I saw a post on Facebook recently (my favorite source of odds and ends of information). It suggested that perhaps 2020 wasn’t a throw-away year, but instead a year that made us so uncomfortable we had to really look at ourselves, face the need to grow and change. It said, “Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.” Wouldn’t that be amazing? And, strangely enough, I am beginning to believe that is possible.
Working against racism has been my passion. I used to think that learning Civil Rights Movement history of the 1960s was the key, but then I finally understood that we need to go back to slavery, face the horrors whites subjected blacks to, and we needed to learn how sustaining white supremacy was built into the fabric of our country and own up to it. Some of the strands in that fabric were more subtle than the Jim Crow laws, such as red-lining housing, the War on Drugs, etc.
Much of what is happening today is making us face the problems of racism in our country, but my hope is that we won’t be content with the easier solutions, removing statues, renaming buildings, condemning police. Let’s look to making changes under the surface: doing a better job of selecting and training police, not having them spend 10x the training on guns instead of community awareness; look at how our schools are funded and why we have re-segregated our schools; look at our prison system and work to stop the pipeline feeding into it; face the economic issues that sustain poverty; and on and on.
Too many issues for one person to deal with? I agree. But God has given each of us different gifts and talents. We can use our individual gifts to plug into something that speaks to us and work toward changing that aspect of racism. We can look inside and face where we are on the spectrum of racism and work to become anti-racist.
Think of 2020 as a special gift, a chance to sit back and use our minds and hearts to face things that we, as a nation and as individuals have not ever faced, our real history. Racism is a real thing. White supremacy is a real thing. But we can change those things and become better individuals and a better nation. Let’s face these issues and then do something about them. Yea for 2020!