By Lauren Brownlee
I greatly appreciated the Georgetown program "Confronting Racism in Our Hearts and in Our Nation," which was held on November 13, 2017. It featured a deeply moving panel of experts who discussed racism as a social sin. Here were some of my favorite notes from the program (I took them so quickly I can't be sure they are exact quotes):
· Archbishop Wilton Gregory
- Racism is a spiritual difficulty.
- We confuse public actions with human conversion.
- Pope Francis shows us that the role of faith is to accompany people - to walk with them and to challenge them. Dr. King did that too. (He was a minister of the gospel).
- Don't lose hope.
· Professor Marcia Chatelain
- It is significant when someone has a moral choice and chooses against the dignity of others.
- It is important to consider the consequences of our power on others' dignity.
- We need to sit with negative emotions, and grapple with them, in order to heal.
- We need to say tough things that call people in instead of out.
- Justice must be joyful.
- Moral imagination is important.
- We all must consider what harm we have done and how we can work to repair it.
- We need love that is willing to risk. Where is each of us called to risk?
- Don't accept surface-level solutions.
- Racism has two functions - to discipline and to humiliate.
· Reverend Jim Wallis
- What's at stake is the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith.
- Racism is a continuing threat to Imago Dei.
- Don't retreat to cynicism.
· Congressman John Lewis
- The Church should be a headlight not a taillight.
- The way of love is a much better way. Just love everyone. You're making a down payment on the Beloved Community. Love is so strong, so powerful.
- Voting is the most powerful nonviolent instrument we have.
I highly recommend watching the full video!