Fear Breeds Hate

I’ve been struggling this past week with what happened in Charlottesville for many reasons.

To start, I am a privileged white person – someone who grew up in a wealthy and primarily white conservative community. I have not be persecuted, abused, demeaned, shot at or killed for the color of my skin. I don’t know what it is like to fear the police or society.

And I know that I, as a white person, have been and am part of the problem. And for that I am sorry. I will not try to justify myself.

The other issue I have been wrestling with is how does this keep happening? What rhetoric is going around our communities? What education?

I have heard, in our own community, many things that bother me.

When my husband and I put a “Black Lives Matter” sign in front of our home many people (white) were confused. They wondered why we (maybe because we aren’t black) think it is important.

Another person made a joke when they saw the sign, and said while laughing, “do you guys mean black labs matter?!”. No, I said, I mean black lives matter.

I’ve also seen posts of people arguing that one day white people will be the minority in America and that is why, whoever they are, justify white supremacy. I am not even sure how to say that because when I say it, it sounds horrible and ridiculous. We know that the issue of racism in America is deeply rooted in our history. This is not a new issue but we need to continue to address it head on.

This statement is a statement of (besides poor rhetoric) fear. And we know that fear breeds hate.

As a Christian, I believe there is hope. And I believe there is hope because I have to. Because I believe in the beloved community. I believe in the bread and the wine – the table where all are welcome. Where all sit together because of Jesus. Because of his redemptive life, death and resurrection.

I believe because of the African American church community in South Carolina who forgave the white man who shot and killed nine congregants. If they have hope, so can we.

And I believe because Jesus is making all things new.

With that being said, we aren’t there yet (obviously) and we have a lot of hard work to do. Have you ever truly forgiven like this community? Have you confronted your racist family member? Have you loved someone you hate? Have you confronted the racism and hate within yourself?

That is not easy work. It takes courage, discipline and real love. And it takes more than a Facebook post.

We are not off the hook and we have a long way to go. Let’s get to work church.