Bad Preacher's Wife

home of Preachers' Wife Problems and the Gaming Christian

Race & the Christian part 1

This is the first in a series of posts I’ve written while struggling with the realities of race and what it means- and what our responsibilities are concerning race & race relations in America.

This is and is not about Trayvon Martin. Just like everything race-related these days. This post is not about him in that- I’m not talking about him at all today.

It is about him because he is the touchstone for white Americans right now to realize the injustices facing young black men today- and perhaps the best way to help them jump from there to realizing the racial injustices that face everyone who is not white in this country.

I’ve got a video to show you- a 13-minute documentary-  and I’ll begin with a warning for language and possible triggers- but I feel it is extremely necessary to share. I don’t have the luxury of not listening and sharing this video because the young people in the video don’t have the luxury of not having it directed at them.

This is the language and the actions the POLICE use. THE POLICE– the people we are supposed to teach our children to trust- to go to when they are lost, when they are scared or when they are in danger- use this language interrogating a young man who is walking down the street.

How are children- particularly children of color- ever supposed to feel safe if THIS is the treatment they receive from the police?

They can’t. And that’s wrong.

1. It’s unlikely but possible that you could get killed today. Or any day. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Black maleness is a potentially fatal condition. (Touré on Time.com)

I grew up White, Middle Class and very safe. Which is lovely. I had a good childhood. I had the luxury of safety- not behind gates but behind the color of my skin and the belief that if I went into a situation with a genuine smile all would be well.

I never thought it might be different for someone else.

The world my husband grew up in was far from that, though he still had the safety of his own white skin. Except he knew that his skin was keeping him safe- I was growing up in loving ignorance. In believing that being color-blind was something to be proud of and maintained.

I had no idea others might not be allowed that worldview.

While I’ve been more and more exposed to race and racial issues the last few years thanks to the internet- tumblr, reddit, youtube-  it has only been since Trayvon’s murder that I woke up. And so did a good chunk of my fellow WASPs. I may be a little late to the party- but I hope that by continuing this discussion and bringing you some of the perspectives that have impacted me that you can be enlightened as well.

EDIT: It breaks my  heart that I have to update this post from when I wrote and scheduled it several days ago. My condolences and my outrage go to the family and family-to-be of Jonathan Ferrell – a young football player who “may have” been shot and killed by police when he went to seek help after a car crash. This is tragic and this is utterly unacceptable. Please join me in sharing his story and standing against those who will try to play this off or somehow vilify him for SEEKING HELP- something he as a human being and an American had every right to do!

And this is EXACTLY why we have to talk about these issues today. This is not about Trayvon Martin. This is about EVERY young black man- and young black woman. And about whiteness and privilege and racism. We are not past that. We are NOT post-racial and we cannot afford to be color-blind. Because color matters- just not in the way that racists think it should.

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