” The assumption is that we, in our faith community, are not racists.
A helpful way to expand listeners’ capacity to see racism as everyone’s problem is to name some of the implicit biases that people may not even notice: pulling your purse closer to you when in an elevator with a black man; walking to the other side of the street when you see people of color coming your way; feeling afraid or nervous when you are around people of color; assuming a person of color must be guilty of a crime when they’re pulled over or arrested by the police; jumping to conclusions about a person of color stealing something that you may have misplaced; or feeling the impulse to ask people of color “Where are you from?
Anne Cheng has written about the race card and its meaning for persons of color.
She asks, “What does it mean that the deep wound of race in this country has come to be euphemized as a card, a metaphor that acknowledges the rhetoric as such yet simultaneously materializes race into a finite object that can be dealt out, withheld, or trumped?
While racism is certainly seen in hateful actions and words, it is also seen in our inaction and silence regarding the larger social problems that stem from our racist history and continue because of our indifference.
It is easy to envision the “bad guys” when it comes to talking about racism—men wearing white sheets and pointy hats, burning crosses in yards.We share the same benefits from the sinful legacy of racism.If we have no intention of offending someone else and no consciousness of racial bias, then we may feel resentful for being accused of racism.Separating intention from inattention means that if we say something that inadvertently hurts someone else, we do not need to get defensive. I did not realize what that would sound like or feel like for you.” We can use the experience as a learning opportunity to see life from another’s point of view.We cannot blame racism on ignorance, because we perpetuate it even when we should know better.” (meaning a different country) when you do not ask whites the same question.These examples highlight the subtle ways implicit bias is still at work.problem is to identify the advantages white people may experience.Predominantly white churches may be hesitant to talk about racism.Some may fear saying the wrong thing or not getting it right.White people may not feel that we have anything to do with these larger problems, but our silence is part of the problem.Our acceptance of the status quo makes these injustices harder to challenge.