WHAT WE SAY MATTERS: A CONVERSATION ABOUT MICROAGGRESSIONS

I don’t see race–I’m colorblind.

So where are you really from?

You don’t speak [Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, etc.]?

You’re so articulate!

I’m not racist, I have black friends!

Many would deny being racist, but our speech and actions can communicate a different message.  For our third gathering in our series on race, we invited Rev. Jose Martinez to facilitate a conversation with The Open Table community about microaggression, and the ways our language and actions can perpetuate unhealthy narratives and racism.   This series was designed to be a forum for truth-telling conversations held in community at the table together, featuring diverse voices from the greater Kansas City area.  Rev. Martinez is an ordained minister for the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) and has coached church planters in our area on innovative missional expressions that are anti-racist and pro-reconciling.  He is currently pastoring at Broadway Church in KCMO and serves as a chaplain in the Missouri Air National Guard and Truman Medical Center.

As a teaser for our dialogue, Rev. Jose shared a video clip called, “Kinda Racist? Try Diet Racism“, and began by sharing where he was starting from, or his social location.  He gave some context to our term, “microaggression” and discussed different forms it could take, sharing examples of things he had heard or stories from others.  As a group we then divided into smaller groups to share stories of microaggression we had encountered and to talk further about how the church could be a place of healing.  In conclusion we were left with a challenge to recognize microaggression in ourselves and others, and to recognize also the physical and spiritual hurt which results.  Let us know what you think:  How can the church be a place of healing?

To hear the audio recording of this conversation, you can listen here, and check out the corresponding resources below!

RESOURCES

Video: “Kinda Racist?  Try Diet Racism

Food for Thought:  “Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health,” by Rae Ellen Bichell at NPR

Commitment:

As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) we hear the cries of women and men speaking out about sexual abuse at the hands of leaders in power and we are outraged. We are outraged by the current trends in Evangelicalism and other expressions of Christianity driven by white supremacy, often enacted through white privilege and the normalizing of oppression. Confessing racism as the United States’ original and ongoing sin, we commit ourselves to following Jesus on the road of costly discipleship to seek shalom justice for the least, the lost, and the left out. We declare that following Jesus today means fighting poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression from the deepest wells of our faith.

Excerpt from The Boston Declaration

 


 

If you would like to contribute to the cost of our shared meals and conversations, we invite you to donate by texting the word “give” to 816-656-3310.

 

By | 2017-11-30T11:51:06+00:00 November 30th, 2017|Comments Off on WHAT WE SAY MATTERS: A CONVERSATION ABOUT MICROAGGRESSIONS

About the Author:

Wendie Brockhaus, MDiv, is the Assistant Curator of The Open Table in Kansas City, Missouri. She considers herself “polyliturgical,” as a member of the United Church of Christ, a pastor for a Presbyterian Church Plant, and a former Director of Spiritual Formation/Adjunct Instructor at local Methodist and Baptist seminaries. She has also served as a public school music teacher and hospital chaplain at an urban trauma center. She is married to Michael and they have two wily german shepherds. When she isn’t reading voraciously, she enjoys Star Trek, shared meals, and long walks on the beach (born in L.A.).