The world we live in is crazy to say the least. Racism is still a very real issue. I live in this world everyday as a black man. I have 2 black sons, and 2 black daughters, that I’m raising in this world, in this time, and I have very real concerns about their physical, mental, and emotional well being as they grow up in this world.
When I drive, I am at a heightened sense of awareness of police. When I go into stores, I always assume someone is watching me closer than others. When I’m in social settings, I’m very aware of how I should act, how I should speak, or when I should not speak. Believe it or not… race is a VERY present part of my everyday awareness.
I make my living in a predominately “white” world, in a predominately “white” church, in a predominately “white” culture… and there is a long list of unwritten & unspoken rules to follow. I know them well, and follow them to the best of my ability… and for that, I’ve been able to benefit from being a sort of ‘face of diversity’ (some call it “the token black guy”) for many different organizations. And I’m GRATEFUL for the opportunity to be the bridge between races when and if I need to be. I don’t believe it’s done with ill intent… however it IS a reality, and there IS a need for it because sometimes, I’m the only black person that some of my white friends have ever really had a friendship/relationship with.
I’m literally one of the only black people that some of my white friends know well enough to call/text/ or have over for dinner. And during times like this… many of my white friends, brothers, and sisters have questions. Many feel guilty, confused, and or just at a loss of what to do or say….but they want to help and be apart of the solution. Others of them think something to the tune of “I’m glad George isn’t like those other angry black people…”, Yet still other’s just want to avoid the conversation all together. And yet there are others that clam that they still “don’t see color”. I’m sure there are many other emotions and perspectives that I’m missing.
Anyway…I wanted to write this message for two reasons:
#1 - So we can hold a discussion all together, or at least you can get some of your questions answered without you having to feel awkward texting me. (Plus I’ve had no less than 17 conversations with 17 different people on this subject these past 3 days, and a couple others I haven’t had a chance to respond to yet… and I just don’t have the capacity to keep up.
#2: I wanted to write this post to let you know how I’m feeling right now. I say right now because it can be a bit of a roller coaster sometimes…. but for right now, I just want you to know, that no matter where you are on the spectrum of emotions… I LOVE YOU!
For those of you who have posted what I feel to be insensitive, narrow minded, Pro-Trump, Pro-America, hurtful things…. I LOVE YOU!
For those of you who have posted overly dramatic, insensitive, narrow minded, F the police, F Trump, hurtful things… I LOVE YOU!
I love you where you are; not because we share the same political views, not because we are the same or different race, not because you can do something for me, not because of anything you’ve done, or didn’t do. I love you because Christ first loved me.
If you’ve said or posted something that was hurtful, I forgive you. If you’ve reached out to me, or stood for the national anthem or took a knee in solidarity I still love you.
The world as shown by the new’s & social media is largely the world that doesn’t know Christ. I live “in” that world, so I’ve experienced racism countless times as a black man. If I’m honest, I personally feel a lot of hurt, pain, shame, anger, frustration and a myriad of other emotions about our current situation... however, I’m not “of” that world, and I don’t take those emotions out on my white brothers & sisters. I don’t even have time to process those emotions amid trying to keep up with all the plates I’ve got spinning, bills that keep coming, raising children, being a husband, and all the other duties grown ups have to deal with.
But for my white friends… speaking for myself… not all black people… I just want you to know that I don’t hold YOU at fault personally for what happened to George Floyd or the very long list of names of other injustices that have happened since as long as I can remember. I don’t hold YOU personally accountable for slavery, police brutality, discrimination, redlining & housing discrimination, the bombing of black wall street, and countless other race related injustices.
Yeesh… this is getting waaayyy longer then I expected… let me just get to the main points…
Here are 4 of many practical suggestions for my white brothers and sisters if you are a believer, and REALLY want to be apart of the solution in real world practical ways:
#1 - Start with God. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12. This is all a set up by a spiritual enemy…and man is just carrying it out. NOTHING can be done without prayer. Nothing will be done without the work of the holy spirit. If you even attempt to heal this situation in any capacity in your own strength.. you are making things worse. Stop it! The moment we feel like we can succeed in anything by the strength of our will alone is the moment we are worshiping our own will. It’s ironic that in Col. 2:20-23 Paul looks at our most strenuous efforts in the spiritual walk and calls them idolatry.
#2 - Educate yourself… if you’ve never red an article, watch a youtube video or documentary about the issues I mentioned above… take some time to get some outside perspective on the conversation. Here are a few videos I suggest you digest before having the conversation. If you can’t find time to get educated… again… please refrain from “helping”… you’ll only make things worse.
There are a LOT of resources… but let’s just start with this one. It may seem long, but if you can sit and watch 90mins of The Office…but you can’t watch 90mins of information that will give you some perspective on this topic... well… I still love you.
#3 - Build real, genuine relationships. That’s not a “hey, lets have coffee” every so often. It’s doing life with people meeting their needs. Showing up to birthday parties, dinners, BBQ’s, showing up for events, borrowing tools, helping move…etc. But this happens over months, and years organically… so don’t be weird and start showing up to your black friends house unannounced every week.. that will not go well. Just love people, and make time for them.
There is a place for talking… more places for listening… but if it doesn’t come down to $$$ and sacrifice… nothing will actually change in terms of racial
There is no way I can even attempt to oversimplify this very nuanced and complicated subject…however.. we can discuss that at a later time. But here are some ways you could do something:
#5 - Support black owned business. Yes, seek out and replace your tooth paste from your typical brand, and buy it from black owned company. Same with laundry detergent, restraints you visit, even your banking institutions. Do business with people of color. Your real estate agent, coffee shop, anything… If you have to go out of your way to do it… then do it. Refer those business to your friend. DON’T make a big deal of it to show all your other friends how “woke” you are for changing your purchasing habits… just do it. No need to go out of your way to tell anyone “why” you’re doin what you doing… just do it like you would when you buy anything else.
If you own a business, seek out people of color to higher, promote or partner with. The value they bring to your company may not only be for the position they hold, but for for the perspective that they offer your company, and the relationship you’re abe to build… and the
I don’t suggest just picking out random black person and giving them money. (I’m not saying don’t do that either). But “handouts” don’t help long-term… but doings business with people who provide quality product/services can change families and communities for generations.
Also, I know that not every white person is made of $$ either… MOST people I know of any race don’t just have a bunch of extra $$ laying around… but you can still support by following, likening, starting, and engaging with their social media content. Leaving a positive review of business on yelp, facebook, amazon, or wherever if you’ve had a great experience with them. If you didn’t… reach out to them personally and graciously offer feedback or better yet… HELP them grow their business in some way.
There is a MILLON things you can do to support… even if its not directly with $$ all the time. (but seriously… spend your $$ in the black community if/when you can).
#6 - Above all… have COMPASSION, and understand every black person doesn’t share the same viewpoint. I don’t speak for all black people… I speak for George Moss ONLY. You may deal with another black person who doesn’t see the world my way… and that’s fine. Love them where they are. Hurt with them when they hurt, encourage and uplift them. Speak life, give grace and mercy. Forgive them if they do you wrong…
“Continue in brotherly love. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were bound with them, and those who are mistreated as if you were suffering with them.…” Hebrews 13:2
Anyway.. that was a VERY long rant… not super thought out and edited… just my thoughts.
What I’d like to know from you is what are you practically doing to help be apart of the solution? What are YOU doing that is making REAL change? Not public, social media stuff… but actual real change?
Look forward to hearing from you.
I love you.