There is so much contention around conversations on race, justice, and historical consequences that it can be very discouraging to listen in on many civic and social circles without being disheartened. I just keep thinking that there has got to be folks that are speaking for clearly and more charitably on these topics than I am running across. I do think it is difficult to enter the conversation. If you have not listened long enough or done some reading of your own, the chances are higher that you will insert your voice, receive pushback, and then run away from the scene of the crime crying foul. There’s no need for continuing in this sort of unhelpful cycle repeatedly. It just makes us fragile.
This said, I was delighted to come across a tweet from Lisa Spencer.
Lisa Spencer @theochick recently posted on Twitter:
"Newsflash: you can actually be honest about the history of racial discrimination in this country w/o buying into or promoting the prevailing secular ideologies that do nothing but pit groups against each other. You can actually be aware that racism still exists & be against imposing it on everything esp. when other factors can be involved & caution against redefinitions that essentially erase the individual & their agency. You can actually appreciate diverse cultures & diversity w/o promoting the kind of multiculturalism that eliminates certain groups from the equation & creates hierarchies of power as the prevailing secular ideologies promote. You can actually love the big beautiful world that God created full of diverse ppl & cultures while also decrying ways in which “culture” can be the driver of how everything operates. This is why as Christians we need to avoid swift, careless & uncharitable charges just because one either addresses racism and/or welcomes diversity or speaks against secular ideologies. What’s the framework in operation? Let’s start there."
Lisa writes a blog at TheoThoughts. As of today, her most recent blog post is dated Oct. 10, 2022 and titled, “Because its really about people supremacy”.
I appreciate Lisa’s clarity of thought and her commitment to being present in the conversations being had, even if social media is the most anti-social place to have them. It still seems important not to totally abandon this arena. So, if you are in the market for this kind of robust thinking on the issue of racial justice, racial reconciliation, social change, and critical thinking, I would suggest heading over to her blog to take a gander.
Also, if you want to listen in on conversations with a more charitable approach, I would recommend requesting membership in George Yancey's Collaborative Conversations private Facebook page: Collaborative Conversations and Race. His book, Beyond Racial Gridlock and Beyond Racial Division were very helpful in thinking more deeply about a better model for approaching conversations about racial conflict, alienation, and viable possibilities for solutions. (This is Yancey, with an ‘e’, the sociology professor, not to be confused with Yancy, no ‘e’, the philosopher.) Collaborative Conversations is a working model, not a guaranteed formula. However, the folks in these conversations are way more committed to charitable dialogue than I have found elsewhere. It’s worth a step in.
photo by Jeanne S. Mam-Luft
I'm a Christ-follower, passionate about moving in truth/love and intellectual rigor through all things faith + art. A professional Dance Artist and fancying myself an amateur Christian Apologist, I’m committed to moving in the liminal space between catastrophic reverence of God and a quaking humility that intentionally keeps the tremors of Grace close at hand.