Antiracism and You
by Cari Hummel
Since June 15th, people from Faith Lutheran, Salem Lutheran, and elsewhere, have joined together to examine our roles and responsibilities toward Antiracism. The Antiracism journey is a difficult one in that it can be painful, confusing, and frustrating. Systemic Racism did not happen overnight and thus it cannot be corrected with a quick read of a book or few FaceBook messages.
As a group, we are intentionally looking at and reflecting on how our society has been shaped to support racism. We watched the documentary, 13th, which states, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction," and then discussed how "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" is not the same for people of color.
Our first "book study" was White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. This book examines why it is difficult for white people to discuss and recognize racism. Even through Zoom meetings we are able to break into small groups that allow for more opportunities to reflect and question the concepts around racism.
Then we read, How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--and even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.
Our current book is I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.