For reference I am a brown man, with a white wife, and three mixed kids.
For the first time in my life I attended a prayer march. My church had scheduled it with a group of other churches in the area. With a lot of the march’s and protest turning violent, I wasn’t sure if I wanted my family in possible danger.
For some reason that morning I felt a strong urge to attend. So that afternoon my wife and I threw two of the kids in the car and headed toward the march.
I felt it irresponsible not having a conversation with my kids about the march possibly turning violent.
“If Something happens, don’t scatter. Stick with me so I can get you to safety.”
When we arrived I was surprised at the amount of people that were in attendance. All races, all colors, all churches, men, women, and children. It seemed that all of humanity was present. Of course I am only judging that from the color of everyone’s skin and the signs that everyone was waving in the hot summer breeze.
It seemed that humanity had rallied together to find a way to abolish racism. A way to come together and agree that racism has no place in our future.
One by one the speakers took the stage before the march began. They asked for equality, unity, justice and peace. All things I am in support of. Until one speaker took the stage and I really didn’t know what to say after he was finished.
He spoke about how the white church has ignored the needs of the black community and taken a back seat when it has to do with addressing racism in the church and how “we” his words “need to repent of our sin.” Which I also sort of agree with. But then he said something else.
“If you look like me and are white and agree with what I just said, take a knee.”
What??? I was immediately confused and looked at my white friend and said “what did he say?” As he was kneeling he said “if you’re white you have to kneel.”
As he was kneeling I noticed my wife wasn’t holding my hand anymore so she could kneel. She’s white. I looked over at my mixed children and they were confused.
My son, who is my blood son, looks white so he took a knee. He’s 14. My oldest daughter who is 18, and looks more mixed said “well how white do I have to be to kneel?” She decided to stand. However, eventually she knelt. Probably under the pressure of feeling like she had to because she was mixed.
I couldn’t let my wife kneel on her own because we attended this march together. To me she’s my wife before she’s white. So I decided to kneel with her. Unified in the cause we came to represent. Not divided.
I’ll have to say I think the speaker was well intentioned, but it was poorly executed. Division in my own family at a march we attended together. I attended the march in support of unity, liberty, and justice for all. And here we were again asking another race, judging by the color of their skin to kneel. The very thing we were at this march to support was inadvertently hijacked by a few words.
I couldn’t understand why all of us weren’t asked to kneel and acknowledge the fact that we all are in support of changing the way the church and the world treats the black community and addresses racism. I thought we were all in this together? Unity.
After that I wanted to leave. I stayed, we marched, probably made history and listened to another speaker. We left considerably early mainly because I wanted to leave, and my wife and kids were baking in the sun.
It’s Tuesday and I’m still irritated. I want everyone to do this together. I’m raising and leading a mixed family that very much sees color. For the first time they were asked to choose a side when I’ve raised them with the understanding that we are one.
I will acknowledge color, culture, and that we as a human race have severely missed the mark when it comes to racism and a large handful of other circumstances that plague the human race. But family is family.
We’re not choosing a side. We’re choosing each other. My mixed family is doing this together. We acknowledge humanity’s wrong doing and stand with the cause to cure humanity of racism.
I’m raising a team over here. A team that’s ready to take on the world. While everyone is choosing sides, we’ll be walking out who we believe God has called us to be as a family and love and treat everyone as he’s asked us to.