Repairing Community: From Talk to Action

For the title of this post, I modified the topic of my presentation that I gave in London the first week of July. It was entitled: Repairing Community: From Prayer to Action. However, we all know that too many people just talk about the issues without ever doing anything. So, this post is to encourage those already doing and to prompt those who are only talking. The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of activities where I have gained more information to further equip me to the task of being an advocate for diversity and reconciliation. I’ve gone to some local workshops and gatherings around race, some for my job and one overseas. All of these events provided me the following information that I felt I needed to share with you along with some personal reflections.

In reflection after one workshop, I developed the following:

Not the marches, singing, dogs and water hoses of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not the ‘by any means necessary’ of Malcolm X.

But a combination – By extra means, it’s necessary

Political Force – voting, lobbying and holding politicians accountable

Monetary Force – leveraging resources, boycotting

Social Force – social media, community organizing

Intellectual Force – education, information sharing

Combined Force – other minorities, collaborating whites

No one will be safe; that is, no one who is perpetrating injustice, discrimination, exclusion, oppression, etc.

Snippets:

In the US in the 1930s, redlining maps were created to establish boundaries for being eligible for government backed home loans.

Green areas were 80% eligible

Blue areas were 60-80% eligible

Yellow areas were 15% eligible

Red areas were not eligible. African American neighborhoods were marked red, so home ownership was not possible.


Currently, there are 3-6 million KKK members, 537 known hate groups and 858 patriot groups

More than 1,000 black persons have been killed by police since January 2015


Rage is grief turned into aggression

Black progress – go from grief to aggression to mobilization

Moving white people from sympathy to solidarity so restructuring of society can occur

I would say – moving white people from complacency to sympathy to solidarity so restructuring of society can occur


We have heard lots of talk about reparations for Blacks in the US. However, in all the talks nothing has been said about psychological, physical, emotional and intellectual reparations. We have a lot of stress, anxiety, depression and other illnesses of the mind stemming from slavery, oppression and segregation. We also have a lot of medical issues that can also be traced to the systemic discrimination and oppression of Blacks in the US.

I wanted to share some of the information and history. Every time I hear something knew about our untold US history, the current situation of Blacks in America becomes clearer. I also feel the work of reconciliation and helping people to embrace ‘the other’ is definitely needed, especially given the chaos in the world today.

Action

Followers of Christ, it is way past time for us to come together; to be unified in our diversity and to care for the ‘least of these’ in our midst. There are several different options in Dallas. Below is just a few that I know of but I’m sure if you are interested and do a query, you will find others as well.

Dallas Faces Race

Faith in Texas

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing)

CEDD (Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities

Dallas Dinner Table

All of us can and should be about our father’s business and help to bring peace, healing and justice to this broken world.

God bless.

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