My guest blogger today is my dear friend Rebecca Carrell, one of the most genuine souls on the planet. You will love her too, even if she steps on your toes a bit. ~ KM
Five years ago, I began my grad school journey at Dallas Theological Seminary. Not only has this allowed me to study under some of the most brilliant scholars in the field, but it has also significantly expanded my circle of friends. A product of the Midwest, I grew up in primarily white spaces. I graduated high school with only a handful of African Americans. But I was friends with three of them, so I had no racist inclinations, right?
My college experience duplicated my upbringing. Without so much as a thought, I joined an all-white sorority and hung out with my all-white friends while I studied under all-white professors and read books by all-white (mostly male) authors. I had no animosity toward any ethnicity. I had grown up in a loving home with fair parents who’d condemned the atrocities of the racism they’d encountered as youths.
We were the good guys, right?
Upon moving to Dallas, I immediately befriended Michelle, who is Hispanic. We were inseparable for years, and I still count her among my closest friends.
Racist? Not. Even. Close.
I was forty years old before I realized that I had been swimming in an ocean of systemic racism my entire life. I was forty-two before I understood how much my all-white life lacked.
To my white brothers and sisters, I am not an expert. I have not arrived. But I have precious friends who have loved me enough to correct me and walk with me. I’d like to share some of the things I have learned and discuss how we can move forward productively as we fight for equality, unity, and justice in the name of Christ.