Denying Our Own Racism Keeps Us from Doing Anything About It.
86 unarmed black men and teenagers were killed in 2018 by police officers.
According to Mapping Police Violence, only 1 in 3 of those people killed were suspected of a violent crime and allegedly armed. The courts continue to exonerate these killings, but I believe it is the court of our hearts that will create the real change we are yearning for.
A friend of mine recently said, “We are all racist, and being upset about recognizing our own racism is keeping us from doing anything about it.” We explore that very concept below, along with the idea that it is the next generation that is already making a stand for what is right.
Maybe, like in Parkland, Florida where kids stood up for gun control after the shooting that happened at their high school, it’s this next generation who are key to the end of racism. If our children can’t touch our hearts enough to force us to take a deeper look at what we truly value, who can?
As a white, middle-aged man, white privilege has made my life so much easier even in the toughest of times. I will admit I have taken advantage of that privilege at different times in my life.
If we are to dismantle racism in our country, it is up to us whites to take a hard look at ourselves and be willing to not take advantage of white privilege when it is offered, but to point out that privilege and do what we can to make sure that everyone has the same rights we whites have taken for granted.
Black Lives Matter is not a movement saying other lives don’t matter. The movement is bringing to light an area of American society and culture that has for far too long been in the dark. I love this quote by the comic, Hari Kondabolu, “Saying I’m obsessed with racism in America is like saying that I’m obsessed with swimming when I’m drowning.”
Everyone has the possibility for remembering that we are one humanity sharing a planet where everyone deserves the same basic human rights, as stated in our Constitution, of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I may be preaching to the choir, but given the pushback from the choir I have received over our films on racism, I’d say even the choir is drowning.
It’s not easy to look at ourselves and admit to our darker side. But it is impossible to change what has not been brought into the light to see it exists. Like my friend says, we are all racists. Don’t let your being upset get in the way of doing something about it. Triggers are incredibly great red flags telling us what needs healing within us.
If our film triggers you or makes you uncomfortable, maybe there’s something there that needs healing. Start within. Only then can we look with clear eyes, filled with love and compassion, ending racism and fulfilling the dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for humanity.
Rev. Cliff Rubin is the Senior Minister at Spiritworks Center for Spiritual Living in Burbank, CA. He is also the grateful husband of Ashley Fuller Rubin and father of Isaac Rubin. After achieving a BS in Filmmaking from the Los Angeles Film School, he has put together a troupe of amazing congregants to inspire through film, to creatively do what Mahatma Gandhi so eloquently stated, “Be the change you wish to see.”