I Don’t Have the Luxury of Ignoring Racism Anymore

ChurchLeaders.com | 8/15/2017 | Staff
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I thought racism had ended for the most part because of the Civil Rights Movement. I was sadly mistaken.

I grew up on military bases mostly overseas. If you’ve spent time in an environment like that, you understand it’s a little bit of an artificial setup. Everyone has the same access to education, healthcare, and is committed to a shared mission. Because of this, I grew up with the naive notion that racism was something that happened in America’s past—like before the Civil Rights Movement.

Friends - School - Houses - Parents - Sister

I had African American friends in school, played at their houses while their parents watched me and my sister, and had the hardest time understanding anyone with a southern accent. To me, this was America. Even if it wasn’t technically American soil.

And then the second decade of the 21st century started to unfold. My elementary understanding of racial tensions in America began to shift with reports of unarmed black men being shot by police officers. At first they seemed like isolated incidents, but then the frequency became too much to ignore.

Election - Statistic - America - Percentage - People

Sometime around the tumultuous 2016 election, I learned the statistic that America has the highest percentage of incarcerated people in the world. I also learned some upsetting stories of African Americans who had been unjustly tried and sentenced to prison—forever altering the course of their lives. And that stories like these happen more frequently in the African American community than they do in mine.

But I quickly gathered this was not the case. According to some experts, the gathering was the largest group of white supremacists in one spot that our society has seen for a long time.

Shock - Demonstration—which - Violent - Point - Clashes

I watched in shock as the demonstration—which had turned violent at this point due to clashes with counter-demonstrators—not only continued all day, but had started the night before. The only encouraging...
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