It’s June 18, 2015 and today rain falls outside my window.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, last evening a young white man entered into the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church [AME] in the city of Charleston where he opened fire upon black parishioners gathering together for a prayer meeting. This act of racially driven terrorism left 9 dead and at least one other wounded.

It’s June 18, 2015 and today rain falls outside my window as I am left to respond to yet another act of senseless violence and hatred.

There are families who will no longer know the hold and embrace of their loved one again in this life. Here is a time for mourning and community; but instead I witness more hatred and bigotry. I see opportunists using this as their time to make statements about black on white crime stats and that if this were reversed then we’d never hear about it. That this is just media bias at it again.

What is wrong with us?  

Can we just go one day without fearing and hating what is different. Can we not just comfort and hold others up in times of sorrow and injustice instead of trying to one-up for our own agendas.

Trying to navigate my own feelings in this moment I came across a post from popular blogger Jamie Wright and I wanted to share it with you.

I am afraid to talk about racism for fear of doing it wrong.

I’m afraid I’ll start a conversation I’m not prepared for, afraid I’ll misuse the language of privilege and oppression, afraid I’ll offend someone.

But I’m not afraid I’ll be murdered on the street, or shot at the park, or slaughtered in a Church for the color of my skin… So it’s been easy to stay quiet.

To be honest, I still don’t know what to say, but I can’t keep saying nothing while my neighbor is terrorized by Hate and Violence. I was born white, but not silent.

Being a former pastor, those in the clergy tend to remain silent at times to not openly pick a side so that we may minister to all. Today silence in me has died and in it’s place a call for JUSTICE and TRUE EQUALITY. Where all can feel safe from harm, discrimination, and injustice in all places.

May our sacred places, our streets, our cities or just plain anywhere where anyone may find themselves be a place of community, loving kindness, mercy and equality.

As I look at the storm outside my window I am aware of the metaphor. Secluded inside the safety of our apartment, I will never know or understand that fray that is just outside my window. I was born in a society where my skin color gives me privilege, safe from the storm people not of my color have experienced day in and day out for generation after generation. It’s time for us with privilege to first acknowledge that it exists (because it does) so that we may begin the process of dismantling it. Open the windows and let the rain in. Step out into the fray so that together we might ALL step out from the harsh and the cold.

It’s June 18, 2015 and today rain falls outside my window.

Time to open the windows.

-A



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