I am grateful for several kind texts, emails, and messages from white, evangelical friends who have expressed empathy, concern for me and my family, and outrage over racial injustice in the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and in the wake of the Central Park bird-watching act of racial hatred toward Christian Cooper. Empathy from non-African Americans plays an important role in progressing toward the dismantling of racial injustice in America.
Among the many communications I have received, in addition to the one in the picture above, here is an innocent one from a young adult friend that I have permission to share:
“Hey…. I don’t post or share much on social media about these dreadful injustices and I think it’s because my head and heart have a hard time processing the emotions that take over when I hear about them. But I want you to know that I think of you and Pam every time an article or a picture comes across my screen – whether it’s of [an] Ahmaud Arbery or George Floyd. It frustrates me [when I see] the reality that [you] live in because some racist, ignorant, and/or plain stupid [expletive deleted] believes in their mind that they are superior to Black people. I don’t understand how that policeman could just sit there like he did in the video. The look on his face the whole time truly disturbed me; it was the look of indifference. Unfortunately, many people show that same face when something like this happens. I am so sorry that you have to live with your head on a swivel. I am sorry that people show total indifference. I pray that the Lord would break the staunch hearts of those who are indifferent to acts of injustice, that they would mourn with those who mourn, that they would see God’s image in the person next to them—Black, Asian, Latino/a, or whoever, that pastors would step up and train their flocks to see injustice, and that the body of Christ would come around our [African American] brothers and sisters and ask them what can we do. I love you guys so much and I am weeping with you and praying with you.”
Thank you to every friend who has taken time to express empathy, and to show love toward me and my family after racial injustice tragedies. May your evangelical tribe increase, speak where other evangelical leaders should be speaking, and join the fight for racial justice in America in all other holy and righteous forms possible.