and life in general and fail utterly to acknowledge the horrendous treatment of black people in this country.
Shootings make the news every other day now, and that’s horrific, but I’m not even really talking about that. To me the saddest thing is all unvoiced, insidious assumptions that are made about black people. It’s all the times I’ve kept silent and allowed others around me to speak to black co-workers in ways they would never talk to me. It’s all the times I myself have failed to recognize my own assumptions about others that were based on appearance.
I’m not a social activist. I’m not a social scientist. I’m not qualified to evaluate the mess in this country and propose sweeping solutions.
What I am qualified to do is to tell the truths that I know. When I see an article from a friend or stranger that moves me. I’m gonna share it. Whether it is about an uplifting time someone had a recent youth retreat, or a horrific encounter in a department store as blatant racism reared its ugly head.
If those posts cost me business (my jewelry business involves social selling, on-line and home parties etc) that’s fine with me. If sharing how I feel about how black people are mistreated and systemically pushed down in the USA costs me friends, I’m okay with that too. If that is the only pain I encounter from being truthful, I’ll consider myself blessed.
I don’t want to contribute to the idea that “everything is okay” because everything is not okay. I don’t need statistical analysis to show me that people all over this country are being judged by how they look. I’ve been in a grocery store line with one of my dearest friends. He happens to be a very tall very black man. I’ve seen the cashiers avoid his eyes and look at mine to make sure I’m okay.
People don’t do that to me when I’m with my (white) husband…even when he looks like a scruffy wild-man. No one has ever tried to catch my eye to check that I’m alright. That cashier had no reason at all to judge my dear friend. He was dressed better than I was that day. Actually he is always dressed better than me. The man is a snappy dresser. The only thing she could possibly have had against him was his skin color.
Let’s get something clear –
making any decision about any human being based on what they look like
is flat out wrong.
That’s not a political statement. And it shouldn’t be a shocking concept. It shouldn’t be even remotely controversial.
Yet somehow, sadly, it is.
Because none of us like to confront our own flaws. None of us enjoy the work it takes to eradicate bad habits and sloppy thinking. But we have to. Especially if you claim to be a follower of Christ.
Jesus followers should glory in all the incredible range of color and style of the entire human race.
Jesus followers should recognize that we are all precious. We are all valuable. For one very simple reason:
Jesus Christ, the only Son of God spilled out his blood and died for ….who exactly?
only people who deserve it? NO
only people who have never made a mistake? NO
only people who interpret the Bible the exact same way I do? NO
only people who happen to look just like yourself? NO
only the people who vote the same way I do? NO
Christ suffered and died for ALL types of humans, with all different opinions. Get used to it. Or stop calling yourself a follower of Christ.