Sunday blogging against racism #37–my brother’s keeper

Or rather, my sister’s child’s keeper . . . can I really be that?

Jesus chided a man who wanted to split hairs over who his “brother” really was. I am certainly not going to claim that I, of all people, have any idea what “family” really means, but I hope that I am smart enough to know my brother when I see him.

and I’m nobody’s mother, but I can definitely understand loving a child, your own or not, so much that it hurts.

but can my love really save them from the future that the statistics and the society and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly (or governmental) realms have laid out for them? or is it possible that, despite the well-meaning but misguided efforts of this never-ending stream of trendy white folks, that these gentle, sweet (and don’t get me wrong, also often obnoxious, as only teenagers can be) and loving young men, who sometimes remember to call me “Aunt Lorraine”, but other times resort to “Miss” until their mom yells at them are destined to become nothing more than a grim statistic? can any of us really save them?

Their mom takes what I consider to be a laissez-faire, almost fatalistic view of things. She has often said, “I know my kids will mess up–but God still has them.” When an inner-city ministry from another state came to our church recently, she saw me attempt to hide my tears from her, and in her very “Mona” way, very loudly said, “ARE YOU CRYING? WHY ARE YOU CRYING?”

I could only look at her and say, “Why are you NOT crying?” she gave me some “Mona” answer about God making a way . . . but for me, who had just seen statistics saying that one in three (one in THREE!!!) African-American boys born after 2001 will be in prison at some point . . . well, my own faith is just not that strong. I do not want THESE black boys to be a statistic. and so my very, very white self turns to, “how can I fix this?” and looks for a solution.

but if the solution is to look at myself, to dismantle the system of privilege and power that I have benefitted from for so long, then am I still willing to do that?

and if so, where do I begin?

 

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