I am a white woman. And it was a difficult week to preach in a bi-racial faith community. Gun violence is all around us. Taking black men's lives. Taking police officers' lives. When will it end?
Only when we say enough.
One of my African American clergy colleagues, a young man who has no family of his own but is very close to his sister and her family, shared the story of his two young nephews, who live near a store they can walk to and buy things. Last week they went to that store and an adult told them, he hates black people. It scared them. They are...5 and 9-years-old...I think?
Have we had enough?
Will we stand up for a child against a bully, particularly an adult bully? Will we reassure that child that they are loved, innocent, and worthy of our protection--regardless of their skin color?
If we are in a public space and we see an adult person of color being bullied, namecalled, yelled at by a white person--will we allow that harrassment to continue and do nothing?
And shooting guns? That is not the answer.
If we do nothing, we allow evil and violence to rise up victorious, scattering all of us, scattering all of our dreams for a better world for the next generation.
It is time.
If we see a child or an adult person of color being abused in public space, it is time for us to stop standing by silently. It is time to go over to the person being bullied, to talk with them (don't focus on the bully, focus on the victim), to reassure them that they are not alone, that we are here, that we care, we care about them, regardless of their skin color or the way they dress. We care about our world, the culture and the society that we are crafting and creating together.
All it takes is small intentional acts of kindness.