“[Racism] says not everyone is made in His image. What a horrible lie…”
— Gloria Purvis, former host of the Catholic radio show, “Morning Glory,” and the television series, “Authentically Free at Last”
Does your significant other share your views on racism? How about Anti- racism – that is actively taking a stance to combat racist thoughts and values in his/her community, home and self?
My husband, Kevin, and I come from very different backgrounds. He grew up in Carroll County, Maryland and I grew up splitting time between Las Vegas, NV and the San Francisco Bay Area. We fell in love with each other as we fell in love with Baltimore City. Last year we decided to move out of the City and that decision was prompted by a lot of discussion on what we wanted for our lives and potential offsprings’ lives. Unlike a lot of young couples, it wasn’t “a given” that we would get married and move out of Baltimore City. Our moving discussions centered around a central concern of mine: exposure to “different” people. I recognize growing up in diverse communities played a huge role in shaping who I am today. My husband experienced less diversity in his upbringing and as such, at first take, valued diversity in community much less than myself. I consistently worry that living in a less diverse area will affect myself and my family, that we will become complacent in the ‘burbs.
Flash forward to a couple months ago and our discussions have returned and although not as pressing on life decisions, they continue to push us to know ourselves and each other better so that we may grow stronger as a couple.
Try asking these questions to start the discussion in your own home:
- What are your thoughts about the ethnic diversity of our neighborhood?
- Do you have any other races in your core group of friends? Why do you think that is? Does it matter?
- When was the last time you/we hosted a gathering (even socially distanced) that included persons of color? Should we specifically be trying to “find” those opportunities for invitation?
- Have you prayed about racism in our community?
- Have you prayed about racist thoughts you have had?
Are you comfortable asking your partner these questions? If no, why not?
Are you comfortable asking yourself these questions? If no, why not?
I don’t think my husband is racist and I don’t think I am racist. But I don’t think either of us thought about whether we are anti-racist until recently. Our conversations have led to discovery of current and past biases and have propelled us forward in our quest to be more anti-racist.
Now that you have started the conversation, what is next for you?
1 John 3:18, “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”
Maybe it’s more questions? Maybe it’s more self reflection? Maybe it’s getting involved with social justice groups in the Church? Perhaps you’d like to share with the Church your own reflection or journey with anti-racism.
Being anti-racist can take different forms; I encourage you to make your move now.
Jesus, may we listen to your demands for racial justice. May we sit with you in quiet prayer as we realize our racist tendencies. May we walk with you as you accompany the marginalized. May we have the courage to have the difficult conversations and self-reflections, and may we trust in the movements of the Holy Spirit.
Written by Kendall C.
Every issue of “Becoming Antiracist” is written by a fellow St. Ignatius parishioner.
Kendall C. grew up splitting time between Las Vegas, NV and San Francisco, CA. She relocated – on a whim – to Baltimore about 7 years ago and is currently the Therapy Services manager at the Baltimore VA Hospital. She and her husband Kevin have been parishioners at St. Ignatius for 2 years.