If it’s US vs THEM and we are intent on scoring points, we are not making antiracist progress.
Posts in Race
Grieving with others is not the only way we commit to solidarity. Becoming aware of one’s participation in the oppression of others, is another way of opening the eyes of the heart and deciding to be responsible. Brian Engelhart, SJ, describes the apathy White people often exercise when dealing with the realities of racism that affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and finishes the third week of our “Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat” with one contemporary example, as well as with an invitation to get rid of indifference.
Some realities in life can only be known through tears. The participation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members in antiracism is not a hobby or an optional venture: it’s a matter of survival.They do not have the luxury that White people have to retire from the conversation of racism and flee from its painful realities. Matt Briand, SJ, invites us to put aside our fear to weep with those who weep because of racism, for true Christian love suffers along the beloved, and commits to justice.
Feeling grief for the suffering of others is one of the first steps toward a commitment to serve them. It helps us to have a greater sense of urgency for justice, as well as a deeper understanding of what is at stake. When we accompany those who suffer from racism in their mourning, we walk with our neighbors and bear witness to our Christian vocation. River Simpson, SJ, introduces us to the third week of our “Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat,” and invites us to remain faithfully present to the agonizing Jesus, through our accompaniment of the victims of racism.
Humility plays a vital role in anti-racism work. Intellectual and moral humility allows individuals to admit complicity in a culture of racism and commit themselves to the ongoing struggle of anti-racism. By looking at the Call of Simon Peter, contemplating the story of Martha and Mary, and meditating on what it means to be “childlike,” Sullivan McCormick invites us to reflect on where in our lives we might need more humility as anti-racists.
When I speak about racism, am I generally more worried about how white people will feel, react, or think of me than I am about how people of color will? Does my Church, my workplace, my classroom consider mainly the sensitives, comfort and concerns of white people? Billy Critchley-Menor points the anti-racism conversation in the right direction when he explains that it is about white people being held accountable to People of Color. White supremacy has shaped society around the accountability of white people. Anti-racism refocuses our attention so we are held accountable by the oppressed in our society; those in whom Jesus lives according to the Gospels.
Although solidarity is one of the values of Catholic Social Teaching, it is easily forgotten that it is not just a feeling of sympathy with those who suffer. Solidarity is a constant effort to create a society centered on equity and justice. Kevin Kuehl gives us four characteristics of true solidarity and asks us to consider with whom do we practice solidarity in our following of Jesus: with those who are fighting for justice or with those who are perpetuating oppression?
Race is a social construct originally framed to create hard boundaries that could not be crossed by people of different skin color and for the purpose of segregation. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are still discriminated against and abused because of the color of their skin. Although race as a social construct was abusively imposed as a biological determinant of skin color, our society must not fall into the tarp of colorblindness as it prevents one from seeing the suffering of “BIPOC” members. Armel Setubi asks us to imagine a society without race, while warning us about the common mistake of thinking that colorblindness is the solution to racism. Inspired by St. Ignatius, Armel asks us to ponder God’s call to be anti-racist with three important questions: what have we done to fight the sin of racism, what are we doing now, and what will we do in the future.
Racism is not just violence and big displays of oppression. It manifests in everyday situations and in the mundanity of our lives. Jorge Roque shares some instances where the idea of white superiority affects how white people are racist toward minorities in a covert and harming way. Deciding to work against these harming habits require conversion. Jorge asks to allow ourselves to be scandalized and to pray with Jesus’s lament over Jerusalem.
Racism manifests itself as white supremacy in the United States. Ángel Flores Fontánez introduces these and other concepts, summarizes the history of white supremacy, and identifies white fragility as a great obstacle to defeat the sin of racism. He also invites us to imitate Jesus in his ability to accept correction and convert from wrong ways.