Vital Conversations

“Can we get back to politics?” “Please!”

Kidding! (Mostly.) My last post about my dad garnered more views and interactions than just about anything else I’ve written here. I really appreciate that and intend to write more like that soon.

But I’m also deeply invested in the ongoing sermon series at Woodridge UMC, “Privilege and Promise: This is America” on racism and becoming actively antiracist. As a companion to those sermons, I’m sharing resources that educated and influenced me as a way to continue the conversation. This post is one of those.

How much time did you spend on your various activities today? How much time did you devote to exercising or having breakfast, or reading a newspaper, or listening to the radio, or making a lunch, or downloading a podcast, or scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram timelines?

Now don’t worry. I’m not asking so that I can segue into some awful attempt at shaming you into spending more time reading the bible. No, I want you to do something that’s even better for you than that. I want you to devote time today — right now even! — to some honest self-reflection and examination. But wait! There’s more! I’m even going to offer you a mechanism, a tool, to aid you in that time of honest self-reflection and examination. It’s a simple tool that most of use all the time.

I want you to watch a video on YouTube. 

That’s it? That’s the big deal?? Watch a video??

Yes, but here’s the barrier: it will take 20 minutes. 

I know that is a barrier because I felt it too. As soon as I read that timer, I immediately wanted to turn it off. Who could possible have time for that?, I thought. Then I remembered how much time I willingly used in all kinds of other pursuits today. I watched it and I was so glad I did.

I’m convinced you will be too. Call it prayer if that helps you. No, really. Self-reflection and examination is most definitely a form of prayer. 

This video continues our conversation from on White* privilege. It comes from The United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Race and Religion (GCORR) as part of their Vital Conversations series. 

The Church looks to GCORR to facilitate, resource, guide, and support discussions on how to move to efficacy, justice, and courageous, positive action. It is our hope that these videos transform lives, congregations, and communities.

Instead of a long list of stuff to read, this week I just want you to watch this one video and — especially we who are White — spend some time digesting it and learning from it. 

The speaker is author Dr. Robin DiAngelo. The video is below. It’s also here on the GCORR site which offers some questions and a prayer to consider afterward. 

1 video.

20 minutes.

Potentially life-altering new understanding of yourself and the world around you. 

I hope you will watch it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

*As I wrote previously, the AP style has recently changed to capitalize Black but not White. I’ve read arguments for this distinction and arguments against it. I will capitalize both because I find most compelling the reasoning that we who are White have for too long hidden behind a generic cultural sense that positions us as the default. I am convinced that has contributed to us being blinded by our White privilege.  

2 thoughts on “Vital Conversations

  1. Duane Buerstetta

    Illuminating! But not as uncomfortably illuminating as the hour and 21 minute video that followed by Robin DiAngelo on “White Fragility”. WOW!

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