Who could have known that when I wrote my first column on Justice several newsletters ago, that we, as a country, would be in the streets as we are again, today. Heck, we didn’t think that as Interim Rector and congregation, we’d be worshipping ‘on-line’ much less confronting the challenges of living with the COVID pandemic. And yet, here we are, together.
So this morning, I wanted to share with you a bit of how Wayne and I are preparing for conversation with each other, our families, friends and you, as we continue to walk this walk, together.
Wayne ordered copies of one of the most strongly recommended books to read, together:
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, By Robin DiAngelo
“The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality”.
This particular book is on back-order, a good sign that we made a solid choice for a ‘first read’ to move forward in conversation.
Two nights ago we took advantage of a free-streaming offer from Netflix and watched the film, Just Mercy, together.
“After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian's life”.
And then we followed the advice of our niece and took advantage of another free streaming opportunity and watched the documentary simply entitled, '13TH'. “Filmmaker Ava DuVernay's new documentary, 13TH, which explores the history of race and the criminal justice system in the United States. The film's title refers to the 13th Amendment.”
And today we’re joining with the ‘Ministerial Roundtable of Wilmington’ at City Hall to offer prayers (with masks on), a public statement against racial injustice.
In addition to taking the responsibility upon ourselves to become more fully informed, learning more deeply about our complicity with an unjust system and how we benefit from white privilege, we’re finding that we are drawn more deeply, together, in our affection and respect for one another…may it be so for all of us and our country. NLJ+