Dismantling Racism: “A journey of a thousand miles....
- The Rev. Lisa M. Zaina
- Mar 10, 2016
- Blog Feed
We Belong to One Another: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” - Lao Tze
This week, our last formal session in our Dismantling Racism series, we welcome parishioner Thomas Worthy, Esq. He is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the State Bar of Georgia. Thomas has been intimately involved in criminal justice reform that assists re-entry into society for those who have been incarcerated. Thanks to Thomas for his work, as well as for sharing with us.
As we gather together Sunday, let’s remember that this is not the end of a series, so much as another step on this journey. Let's take more steps, for our journey is a long one.
Below read the words of parishioner Alice Ball as she personally reflects on Dismantling Racism:
I recently read these words from Thomas Merton: “There is not much use talking to (each other) about God and love if (we) are not able to listen.” Our weekly formation class on Dismantling Racism has been for me a time of becoming better able to listen. I have found myself listening and rehearing what one of our small group said last week: “But this is still happening now. Itʼs just more subtle.”
We had just seen a video about the banishment of all black Americans - citizens of our country - from Forsyth County Georgia in 1914. One day they were told to be gone by midnight or suffer death. They left behind all that they couldnʼt carry with them and permanently lost ownership of their land and homes.
I have begun pondering all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways we who have power, money, and the legal system on our side continue to banish the less powerful, the poor, the ones left vulnerable by the construct of our laws. Here are some of the ones that have occurred to me.
We build stadiums that will be “good for the community”, without regard for the communities that were already there.
- We applaud the razing of housing that is deemed substandard without regard for
where the occupants will have to go or what the effect will be on their lives.
- We spend public money to subsidize our roads and airports but not for public
- We use public money to build public schools, then cede them to not-so-public charter school private corporations.
- We require photo identification, a hardship for many to obtain, before being able too.
- This class on Dismantling Racism has been, for me, a class in removing my blinders and opening my eyes to the ways I allow myself to overlook suffering that is right in front of me. I look with different eyes now when I go to the library or to Target or to drop off a donation at the Goodwill at Roswell and Abernathy. I am pondering anew just who my neighbors are in Sandy Springs and how to “love them as myself” as our Saviour commanded.