Easter: A Letter to White Christians
To My White Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Easter is fast approaching everyone. Now as Christians, I know all of us have been gearing up for the big event. We have been on-time at church and been wearing our Sunday best. We are well versed in the story of Jesus and His crucifixion. But, it always astounds me how much more empathy we feel during this holiday. We all know that feeling when the visuals of the crucifixion unfold before us, how our heart aches to think of iron nails driven into the wrists and ankles of our Savior. I’ve looked around during these moments and have seen row upon row of empathetic faces. I have heard voices waver and seen tears shed. Yet, when it comes to other instances where empathy is needed, I barely hear a whisper.
What other instances might I be referring to? I am talking about the instances that have been affecting minority communities since before I was born. But more recently, the instances where individuals like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, and Sandra Bland have all been victims of police brutality. The instances where white supremacist Dylann Roof viciously murdered black believers and is gently placed in custody and fed a Whopper. The instances where events like Charlottesville are normalized. The instances where our current administration demonizes and ostracizes the minority citizens its supposedly represents. Sadly, the immeasurable empathy we feel during Easter, isn’t found for us.
John 13:34 states “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” 1 Peter 3:8 states “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” In Matthew 22:37, Jesus stated “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Each one of these verses clearly defines how we should treat one another, yet the silence and complicity of evangelicals is deafening. What’s worse is racial repentance isn’t being given the attention it needs within the church. How are we supposed to learn anything if its never taught?
So, my hope is that we will start teaching. We will start teaching and hopefully our white brothers and sisters will listen. My hope is that with some new-found knowledge, some white privilege will be sacrificed just like Christ did on the cross. My hope is that white evangelicals will uplift their brothers and sisters of color and empower their voices. My hope is that instead of a complicit church, we become a proactive church. My hope that instead of masking our short-comings in dealing with racial repentance, we embrace our flaws and become better through them. My hope is that empathy won’t just be found on Easter.