A Catholic Renewal

~ En radikal blogg ~

"Se, jag gör allting nytt..." (Upp 21:5)

onsdag, maj 07, 2008
Om rasism - inifrån
En kvinna jag känner i USA, nyligen prästvigd (inte katolik), med rötter i Afrika, skriver här om sina erfarenheter.


The energy of the African and African-American Christian stems from a place of being a have-not. This is not unique to the Black, this fervor is found among the poor and other disenfranchised. It is more freely/openly demonstrated amongst Africans and those of African descent. Part of our colorful nature or as the kids say "flava".

Being a have-not means more than finances and that which a solid portfolio and bank account can offer.

We can buy education, staying in the game can be a struggle when the professor admits and acts on a bias against us.

Buying homes, often we are relegated to another's remains or faced with higher interest rates, even for those of us with solid credit ratings.

Our black skin highlights us, giving even the racist immigrant time to grab a shot-gun or round up his buddies before we reach the end of the block (NY). We often talk and yes, laugh about they must have a sign at the airport telling them to hate.

Conversations with Jewish friend explaining they will not know you are Jewish until you open your mouth, see the star of David under your shirt or know your last name. We stand out like a sore thumb (pecking orders). After some time he got it.

Other white friends (Va.) understand it just by being with me and observing the differences in treatment at times bringing them to tears. When I realize this is new to them I can only tell them get used to it, you will see it again. Remember it is not your fault.

In these days racism and anti-Semitism has picked up momentum at an astonishing rate. I've been concerned with the words and actions of clergy, sadly, their are those no different than the ones they shepherd. Check your speech but more closely check your heart.

You meet someone new, they know who you are, you are black, you are perceived less (on a variety of levels). Friends are surprised when they learn yes, we can feel it. You do not have to taunt us with racial slurs, we can FEEL it. White friends do not have to signal with regard to the presence of a known racist, we know (this is part of what is referred to as the "strange dance between whites and blacks in the south', I've come to understand).

I could go on, I will not. Suffice it to say: When you have nothing, you know God is all there is. When the systemic, institutionalized racism, benign neglect and greed, designed to break you, destroy all hope, break the spirit, and beat you down, who is with you, who is for you? Only an unchanging God. We know it.

During the apartheid era I asked a South African neighbor during one of many exchanges, how did you keep standing, not let it beat you down? Her response was simply, "It is an insult against my skin color not me the person." For those unable to get beyond skin color whether it be an individual or continent, we know who we are and we know to whom we belong, we know it will not always be this way. Why? Because He said so (childlike faith) and we don't debate it.

Gentle peace,


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postat av Charlotte Therese Björnström @ 19:13  
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    "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (okänd källa)

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Copyright: Charlotte Thérèse, 2007

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