This week has brought some rather startling and tragic news. Between the Rachel Dolezal story, and the shooting and murder of nine black men and women at a bible study at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina - not to mention dozens of other recent stories - it's clear that race is still a pertinent issue in our society.
And then today is Juneteenth, a holiday I'm ashamed to say I hadn't even heard of until this year.
As a lily-white person of primarily northern European heritage, I feel for the most part it's my job to listen and learn, to step aside and let the voices of people of color be heard, to amplify them when I can, to acknowledge whatever aspects of racism have seeped into my subconscious and work to eradicate them.
I was going to create a list of links to helpful and thought-provoking articles, but instead I'm just going to encourage you each to do your research. Read something - lots of somethings - written by people of color since there is a wide spectrum of responses. Allow yourself to be outraged and moved to action. Don't let yourself take the easy cop-out of "I'm not racist!" Take a good hard look at yourself and how you can do better. If you are a praying person, pray to know how best to help and support those who are hurting right now. We are to "mourn with those that mourn" and to "comfort those who stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:9). Let's do that.
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