Like so many others I have done my best to listen to and to read the commentary following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. And, I happened to have the TV on this afternoon when President Obama addressed the topic from his unique perspective of an African-American man and President of the United States. While some of the commentary has bordered on craziness, much of what I have heard and read has been thoughtful as they have begun to name the important issues which need to be talked about honestly and openly. And, I would add, about which we need to listen to each other with the same intensity with which we speak.
There are countless venues and ways to begin those conversations.
But, this week, as I have listened and read and pondered and prayed what I have come to realize is that I need to start with me. I need to first be able to say that I am a part of the problem. Not because I am overtly racist, but just because of who I am and how and where I grew up. All of that has shaped my understanding of and presumption of what normal is and, without thinking about it, I project that notion of normalcy onto the lives and families and understanding of community of others whose background is very different than mine. Maybe, if I can begin to say that and claim that for myself I will begin to find space I need to have these important conversations with another.