We can make a prolonged, spiritually-rooted, engaged commitment to uprooting white supremacy within our community.
Author’s note: With the Black Lives Matter movement and racial justice student movement growing around the country, and the voices of hate and fear from racists in the Donald Trump-led GOP, there is tremendous need for vision, guidance, courage, and inspiration for white anti-racists to step up. Chris Crass has written a handbook to meet this need. Below is an excerpt from his new book Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter. Crass writes, the goal of the book is to help equip white people to be courageous against the death culture of racism and structural inequality and bring our hearts and souls into the work of collective liberation with Black Lives Matter at the center.
To become an anti-racist faith community, the key question, for a white/white majority community, is not “how to get people of color to join our faith community”, it is “how can we make a prolonged, spiritually-rooted, engaged commitment to uprooting white supremacy within our community and take on-going collective action to challenge it in society”.
Our goal is not to have white people sit alongside a person of color so as to affirm that those white people aren’t racist. Our goal is to build and be part of beloved community united to end structural oppression and unleash collective liberation in our congregations, houses of worship, faith communities, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces and throughout society.
Our goal is to join hands across the divisions of racism in our faith and in our communities, find and affirm our humanity in each other, and join our hearts and minds to the task of destroying white supremacy in every worldview, policy, law, institution and governing body of our society.
For our faith communities to be places of healing for people of color and white people from the nightmare of racism. For our faith communities to be places of nourishment for people of color and white people about the multiracial struggles of our people to advance economic, racial, and gender justice and the continual process of overcoming oppression within the movement on the journey to end oppression in society. For our faith communities to raise our children, of all backgrounds, to be freedom fighters and practitioners of liberation values.
For our faith communities to be spiritually alive, learning from and contributing to liberation cultures and legacies. For our faith communities to be welcoming homes for people of all colors, sexualities, classes, ages, abilities, genders, and citizenship statuses. For our faith communities to regularly be inviting us into and preparing us for courageous action for collective liberation, held in loving community for the long haul. Let our theologies and our faith communities be active agents in the world, to help us all get free, together.
Towards the “Other America” is available as a free ebook or for purchase paperback at www.chalicepress.net/OtherAmerica