As my daughter gets older and the wet cement of her settling mind starts to solidify a bit, I hope to talk more deeply with her about the thing that she feels inside of her during her lowest moments.
The moments when she curls in on herself and those she loves. The moments when she’s self-absorbed and petty. The seasons when she feels alone, mistreated, and bitter. The nights when she feels ashamed because she didn’t do the thing(s) that her heart and right mind told her she should do.
In other words, I hope to talk to her about sin.
Not as something that she’s doing wrong (and that other people aren’t). Or as something that she can cure herself of. Or as something that her dad has effectively managed because he’s (hopefully, by then) a pastor.
But as the thing that lives in every single human heart.
Never will I frame this as her ‘whiteness’. Never will I make her feel that she has to pay for something her great, great, great grandfather did.
Rory’s best friend - her ‘soul sister’ as she calls her (with zero baggage of racial connotation) - has darker skin than her. It pains me to think that this concept of whiteness/blackness can tarnish that sistership.
Yes, our skin colors are infinite.
Yes, certain people with lighter skin have dehumanized those with darker skin.
It’s a crying shame.
But the important and only real truth is
We are all one.
I plan on going with that narrative.
The one that civil rights leaders have worked so hard over the centuries to lift up.
Now, I know that’s not the ‘woke’ thing to say. I know that’s “minimization” in the eyes of the IDI evaluation (which is not culturally righteous as far as the white woke elite are concerned).
I know that I’m supposed to make her feel really bad about the color of her skin. That I’m supposed to teach her that she shouldn’t be her full self round her friend(s) of darker skin tone. That her whole relationship with her bestie should be based on repentance and making up for the wrongs of her distant fathers.
I hope she’ll be aware of the challenges that her friend might face on account of her skin color.
But I never want her to cower around another human, no matter the shade of their skin. I hope that she’ll always be able to look them in the eyes, be present, and fully her imperfect and vulnerable self. Anything less than that robs her of dignity AND THEM.
Yes, there is sin. Yes, there is racism. Yes, racism is a result of sin. We will definitely have this conversation. And we’ll also have the conversation of self-hate being a sin.
The Christian faith has been dealing with this for a very long time. Progress moves in very slow steps.
But this new religion of critical race theory and elite wokeness is no better than fundamentalist right-wing Christianity. It lumps everyone into a sterile political category defined by their oppression instead of their blessedness. It places people of color as props to be used for the performative piety of white people.
Call me a heretic, I suppose.
Grace + Godspeed,