What Charlottesville reminds the privileged

Pastor Traci Blackmon in a Charlottesville, Virginia church tweeted this out at 7:20 PM on August 11 (the unofficial beginning of a White Supremacits rally “Unite the Right” slated for the following day).

 

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This morning as I prepped my gym gear, I dove into my social media outlets to find the above tweet and what followed Pastor Traci’s tweets were unreal, shaking and terrifying documentation of hatred.

She shifted between Twitter to Facebook Live to show that her tweets were real, factual information depicting scenes I used to read over in Civil War books.

History is something I’ve been fascinated with my entire life.

How we humans engage each other or lack there of really in means of understanding our identities – it’s something that oozes into my faith identity. Who are we? Why does it matter? And, why did God ask us to LOVE every unique identity we have – color, race, religion, love, etc…?

Indeed it matters quite a lot, because last night is just a reminder to those not of color – why it matters to love one another as God so graciously loves us.

I will be the first to tell you I am a white lgbt queer person, who is privileged beyond belief. I never had to feel the oppression of those willing to hurt or kill me over my skin tone or carry the weight of YEARS of such oppression.

And, I can not just simply say, “I’m not a racist, I’m gay!” and the world is right again.

Yes, as queer people we face oppression, but this doesn’t equate to the same our black brothers and sisters feel. Can you place yourself in the shoes of Traci Blackmon last night or early this morning as she preached messages of love as the messages of hate – literally – burned outside her church walls?

I can’t. I can empathize. I can pray. But, I can not say, “oh yes that’s happened to me” because quite simply it has not & will not because we are not of color.

Now, I’m not downgrading our LGBT fight, but I’m saying at the end of the day social justice is ALL our fight.

As Queer people we hurt over those who stay silent or neutral. WE can not cry for JUSTICE – if we do not cry for all! 

The ache inside my rib cage this AM is for several reasons:

  • Have I been active enough in my own communities to fight for social justice?
  • Am I standing in the trenches with my brothers and sisters of color or am I just silently #blacklivesmatter without action?
  • Is my church playing a valid role in identifying racism and social justice issues to play a very IMPORTANT spiritual role in combating?
  • If not, what is my role – have I asked God this lately?

These are just a few of my first thoughts…and ultimately the response in my heart to be true is no I have not done enough. 

I’ve started recently in my process of considering seminary practicing placing myself DEEPLY inside the shoes of others – how do they feel, react, why, what, etc. – and if I can not, I want to sit with this group of people. This directly impacts conversations regarding non-affirming and affirming churches and it has sprawled out beyond those points.

This morning I heard God’s call to write and claim my own work and say…

hashtags are not enough, tweets are not enough, FB live videos are not enough, THIS BLOG IS NOT ENOUGH…

ACTION is with LOVE from God through & through.

I pray for further understanding of how to approach this topic lovingly. How to walk this walk.  How to stand in trenches. How to love all of us more in Christ’s image.

Let us not forget that our fight is everyone’s fight and so WE must stand in all spaces as Christ did. Let it be a reminder to myself – to all of us.

Amen.

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