Thursday, June 4, 2020

Recommended Reads on Race, Bias, and White Privilege: A Continual Conversion

There are many great links to recommended reads as we continue to confront the horrific realities of racism that, as many have said, is this country’s original sin. In efforts for people of privilege to educate ourselves, we must remember the systems, structures, and powers of our day are not necessarily broken; rather, they are working precisely as designed in a nation with a history of enslavement, genocide, conquest of native peoples, and racism that targets people of color. Hauntingly, these are the primary backdrops of our social, economic, political, and even religious establishments and ideologies. The great evil is, despite endless pleas, protests, marches, movements, and orations by some of history's greatest activists and leaders, these very systems have not been deconstructed or reformed to eradicate systemic racism. Instead, they continue to be cowardly sustained and defended. 

To be clear, the road towards such understanding has been slow and difficult, at times painful and humiliating. I have had to confront my own racism, biases, and privileges for the last twenty years and more. Most of my pilgrimage of faith and discipleship formation has come by way of confession and unlearning much of what I considered true, good, right, and “normal.” For white people on this journey, there is no such thing as an arrival as “not racist;” there is only the continual conversion of the heart, mind, and lenses through which we view the world and our movement through it. I am beyond grateful for the patient saints and cloud of witnesses who have walked alongside me, extended grace to me, and continue to aid in my own journey to be the best kind of ally and co-conspirer for God’s justice and reconciliation. There is much work to do and the place we all need to start, especially for us white folk, is by taking a long look in the mirror. 

Or our book shelves. 

So here are some recommended reads and a few podcasts, too. I have not been to my office for some time, so going a bit off memory here. There are an infinite others, and would love recommendations. Talk to one another and do the honest work together. 

*Picture above is a collection of old books turned into the base of the bar at the Modern Times Lomaland Fermatorium.