Last week, at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I had the opportunity to hear Austin Channing and Drew Hart had finished laying out some truth, I was tearing up and tingling with the energy of honest accountability.
I try to be authentic. I am giving voice my experience of the world.
My goal is to unsettle people. My goal is to change people.
When an audience member asked them to explain why they used the phrase “white supremacy” instead of white hegemony or other less, what he called, “antagonist” terms, Hart broke down the history of white supremacy and laid out the realities of our society. Channing said, “I’m not trying to antagonize. I’m telling you about my experience of a world that antagonizes me.”
I’m weary of the blue-eyed, yellow-haired Jesus. I’m weary of segregated Sunday mornings. I’m weary of the church acting as if racism is not our problem, so I am eager to learn from Channing and Hart so that I can work to dismantle the racism that is part of my faith tradition and my society more generally. Because, after all, as a white woman, it is MY JOB to break that down. It’s my responsibility to unsettle people, to be about the work of unsettling racism.
I highly recommend you follow both of these folks, on social media and through their blogs (linked above.) Also, be sure to check out Hart’s new book, Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism. I can’t wait to read it.