I started listing things I’m pissed about at the Justice for George Rally. It is time to add a few more items to the list, which I will do from time to time, because it is important to continue to tap into the Righteous Anger that we feel. I’m starting with the things closest to the surface. It will take more time for me to go deeper into my frustration and anger, but I will get there.
I’m pissed about racism.
This seems pretty obvious but it still needs to be said out loud. It is maddening that fear of difference is so pervasive that we dehumanize others to make ourselves powerful. It pisses me off that we know, scientifically, why skin comes in so many different shades and yet people still think white is the best. It drives me crazy that so many people claim to believe we are all created in the image of God and refuse to see God in the face of a black man.
I’m pissed about the lack of historical knowledge regarding the deep roots of racism in our country.
The ideas of white supremacy are intertwined in those roots and, just now, a larger percentage of white people are starting to see it. When history is taught, we cannot just tell the story of the dominant white culture. We have to tell the story of how policy effected blacks, Hispanics, the disabled, the mentally ill, LGTBQ, and more. Our lives, our stories, our histories, are connected; and it is time to stop pretending that they stand alone in a single moment in time.
I’m pissed that people don’t understand the power of their voice.
This is me pissed at myself. I have been a pastor for twenty years and haven’t spoken up enough. Next week I will share more about my upbringing and being adopted, so today I will simply say that my upbringing gave me advantages/privilege in the call process and within the ELCA. I haven’t used my voice enough to speak up for my BIPOC colleagues.
I’m pissed it has taken this long for the scales to fall from your white eyes.
I keep thinking that this moment in history, the world witnessing the lynching of George Floyd, is equal to the moment in the 1960’s when people saw the water hoses turned on peaceful black protestors. It was one of the defining moments that turned the tide of the Civil rights movement. It is now that white people can finally see that racism is in the air we breathe. It has created the world we live it. Now, with the death of George Floyd, white preachers in my denomination in mass are finally saying the word “racism” from the pulpit. Now you are willing to say “white supremacy” in front of an all white church.
All of these things piss me off and push me to imagine a new way of being.
I imagine a world without fear simply based on the color of ones skin. I imagine a world where we speak truth in love about our history, so we truly don’t make the same mistakes again. I dream of a world where we all use our voices to care for each other. I imagine a world where white people don’t have to be shocked into seeing the humanity of all others.
What pisses you off? What type of world do you want to imagine into reality?