Forgive me, black and brown friends, but I’ve been busy…
Dear Black and Brown Friends,
Forgive me…for I have been busy…too busy to be disrupted, too focused to have my scheduled shattered.
That is my privilege.
Trust me, I’ve been sad, gut-wrenched, heartbroken for you–my black and brown friends–for POC in my community, for those who experience injustice in our country. I’ve felt the weightiness of outrage—but you see I still have had work calls and deadlines to meet. The protests have come during a really hectic season, and I’m just not able to schedule around them this week.
And that is my privilege.
You have to understand, it’s not my rights that are being threatened. Ok, my lot should be in with you, my neighbors. As you know, I love the philosophy of Ubuntu—I am because you are. But your sense of urgent threat isn’t as urgent of a threat as my to-do list not getting done during this unusually demanding time.
And that is my privilege.
But take heart, this week I talked about how awful things are. And I listened to NPR stories and was moved…sometimes to tears. And I posted a thoughtful article or two in between meetings. I fought the good fight…scaled to my scheduled, on my own terms.
And that was my privilege.
Then a dear friend dared to interrupt my noble schedule, asking: Where have you been wrong and still may have blind spots? What are you learning? Ask God where your heart is.
Where have I been wrong? I’ve been racing toward deadlines on work I thought could change the world…and failed to take time to look for blind spots.
I’m sorry dear black and brown friends that I have succumbed to the addiction of society—my addiction of being too busy to be truly disrupted, too comfortable to be inconvenienced.
What are you learning? You, my black and brown friends, live in disruption day after day. You don’t have the privilege to schedule around racial slurs, they just come at you. You have to spend extra executive function to code switch—all the time. You have to invest energy and intention to tell your kids what to do or not do if they’re pulled over by police. You have to work twice—or ten times—as hard to get a fair shot, to be taken seriously, to get a loan or rental property or senate seat.
You’re so much busier than me simply navigating institutions that have their roots in racial injustice. I’ve said I’ve been too busy but in a lot of ways I’ve just been sleeping.
Ask God where your heart is. Humbled…and grateful.
Thank you, my black and brown friends, for how patient you’ve been with me in my drowsy state. As I’ve been slowly waking up, you’ve been working all night to see the light of justice come.
“Deliver me from the addiction of society, Most Gracious One. Oh, keep me from temptation that I may tell of your justice and mercy.” Psalm 51