My hardly articulate but trying thoughts on Race- and my own wealth.

My writing brain is a mess, because I am all over the place.  We are back from a trip. Each of the kiddos has had a stomach bug in the past week (Thomas has been vomiting today!).  The first anniversary of Mike Brown's shooting and his body being left out in the sweltering St. Louis sun for 4 hours happened recently.  My need to introvert is very high after weeks and weeks of visitors.  I am reading and reading and reading stuff about racism.  Donald Tru%$ appears to be a terrible person. My blogging fingers are moving slow.

So here are some thoughts on Race:

If you have to begin any argument with, "I'm not a racist," then I think you are about to say something racist.

If you use the hashtag #alllivesmatter then the systems in place are probably already meant to serve your safety, comfort, and life- even if they don't always do so.  So yes, #alllivesmatter but lets take a look at some of them that haven't mattered in the past #blacklivesmatter

I believe in preferential option for the poor.  This is a Catholic social justice concept that basically means in a given situation the priority should be given for the poor. Based on Jesus' consistent choosing of the poor this ethic says that the poor are our greatest teachers.   Poor is obviously not simply economic- but can be the voiceless, the wounded, the hurt, the marginalized in some way.

In light of all the racial tension in the US right now I am keenly aware that using the preferential option for the poor means that I am not the preferred.  In fact, I am rich.  My whiteness makes me rich.  My coastal American-ness makes me rich.  My employment makes me rich. My marital status makes me rich. My education makes me rich.

So therein I am obligated to listen to the voices of the poor.

The Black Lives Matters movement interrupted a Bernie Sanders rally on Sunday in Seattle (or was it sSturday).  My question is not, "Is that okay?"  My question is: "What do I need to hear from the protestors?"  There are protests happening in St. Louis right now.  My question is not, "is this okay?" My question is, "What do I need to hear?"

When I used the ethic of "preferential option for the poor" I am saying, "my opinion is not the most important, my ears are important."


And so in my listening. In using my ears in the past months and considering race, considering my "wealth" considering the voices of the "poor."  We have started to change the way we talk about race in our family.  I have shifted the kinds of books I read (more authors of color), we talk about American history with complexity and evil within it.

But there is more to do. So much more.  I am wrestling with the responsibility for calling out the overt racism that floats around my facebook feed...and I know there are some conversations in store from people closer to home.....and there is always the need for my own conversion, my own need to be called out, my own place for growth.


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