Responding to Racial Injustice
We encourage you to watch the full message above to hear Jerimiah's response to racism, but we also included a summary of the key points below.
“[Racism] is an evil that has plagued humanity not just for 15 years or 20 years, but from generation to generation to generation to generation…. We have to feel the weight of it…
“It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum (of being a victim of racism or of privilege), as believers we have to have the conversation. Because what we are seeing portrayed around us is the breakdown of loving the neighbor. And what is the very thing the church is called to do but to love the neighbor.”
What is our response?
1. Admit your own ignorance.
“I am a white American male. And by those three facts alone, you could argue that I am among the most, if not the most, privileged people on the planet. And no matter what I may read or how many conversations I may have, I will be ignorant of what racism really feels like. And I think many of us need to acknowledge that.”
2. Break patterns.
“We have patterns in our life that insulate us from the greater narrative and contribute to our lack of understanding. It’s human nature to gravitate to people who look like us, think like us, value the same things we value, live the same way we live. We do it with politics, with church, and in a lot of different ways. And we do it by race…
How many black friends to you have? How many Latino friends? Asian friends? And I don’t mean acquaintances or colleagues, but people you would invite over for dinner. If your answer is a very small list like mine is, then that’s part of the problem.”
3. Build authentic meaningful relationships.
“I fully recognize and agree that the issues of racism need to be fought across the board because it is so systemic … but I would also tell you where I think perhaps the greatest effectiveness where this war can be waged is around the dinner table. Where we actually build meaningful community with people who are different from us. That’s where change really begins to happen in our own hearts.”
“We can’t pretend to know what people’s needs are if we don’t know how to listen. And I think that’s one of the greatest challenges in our country is we’ve forgotten how to listen to one another.”
5. We have to become people who love justice.
“If we truly believe in the gospel and love the gospel and want to follow the gospel, it will lead us to justice. It means we fight for our neighbor and we fight for their needs being met, no matter what.”
- The Warmth of Other Suns (by Isabel Wilkerson)
- The New Jim Crow (by Michelle Alexander)
- White Fragility (by Robin DiAngelo)
- Between the World and Me (by Ta-Nehisi Coates)
- The Michael Eric Dyson Reader (a collection of writings by Michael Eric Dyson)
- 13th (a documentary directed by Ava DuVernay)
- The Sun Does Shine (by Anthony Ray Hinton)