Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CONTINUING TO PROCESS RACE IN THE FACE OF CHARLESTON SHOOTINGS & CHURCH BURNINGS

Charleston was 11 days ago.  Eleven more ugly days of reading articles that come from all sides and wondering what to make of it all.  I desperately want to "get it" for my kids and myself, and I wish that "it" did not seem like such a moving target.  I've realized that it is not my job to tell other people how to think, though I often want to.  I can tell you some of the things that are growing in my own heart as our country continues to be divided in the wake of tragedy after tragedy that involves skin color.

Yesterday I saw the news that black churches have been burning throughout the South in the past week.  It's sickening, really.  What is becoming clearer than ever to me is the racism that continues to live within the hearts of people.  We can legislate rights all day long, but until hearts are truly changed, racism will be alive and well.  Taking down the Confederate flag will not fix what flies inside the minds of individuals.

Last March, we went to Branson and drove through Harrison, AR where I actually laid my own eyes on this billboard.

sign1

There are places that encourage this sort of thinking.  This place is unfortunately not very far from where I live, and you can be sure that we will not be stopping in Harrison if we can ever help it.  I was so offended as we drove past, and I hate that they used the blatant lie on the bottom as some sort of sick tag line.  Love cannot go hand in hand with something that so obviously wants to be exclusive.  It just doesn't.

I feel like I will be walking a really fine line as an adoptive parent.  I'm white, and I've grown up in privilege and with my own baggage that comes with living in a racially divided city.  I have black children who will grow up with much privilege, but that won't protect them from the color of their skin.  Their beautiful chocolate skin and their precious tight curls are things I adore about them, and these things can and will be viewed so differently by those who do not know them.  This is just reality, and if I choose to ignore it - I do us no favors.

Because we are an US now.  Why did it take me adopting outside of my race to get it?  I hate that I didn't really listen before.  I hate what I thought I knew based on my limited life experience.  So I am repenting and listening.  It's the best I've got.  I'm hoping and praying that we can move towards a world that actually has more love.  I think it will take a lot of heart work from each of us, and I hope and pray that you will consider being on this journey of repentance and openness with our family.  It matters very deeply to us.

2 comments:

Kelcie Huffstickler said...

I've seen that sign before too and was very disturbed by it. My husband said he's actually heard the mayor of Harrison on the radio before and he does not condone racism AT ALL. Unfortunately, any crazies can pay money and put up a billboard. I actually have several wonderful, Godly family members that live in Harrison and I think they are more reflective of the population than these nuts. But yes, I agree it's sickening!

Carol Spenst said...

I know you are right, Kelcie, and probably most of Harrison disagrees with this billboard's sentiments. I certainly don't want to hold it against everyone there, but we will always be mindful when driving in that area.