8-26-2019: Entry by Sharon Gabriel
January to August 2019
I am a white, racist woman. I knew that fact before reading the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. What I didn't know was how uncomfortable this book would make me feel!
I am married to an African American man. I thought I had learned a few things over our 38 years of marriage. Now I know I will never "arrive" at being a non-racist.
Before our discussion group got to chapter 11 entitled "White Women's Tears," I had started to cry twice in the group. The book stopped me in my tracks! I felt stuck and unable to move forward.
Thankfully, one woman in the Redeemer Lutheran racial justice group recognized my "stuckness" as a step forward. Now I believe I am ready to develop a personal action plan.
This has been a shocking process for me. I thought I knew a little something.
Confidence came slowly as I formulated concrete things to "do.” As I felt some success in following through, I listened to a podcast where Rev. Dr. Alex Gee interviewed Robin DiAngelo. Listening, I heard that my first two action steps (lunch date & phone call) don't count. One step forward and two steps back.
This is a journey. Learning how I have contributed to racism through the systems and structures in the U.S. has been a challenge! I am learning to tolerate discomfort.
Thank goodness the ELCA is supportive of this journey with the social statement on Race, Ethnicity and Culture. Thank goodness Robin DiAngelo is white and understands this journey. Thank goodness for Christ and forgiveness of sin!
Each piece is authored by a different member of Redeemer's Racial Justice Cohort, in response to "Seeing White," White Fragility, and more.