My daughter started kindergarten full of zest and confidence… until she entered her classroom where she was the only African-American. I watched her self-esteem plummet as she fielded questions like, “Why’s your hair like that?”, or endure “being the servant” when playing, because that’s what “black people do.” It tore my heart to watch her shrink.
When I shared our concerns, I was met with, “I can’t believe any child in our class would say such things.” (Our fault) or “Maybe you can set up playdates so the children can get to know you. (Our responsibility) or “Maybe she can tone down some of her ‘flashiness’ and ‘liveliness’ in order to fit in.” (Our Problem)
In light of the affairs plaguing our nation, I’m reminded of the challenges African-Americans continue to face. I’m also reminded of my ancestor’s protest that afforded me opportunities I now have. Our solution was to find a more inclusive school while also working to share the message that our protest did not negate our patriotism. Our dissatisfaction did not negate our devotion. Our quest for change did not quench our allegiance. And our focus on social justice did not contradict our faith.
Fighting for the oppressed and the marginalized is not only our social responsibility, but our Christian responsibility. Let’s not get distracted or dissuaded from the true issues. Let’s learn from one another. Let’s unite around a common goal of equity, fairness and justice. Let’s trumpet the message of love, hope and truth. Let’s stand (or kneel) for what’s right.
Bible Verse: Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. Isaiah 1:17
Questions: How has the media shaped perceptions of racism in America? How might you be an advocate and/or an instrument for change? What Bible verses serve to support you during these times of difficulty?
YouTube Clip: America the Beautiful