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Racism is more than someone calling a person of color by a terrible name.
White people may not feel that we have anything to do with these larger problems, but our silence is part of the problem.
Our acceptance of the status quo makes these injustices harder to challenge.
If we are not paying attention to how others are harmed by large social forces that may be out of our personal control but nevertheless benefit us in unjust ways, our inattentiveness to these social forces can be hurtful.
Paying attention to the ways racism continues to unjustly privilege white people and disadvantage people and communities of color enables us to see racism as much bigger than our intentions.
If we are generally good people who feed and clothe the homeless and give our money to the poor, it can feel as if we are being unjustly accused of racism when the rest of our behavior shows our moral intentions.
Unfortunately, great harm comes to others not simply by our .Others may assume their congregation does not need to talk about racism, since they do not see their members reflecting racist actions or beliefs.Even if a predominantly white church views itself as socially progressive and talks about concepts such as systemic racism, persons in these congregations may still harbor illusions about racism that prevent a deeper understanding of the problem.We share the same benefits from the sinful legacy of racism.If we have no intention of offending someone else and no consciousness of racial bias, then we may feel resentful for being accused of racism.If racism were just about mean actions and words, then we could easily say this is not about us; we ourselves do not harbor racist beliefs or say racist things (at least to people of color). The first is that it assumes that we are the best judges of whether we are racist or not.The second is that it misses a whole world of data that shows less obvious factors in racial inequality and discrimination.The following myths often arise or lurk near the surface in white people’s discussions of racism.This perspective can be seen in the question “Why do we need to talk about that?” The assumption is that we, in our faith community, are not racists.A helpful way to expand listeners’ capacity to see racism as everyone’s problem is to name some of the implicit biases that people may not even notice: pulling your purse closer to you when in an elevator with a black man; walking to the other side of the street when you see people of color coming your way; feeling afraid or nervous when you are around people of color; assuming a person of color must be guilty of a crime when they’re pulled over or arrested by the police; jumping to conclusions about a person of color stealing something that you may have misplaced; or feeling the impulse to ask people of color “Where are you from?