Forward. June 9, 2020

I have been silent on here for a while. The year started with some bad news for my wife and I, and I didn’t have the heart to write. Then I thought of a series for Lent, but we found out we were going to have to move from Columbus to Northwest Ohio. Then a pandemic came. And now people are finally waking up to the cries of the oppressed again, hopefully we will all remain awake. So instead of doing what I normally do (whatever that is) I’m going to start highlighting black authors that have challenged and opened my eyes.

In a post on Facebook a week or so back I said the following and posted this picture (Image Source: Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (2005). Adapted: Ellen Tuzzolo (2016); Mary Julia Cooksey Cordero (@jewelspewels) (2019); The Conscious Kid (2020) :

This week America has yet again been caught on camera, and a life was senselessly lost. The first thing that came to mind when I read about what happened with George Floyd was Eric Garner.

Yelling into the echo chamber won’t solve anything, but actively dismantling the parts of us that are still Amy Cooper will save lives.

Committing to anti-racism is a baby step that I hope we all can take together, but doing the hard work it requires is essential.

Not to get too in the weeds but there is a quote of Yoda’s from from The Empire Strikes Back that I love. It’s a scene we all know if we are fans of the franchise. Luke’s X-Wing has just sank in the swamp and is frustrated because there is no way to get it out. Even though he was just moving stones with the force, to him, his X-Wing is stuck in the muck. Then Master Yoda chimes in with some of the greatest wisdom, “you must what you have learned.” Racism is a learned trait that no one is born with, we must unlearn what we have learned. I will be fighting with my racist self for the rest of my life, constantly trying to unlearn what I have learned. For there to be progress we must do this together. Going back to how things were is not an option.

In an effort to unlearn what I’ve learned, part of it will be like running a marathon. It’s easy to become burnt out when engaging in something you’ve never had to engage in. Thinking about racism and privilege is something most white people have not had to do until recent years (I am one of them). So, I will be dedicating time on here in an effort to keep myself accountable to sharing what I’ve learned. I’ll be dedicating time each month to highlight a book written by someone in the BIPOC community. Similar to the Hildegard of Bingen series I did last year, but the plan is for this to be ongoing, and I hope you all join in self education with me.

Grace and peace.

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