Monday, July 06, 2015

Speak up.

As a lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and as a human being, I was truly saddened by the recent killing of nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This was one of those occasions in which it is difficult to answer the central question of this blog, "So what can I do?"  As a society, we answered by considering removal of Confederate flags from public spaces, discussing reductions in gun violence, and making donations to Emanuel AME.

All of this is important and worthy work, but it does not address the core issue of racism and hate. We such a complicated, problematic, and entrenched understanding of race.  It is easy to understand why we shy away from dealing with it, but we must because racism results in part from our collective unwillingness to honestly address race. has numerous resources to help facilitate these important conversations.

We also must speak up when we hear friends or acquaintances say or talk about planning something cruel.  Sometimes silence isn't enough. There are times when we have to show disapproval in an effort to help stop something tragic from happening.  And if that conversation is too difficult or too dangerous, then it's time to talk with the police or other authorities.  Better to do that than to have to ask "So what could I have done" after something tragic has occurred.

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