It is not enough to identify racism as a problem. Too often what we do is admit there is racism, but then catch ourselves in the foolish question of just who IS and who ISN’T “a racist.” What we need to do is acknowledge racism and then combat it.
Ultimately, it IS about changed hearts. Our call is to love. But it is a radical love. It is also to realize that it isn’t about a binary choice of “love” or “changing laws.” It is both. And we need to pursue both. Dr. King once said, “A law may not change a man’s heart, but it can keep him from lynching me.”
A NOTE about me. I too often think, “Well, I’ve been writing long enough people understand my motives or what I am driving toward.” That’s a bad way to think because, 1. People forget, and 2. New people come along.
So, a note about why I share particular things. I am sharing this because of my own personal journey. I am on a perpetual journey to learn more how to be anti-racist and not just someone who is satisfied with saying, “I’m not a racist.” There is a struggle I need to get involved with and it’s not comfortable for me. Yet, it is necessary.
I also share the first two paragraphs of this post from some thoughts Cory Booker shared in a speech at “Mother Emanuel” church in Charleston, South Carolina on August 7, 2019.
This doesn’t mean I would vote for Cory Booker. What I recognize in people is when they rise up to speak truth. I am also a fan of story. If I admire a particular life story, like that of Joe Biden, it doesn’t mean I vote for him or agree with his political view. It means I am a fan of his story. I admire it.
Sometimes people think because I share from a particular politician or theologian or social commentator that I agree with them. I don’t live in that world.
When Justice Antonin Scalia was alive, one of the great contradictions he made people live with was the fact he was good friends with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They were ideologically opposite ends of the spectrum, yet they RESPECTED each other and their ability to think and process and make an argument.
That is me (hopefully). I don’t always get it right. I try. But, I am not always endorsing everything about anyone I may quote. I just admire a particular aspect about them.
We have become so driven in our pursuit of pure ideology we’ve have failed to learn to live with each and listen to one another. We’ve lost the art of respectful dialogue and respectful disagreement. This is something I mourn. We had a time when it was possible. That day has passed.
But, I wanted you to know that about me. I am a dinosaur. I’ll be extinct after awhile.
At any rate, those first two paragraphs are thoughts from Cory Booker’s speech. You can hear the whole speech HERE. (And you SHOULD listen to the entire speech. You may not agree with everything. Live with that tension.) Cory’s remarks begin at about the 3:00 mark of the video.
May we wake up, especially as believers, and live in love.