I'm compelled to write this due to the intentional diversity of not only my personal circle, but also our client list here at Silverlake. It's not always easy when cultures collide, we have some deep rooted differences, but together we create this beautiful Mosaic of gifts and talents. My dream is to see that reflected in every corner of our city, state and country... On earth as it is in heaven. So, here's a glimpse into my thoughts...
I love NPR, it's relevant, it's a variety of news, and I can listen to it in the car. So that's where I've been listening, listening for a "solution" to the racial divide that's quickly building a wall between us. The problem is, NPR doesn't have a solution, neither does ABC, Fox or the US government.
I'm convinced that we are the solution, you and me.
If you are addicted to being busy, like me, you might feel brokenhearted and scared but think "I literally have no room to do anything about this issue." And posting on Facebook really isn't sending the right message... If you post about #blacklivesmatter, people may assume that you are condoning violence against police. On the flipside, if you express grief for lost police lives it may appear as if you are overlooking the Black Lives Matter movement.
As a mixed breed living in a white world, here are some phrases I hear along with my responses:
"I'm not prejudiced." and/or "I don't see color."
As much as I hate to admit this, we are all prejudiced. I challenge you to face it head on, and try moment by moment to break yourself of the habit. I mean come on, if someone is driving slow in front of you, you pre-judge them and decide how you are going to respond before you ever lay eyes on them. Judging a person or a situation based on your previous experience is human, so yes we do see color and we do make assumptions. That doesn't make you a terrible person. Just fess up to yourself, and day by day try to break that mental habit. To see color - a.k.a culture - is a beautiful thing, let's embrace our God-given diversity. Prejudices attached to color are what I'm talking about kicking to the curb.
"I'm not racist, I work with a lot of black/white people."
Yes, we do have every day interactions with black/white "friends." But if I may be old fashioned for a minute, a Facebook "friend" doesn't really count. I challenge you to invite someone who doesn't look like you over to your house for dinner. To me, that's the true test of whether or not you have friends of different race. You're already doing this all the time? That's amazing, read on.
"Seriously, I have close friends who are black/white, I have no issues of race in my heart."
I believe you and it's wonderful, but I want you to see that unfortunately your situation is not super common. Ask yourself- do my parents, my grandparents, my friends have multi-ethnic relationships? If the answer is no, I challenge you to be the catalyst.
I will continue hoping and praying that our police force and our government work toward overcoming the racial divide. I'm grateful that they continue to shine a light on the statistics that are exposing the condition of our hearts.
But waiting for officials and leaders to make a difference is not enough for me, is it enough for you?
Whatever color your skin is, put yourself out there, step outside your comfort zone, really get to know someone who doesn't look like you, and let's be the change. One dinner at a time.