Dear White People
Dear White People:
There is a popular television show by that title which is stirring considerable (secular) talk about race and diversity. My secret confession is it annoys me that we, the church, have not been willing and/or seem unable to muster enough collective unity and resourcing muscle to launch a Christian-based prime time television show to espouse Christian values and messaging. Collectively we have the money; we have the technology; we have highly skilled actresses and actors; we’ve long demonstrated we can leverage influence, and we possess the most dramatic string of real life dramas that have ever been heard and disseminated to earth’s story-loving panting masses. It’s a mistake (in my view) to only see TV as entertainment, because TV executives and advertisement professionals, unlike many Christians, understand the POWER of CONVERSATION, including conversation that speaks to the unconscious or subconscious mind.
Something significant begins to happen when the commonality of the blood of Christ is allowed to bleed through in the lives of Christian believers, and then saturate and tenderize the propensity of biases which we all struggle with. The consequence is that it opens channels of needed dialogue which in turn places us on the road to mutual understanding, and when necessary, also points us to repentance and restorative ACTION. As an African American who has repeatedly endured racism both in secular corridors and sacred pews, I’ve almost always found benefit on the occasions when my ear has been pulled aside by my white friends who have, in essence, started their sometimes nervous conversation by saying, “My Dearest Black Person.” The intoxicating progression of love starts with a substantive invested effort of conversation. The misaligned reactionary hoof beat of squirrely presumptions can often be untangled and clarified through shared conversational thought. Even a national bend that seems to happily eat from the table of cultural divisiveness can be pushed back when our “Theology is allowed to dictate our anthropology and our anthropology is allowed to dictate our sociology” (Dr. Christena Cleveland). But again, it starts with a bended knee conversation with the Lord of Hosts, a spiritually naked “mirror, mirror on the wall” conversation with ourselves, and a love thy neighbor conversation among ourselves. It won’t culminate in a perfect end here on earth, but meanwhile, back here at the ranch, it’s one important street to travel as we resolutely point our faces ultimately toward a new Jerusalem where the wicked will cease from troubling, and where the lion will lay down with the lamb. So, I ask, “Can We Talk?”
Would you be willing to join the NorthStar conversation on Race? If YES, stay tuned!