Disillusion to Surrender
After the Election: Facing Myself, the 81% and a Latino Congregation
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Juliette Read who attend a Facing Ourselves retreat in 2018.
When Dr. Liebscher (Brandy) reached out and asked if I would be interested in a weekend dedicated to learning about racism for faith-based white people, my immediate response was, “YES!” How could I pass up such an opportunity? On the journey of living actively anti-racist, I have experienced a continual clash between this pursuit and my religious expression - Evangelical Christianity. I was desperate for guidance on how to bridge these important realities. Brandy hosting an entire weekend retreat around the intersection of faith and racism was an answer to prayer.
Unity or Prophetic Resistance?
I was warmly greeted even before I walked through the front doors of Vida Church. Everyone was speaking Spanish until they saw me.
“Hello. Good morning!” they said kindly in English, while nodding and smiling at me.
“Am I that obvious?” I thought. Yes, gringa, you’re that obvious.
Terrence Crutcher, Officer Shelby, and Me
This week a diverse group of pastors in Sacramento, many of whom I know personally and deeply respect, released a video extending calls for unity and speaking out against division and discord. Presumably, this video was in response to the current political and religious climate. I would like to offer a different take on what this current moment requires of us, especially white Evangelical leaders.
Is Mourning Enough? White Christians and Black Lives Matters
After tragedies such as the recent fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher by Officer Betty Shelby I want to scream out to my white brothers and sisters. White people, we need to wake up! We are the ones propping up these systems of injustice no matter how loving, kind, and charitable we are (or think we are).
I’d prefer to focus on other people and stop there. However, I have to acknowledge my own biases as a white woman—things that are difficult to admit to myself much less write about in a blog.
A Retired Cop Reflects on This Week's Tragedies
This morning I attended a press conference held by the family of Joseph Mann, a 50 year old African American man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police. His family is filing a lawsuit and seeking answers and justice for their brother. They talked about Joseph who contributed in many ways to his community before his mother passed away and he began to struggle with mental health issues. The grief of Mr. Mann’s family was agonizing to witness along with the images of his death.
Facing Ourselves: White People and Racial Justice (Pt. 2)
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post I invited my dad to write after we attended a community rally, to stand with the African American community, and mourn the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. My dad and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on social and political issues (what father and daughter do?), but I’m grateful that for he has been willing to press in and struggle with me.
Facing Ourselves: White People and Racial Justice (Pt. 1)
Many white folks I know are truly heartbroken about the realties of racism. But many of us also feel stuck. We tell ourselves, “What could possibly be done to effect real change when the problem is so big? It’s way too much for me to tackle.” These feelings of hopelessness, while understandable given how vast and ingrained racism is, reflect a luxury afforded to white folks. We have the option to feel helpless and do nothing with little to no consequences for us. Communities of color do not have the same option.
Reflections on the Film, Selma (2015)
Most of us would agree that conversations about race in the United States are full of tensions and complexities. This includes what the roles and responsibilities should be for white people when it comes to the work of racial justice and reconciliation. One important aspect of figuring this out is listening to leaders of color—many of whom have challenged white people to educate themselves about race and racism and hold each other accountable when it comes to combating racism in this country.
I Attended a Protest Today
Last year, my dad wrote a review of the film Selma, which was nominated for Best Picture and won for Best Original Song, “Glory.” As part of his movie review he invited me to share some of my own reflections. In honor of MLK Day I wanted to share those reflections again regarding this remarkable film.
Today, I attended a protest march and rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California. I joined nearly 1000 people advocating for passage of AB 953, a bill that could help end racial profiling. I’m proud to have been a part of this protest. We marched. We sang. We prayed. We chanted. We staged die-ins. And we shut down the governor’s office, demanding justice for our black and brown brothers and sisters.