Amanda’s gift to me at Christmas, I’m Still Here, by Austin Channing Brown caused me to pay it forward. I bought a copy for each of my direct leads and asked them to read through in preparation for a discussion.
After having to reschedule our discussion today we met after lunch and spent an hour talking about the book, our impressions, our reactions and asking the question; am I racist? It is clear we are, and though we don’t like to admit it, admit it we must or we can never deal with it.
We talked about seeing names we can’t pronounce on an application, about being oblivious to the challenge that some of our employees arrive at work with, about how fear of being called out or aggressively approached sits high on the consciousness of many. We forget that our whiteness means we sometimes just expect the world to do things “our way”.
It was a meaningful and important conversation. If I was to characterize the hour in discussion I would say this. That there was a lot of honest and deep discussion. That we were sad that Austin ended the book feeling like there is no hope for change but understanding why she would say that. We agreed that we needed to work towards thinking and doing things in a different way and seeing God’s fingerprints on all people.
So thank you Amanda. You are a catalyst for change in each of us.
We began with a prayer to be learners of God’s way – to see God’s Kingdom come alive in us, in all of us.