Lessons on Racism
Since the death of George Floyd several weeks ago I have been spending a significant amount of time examining my own experiences and feelings around racism and learning a lot more from black people who are sharing insights. We have always made an effort with our children to discuss people of other races, religions, and cultures and how God loves ALL of his children. We use 2 Nephi 26:33 as a guide "... and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." Growing up in a high school where I did have black friends in my AP classes, in my seminary/ward classes, and on my cheer squad I never considered myself racist but I wasn't aware of being "anti-racist" which is something we have been learning about. I also had no idea about police brutality or their training and methods. I have people I love who are part of the police force who are good people and I know they are trying to bless the lives of everyone around them. I also was afraid of the black people in my high school who would start fights in the hallway or were part of gangs. All these experiences have informed my ideas on the topic and I have appreciated the opportunity to really see it from a new perspective. The popular slogan these days is "Black Lives Matter" which I do agree with, however I strongly disagree with many of the stances that the official BLM organization has on the traditional family and therefore cannot support the actual organization itself. My friend Madison organized a rally in Bountiful called "Friends of Justice: Anti-racism starts at home" so we took the opportunity to march with our kids in honor of Jordan and Ava and other black brothers and sisters we love and support. There is a lot of racist history in our country and also within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and its something I am going to continue learning about. Here are some resources I have appreciated so far:
Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
Religion of a Different Color
I look forward to being an ally to black people and advocating for changes in racist policies and attitudes but I also hope the black community will examine the changes that could occur within their own culture. I feel changes in both arenas would be most beneficial.