Talking about race is hard. Talking about racism after Charlottesville is required. Charlottesville woke a lot of people up about the tensions existing in America. Seeing 500 or so Tiki torches rallying around a statue of Robert E. Lee, screaming and yelling, really sent a chill down my spine, only to become depressed when that Dodge Charger slammed into counter-protesters.
Is this really happening?
It's been happening. Though the Dodge Charger is new, the racism is not. I wrote a homily for priests and deacons the following Sunday morning at 3:00 AM so Catholics could at least hear something about this. Most churches said nothing or gave the standard denunciations, putting distance between the violence, the rage, and themselves.
My cohost and I had an interesting conversation on Charlottesville and race in America with Catholic musician Ike Ndolo (AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE IS A LOT LIKE BEFORE). Ike is a longtime friend and colleague and is outspoken about racism on his various platforms. Since he started speaking out, he's noticed a drop in booking requests for gigs with Catholics. He also shared how tired he gets explaining the same things over and over again.
After dropping the show on the Catching Foxes Podcast we got a ton of responses. In fact, it is our fastest-downloaded-episode of all time. Most are thankful we had this conversation, some totally disagreed with us, and some weirdly nick picked at us with ridiculous side comments (I think that just comes from the discomfort with the whole conversation).
I do want to link to this video series done by an evangelical group, The Verge Network. I think the videos are good explanations of racial injustice and tension and grace. You should spend a few minutes and watch the videos. They are all about 5 to 10 minutes long.
Here's the first video in the series...