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“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.’” Jesus in Matthew 25:40
Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it isn’t a problem for you.
It’s been 401 years since the first kidnapped humans were brought to these shores. 401 years of slavery and ongoing oppression for our Black brothers and sisters who were legally relegated to the very bottom rungs of our society for centuries. Despite a constant, heroic, and sacrificial struggle, the equality of Black Americans’ humanity, inherent dignity, and worth have never been fully accepted by the white majority. It’s only been 56 years since legal segregation was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Our Native American brothers and sisters, since the arrival of Europeans on our shores, have waged a heroic battle to simply survive through legal genocide, enslavement, the seizure of their lands and rights and children, the breaking of treaty upon treaty up to the present day, and their relegation to desperately poor reservations. Native Americans living on tribal lands today do not have access to the same services and programs available to other Americans, even though the government has a binding trust obligation to provide them. This is because, despite a constant, heroic, and sacrificial struggle, the equality of Native Americans’ humanity, inherent dignity, and worth have never been fully accepted by the white majority.
We could speak of the historic and ongoing mistreatment of our Hispanic and Latinx American, and Asian American brethren as well because racism is written into the DNA of our nation: built into our systems of education, housing, healthcare, prisons, courts, religious institutions, arts, laws, employment, banking, and more – we are infected. So when talking about healing or fixing the effects of racism in our nation, the reality is that our foundation is not broken, it was made this way. What is required is a new foundation of justice, equality, and equity for all people.
We here at Lighthouse Fellowship UMC are determined to believe and love until the world knows Jesus, We recognize and repent of our own personal and historic racial biases, stand with Jesus and our diverse community in communion, and join together to create a more just and equitable society based on God’s love for all people.
Here is are some resources that inform:
Connect: End Racism UMC Resources
- Listen to Brene’ Brown and Ibram X. Kendi, his book “On How to Be an Antiracist”
- Watch Ava DuVernay’s astounding documentary “13th” on YouTube & Netflix
- Watch “America’s Native Prisoners of War” Aaron Huey’s TED talk
- Watch the 2019 legal drama “Just Mercy” available for free throughout June
- Watch “Let’s get to the root of racial injustice” Megan Ming Francis’ TEDtalk
- Watch “We need to talk about an injustice” Bryan Stevenson’s TEDtalk
- Watch “I’m Mexican. Does that change your assumptions about me?” Vanessa Vancour’s TEDtalk
- Watch “Actions are illegal, never people” Jose Antonio Vargas’ TEDtalk
- Watch “Why America Needs a Slavery Museum”
- Watch “How Immigrants Shape(d) the United States” Nalini Krishnankutty’s TEDtalk
- Watch “Racism has a cost for everyone” Heather C McGee’s TEDtalk
- Watch “How to deconstruct racism one headline at a time” Baratunde Thurston’s TEDtalk
- Watch “The symbols of racism – and how to take away their power” Paul Rucker’s TEDtalk
- Watch Hillsong East Coast’s powerful interview with Bishop TD Jakes on YouTube
- Watch the basic “Systemic Racism Explained” on YouTube
- Read Dr. King’s letter to the white churches in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
- Read civil-rights attorney Bryan Stevenson’s interview on current events
- Read “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
- Read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou