Reconciliation requires more than a rainbow of skin-tones at the 11:00 o’clock service. Diversity without justice is assimilation. And assimilation makes clear whose culture is the favored one, the good one, the right one, the holy one. If your culture is the standard for rightness, you have found the Imago Dei in others to be insufficient. It is the definition of racism- the assumed superiority of your race, your culture, your way of being. We can discuss who is assimilating into what, how and why, but a pound of diversity without an ounce of justice, is not reconciliation. Reconciliation is how we respond after being told we are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, agist, ableist congregation hiding behind platitudes of love rather than acting justly. Reconciliation is having our hearts broken that people are experiencing these things, not having our feelings hurt for being called out on it. Reconciliation is staying in relationship until all these are cast out and love reigns.
Now, we all know Olivia and Fitz will make their way back to each other. It’s just a matter of how long it’ll take. As a bandwaggoner shipper for them, I can’t make up my mind on whether I want this to happen or not. Sometimes, they annoy me to no end and then other times, their bomb chemistry has me rooting for “one minute.” IDK. We shall see. All I know is that I don’t want Olivia being some crumbling mess next to him. THAT IS ALL I KNOW! And Jake? Well, he’s the king, President, CEO and Executive Director of the Friend Zone. Bless his heart.
Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return. Don’t settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don’t become a slave to it. You will not have ‘I wish I’d worked more’ on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends. True, honest, strong friendships are an utter blessing and a choice we get to make, rather than have to share a loyalty with because there happens to be link through blood. Choose wisely then treasure them with all the love you can muster. Surround yourself with beautiful things. Life has a lot of grey and sadness – look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.
If it’s a family reunion near a beach, someone is going to suggest you all take a photo together wearing white and khaki. White people, you have got to stop doing this. It’s boring, you all look washed out, and something about it is vaguely racist but not quite, like those Lexus commercials in December where all the blonde families dressed in white give each other white Lexuses while it’s snowing. It just doesn’t sit right. Of course I’m not seriously calling you racist for doing this, but god, it is so basic. I can already see that photo pinned to a gray cubicle wall and it makes my soul scream. Just wear some color.
How are Christians reasoning that the LGBTQ community is the cause of the fall of the family, and evil at the core when it’s us, the gays who are wanting to be a part of church but get turned away?! I’m face-to-face with messages from people whose desire to grow closer to God and the people of God is consistently met with rejection and hopelessness. These people have only one conclusion that they can draw from this — that God must not want them. And the Church is responsible.
Before becoming a transracial parent, I prided myself on being “colorblind”. I truly believed that the best answer was to ignore skin color. And I would get very irritated if anyone else used race as a descriptor. If I was forced to physically describe a person of color, I would mention gender, height, build and then whisper “black”, like I was saying a bad word. I was just so uncomfortable even discussing race that I did my best to ignore it. I steadfastly and earnestly believed this was the best non-racist approach….
More than all women, black women are rarely afforded space to express anger. When we are wronged and express our anger, we are dealt with and punished for expressing our frustrations. One of my most infamous media moments happened in February when I expressed my anger about an interview that I felt was shallow, sensational, and unpreparedly done. When I rallied the courage to rebut the way the interview was framed once aired, I was told I would be “dealt with on-air.” When I actually chose to defend myself on live television, I was widely dismissed as an Angry Black Woman by many viewers who felt I was “ungrateful” and “undeserving” of such a mainstream platform. One letter went as far as characterizing me as a “finger-waving, hand-clapping bitch who just set my cause back decades.” It was that moment that taught me as never before that no matter how successful I am, no matter how articulate, no matter what I accomplish or acquire, that when I do not uphold the standards of respectability, I will be checked, punished and dismissed as an Angry Black Woman.