The last few weeks I have reflected on noticing and its power. Today I’d like to continue that theme in the context of traveling. This past weekend Geraldine and I drove to the mountains of Georgia on the South Carolina border for a family wedding. If you like details, google “Clayton, Georgia,” “Tiger, Georgia,” and “Long Creek, South Carolina.” It is a beautiful part of the world, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Racial Equity & Justice
Racial Equity & Justice — what we offer to readers on this topic...
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Two weeks ago, I reflected on a Critical Conversation post that got me thinking about my role in addressing racial inequity in America today. In this follow-up post, I want to share another element of the teaching that stood out for me: the differences between being an ally, an accomplice, and a savior.
Last week’s post by guest contributor Shirin McArthur explored how learning about racial justice can become action for positive change. She reflected on a quote by Tre Johnson that said, “When Black people are in pain, white people just join book clubs.” Shirin added that she is part of a book club focused on racial justice and that this challenge to go beyond book clubs applies to her and to all of us who like to think of ourselves as “white allies.”
A couple weeks ago, I read a blog post that linked to another that got me thinking in new ways about my role in making change in America today. The blog post I initially read included this sentence: “When black people are in pain, white people just join book clubs.”
While I heartily agree with the direction President Biden is heading on most issues, I am troubled by his recent announcement that the U.S. had used a drone to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al Qaeda and one of the masterminds behind the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack. The New York Times reported President Biden as saying: “Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.” The President reminded us of President George W. Bush and his promise, reiterated by his successors, that the U.S. would track down and get retribution for those involved in 9/11, no matter how long it took.
Pope Francis’ recent penitential pilgrimage and visit to Canada to meet with indigenous communities and to apologise for the role of the Catholic Church for abuses sustained by children in residential schools was a step forward. It was long overdue. Over the course of several days the pontiff traveled to various sites and expressed his heartfelt remorse over the past wrongs that Catholic clergy and laity had committed over the course of the 100 plus years that residential schools have operated in Canada.
Last week’s post on the Quilt of Souls stirred up a lot of memories of the power of quilting. No matter the difference of culture, race, class or privilege, everyone who shared their experiences talked about how quilts and quilting were a source of nurturing and love for them and those involved. In the spirit of sharing how we all grow in loving, I am sharing – with permission – the reflections of some of our readers on how quilts and quilting touched their lives. Undoubtedly, there are many more stories about how quilting and loving were intertwined in families and life journeys. Please share your experiences in the comments section after the post or by email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are three replies I am savoring:
Writing about love and deepening my ability to express the centrality of love to life itself is a goal I set for myself in retirement. A less heady goal I set was to finish writing a book that I have been toiling over for a long time. It is a book about Bill and Lois Wilson/and their marriage. You may recall that Bill Wilson was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and Lois Wilson was the co-founder of Al-Anon, a Twelve Step program for families and friends of people with drinking problems.
Mom and Dad were incredible living examples of turning injustice into action. Our family moved to Los Angles in the late 60s after several years in Morocco where my dad was finishing his Fulbright work in Fez. He had just been hired in his first role as a professor of Political Science specializing in Middle East Studies at UCLA.
In 1998, journalist Tom Brokaw coined the term, “the greatest generation.” It was the title of his book on ordinary Americans who, during and after World War II, were such an important part of this country’s growth and success. Many celebrated his stories using words like courage, sacrifice, and honor to describe the individual valor and contributions of everyday people. While Brokaw’s book wasn’t only about veterans, World War II formed the core of his greatest generation.