Photo Credit: thestar.com
Friday I started hearing chatter. It began as a low rumble.
Something was up again at UVA.
I saw a social media post accusing the people of Charlottesville.
I looked through headlines at NPR. A rally of white supremacists around a confederate statue was planned on the campus of University of Virginia. UVA banned them from campus stating they needed to be in a location larger than the one on campus. White supremacist leaders sued based on First Amendment rights. A federal judge upheld their right to assemble.
And so they did. In the face of "counter protesters."
A white nationalist rally took place and counter protesters showed up.
Such sterile language for a dirty, ugly, festering woundedness in the very soul of our nation.
Early Saturday afternoon Reuters reported "Scuffles break out at white supremacy rally in Virginia."
By 4pm ET Time.com had videos of the scene and news of a car, driven by a "white supremacist" mowing down the counter protesters, leaving one person dead.
And I watched. We watched. From living rooms. Front porches. Birthday parties. End of summer vacations. Back to school shopping trips. Facebook and Twitter.
Sometime early in the day I wrote this on my Facebook wall:
Racism is hate.
God is love.
One cannot share in the name of God, who is love, and bear hate for fellow humans.
One cannot be racist and follow God.
This line of reasoning seems on par with 1 John.
And I watched.
I agreed with and liked and commented some on other social media posts about the situation.
And I watched.
But I also noticed. I noticed a certain silence.
A silence among my Black friends.
I was absolutely not surprised by this silence. I know too well that if they speak too soon, or at all, some will call them out for it. If they say Black Lives Matter, others will retort All Lives Matter, as if my Black friends do not know that. If they claim they are oppressed, they will be challenged to prove it, even as the challenger watches the videos and others like them linked above. If our Black sisters and brothers speak out to soon, or even at all, they are accused of playing the race card even as White "brothers and sisters" play their race card in Charlottesville, VA this weekend.
And so while the media may sterilize the language of these events, it is time for me, and others like me, to call this what it is: Racism at its worst.
A full-blown Racist Rally using the name of Jesus Christ our Savior is taking place in Charlottesville, VA this weekend.
Oh, White sisters and brothers, I am horrified in my bones by this!
Black brothers and sisters, I confess and repent of this sin and all the sins or our white past.
I do not know what the politically practical answers are. I do not know how to end systemic racism. But I do know that on the micro level, the time has come to end the certain silence of White christians.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
--1 John 4:7-8
Let us proclaim truth. Call racism Racism. Let us stop watching and start loving. For God is Love.