Most of you have seen the internet meme “Someone was Wrong on the Internet” and I am guessing that many of you can relate.
Parenting transracially has changed my perspective on many things. In the past, I might note casual racism in my environment, but I wouldn’t say anything for fear of losing friends, alienating people, or just causing a ruckus. I am not a person who is drawn to conflict and I really don’t like confrontation at all.
Last spring, my twelve year old black daughter and I were looking for movies in the library. Two junior high boys were also looking for movies. One of them said, “I am not picking that one. If there are black people on the cover I am not picking it. I don’t have to see that!”
I looked at my daughter who scowled and looked away. We chose a movie and walked away without saying anything. I was sad and embarrassed that I didn’t have the courage to confront them. Later, I asked a good friend who is black what I should have done.
Here is a bit of what she said:
“There are times when someone needs to speak up for me, but there are times when I need to speak up for someone. There isn’t enough modeling for speaking up. We can and should speak when we have the chance.
That groaning in our Spirit when we do nothing is indication enough that we should have. I have felt this many times as well.
Ok – so I did not think I would be this preachy.
Lots of love”
I felt that groaning in my spirit again yesterday. You see, someone was wrong on the internet. Someone posted a racist statement in reference to a high school aged black boy. It is possible that the poster unintentionally pulled up an ages old racist stereotype and shared it without realizing its racist history and connotations. But when I saw the post I felt that familiar groan. I had a few conversations with my husband and then did some research on the internet just to check myself before I spoke.
And then…I spoke.
I have no idea if my words helped or hurt in this case. I said what I did to stop the groaning in my spirit. I pray that I will be strong enough to speak even when I am not insulated by the nameless and faceless internet, like maybe even if I am hanging out with my daughter in the library.
Thank you, Linsey for your blog post from Nov. 13. I am grateful for the challenge and am thinking about the questions you posted.
* What am I willing to give?
* Who am I willing to lose?
* Do I believe it’s worth it?
“Learn to do what is right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the case of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow and orphan.” Isaiah 1:17