The murder of George Floyd has changed my life. It will forever be the straw that broke the camel’s back in the race discussion in America I truly believe that.
I have been having lots of conversations. Conversations that aren’t painful in the moment but as I process them the implications of statements made keep me up at night. They wake me up in the the morning with mourning.
I’ve been black my whole life. This week is first time I’ve talked to some of my white friends about my Black experience. People I’ve known since 6th grade. Why do Black people only talk about being Black in closed quarters. What safety are we finding in only sharing these stories with people who look like us? And I couldn’t help but think… who are we protecting?
Chatting with a friend and processing with him what his job was going to do about the situation and he expressed apprehension in moving forward because of the divisiveness of the situation at hand. Have we not all come to the conclusion this week that something must be done? That we can no longer live this way? So what is this apprehension about? Who or what are we protecting?
Reflecting with a friend about a conversation I posted with Christine Caine and Dr. Anita Philips. A very profitable conversation that you can listen to here. Dr. Anita goes over some studies involving black and white children and how black boys primarily are aged up by officers. There’s also another study about preschool teachers looking for bad behavior and their eyes overwhelmingly went towards the black boys. The studies broke my friend’s heart. I told her to make sure she was sharing her reflections with her friends and she “hearted” my message. The universal instagram signal for ending a conversation. Honestly she might have just been done. I might be being sensitive about it but I couldn’t help but think… Maybe she doesn’t want to share with her friends. Maybe she’s afraid to talk about this out-loud. And IF that is the case, WHYYYY?? What/who is she protecting??
It is a huge thing right now whether or not non-black churches are going to do or say something. Is the body of Christ not just going to talk about it but put in place actions to dismantle the systems and ideologies that perpetuate what happened to George & Breonna & Ahmaud. If churches are afraid of offending people… isn’t the gospel offensive? We don’t shy away from calling out sins in church. If a church doesn’t want to tackle this issue because they’re afraid of the repercussions… what repercussions? What are we afraid of? Who are we trying to protect?
As I was shopping at Trader Joes yesterday. I had to choke back tears in the freezer aisle because I realized profoundly that what ever we were trying to protect… It wasn’t me.
Hit me like a ton of bricks.
In the car on my way home I sobbed… like my grandmother died. It was a grieving mourning cry.
I was thinking about why it was so important that we continue to have this conversation. Why it is important for us to speak up. Why it is important for White people to keep processing this with other White People? The Lord dropped the term gatekeeper in my heart. I went to go look up the significance of what it means to be a gatekeeper in the Bible. Gatekeepers protected the people and the city. They were in charge of what got into the city and what got out of the city.
What are you letting in? What narratives, what stories, what conversations? What are you protecting by what you will or will not let in? Who are you protecting?