We All Have A Story

~ Rev. Tommy Morgan, GBM Board of Directors

We all have a story, a story that belongs to creation; each of us is part of the continuation of that story. Our stories are different, our realities never the same, yet intertwined one with another.

Whether we are Christian, Muslim, Jew or none of these, we are inexplicably tied together in our humanness. One cannot survive without the other.

Yet our differences are brought to the fore through the myth of race which has created the reality of racism. This myth/reality pulls us apart one believing the myth while the other suffers the reality. Our stories are different, our realities never the same, yet intertwined one with another.

This myth has been for several hundred years an accepted part of our society; continued through the powers that be with prejudice. Power plus prejudice equals racism, a disease that divides people and community; perpetuated not by you or me individually, but by society collectively.

Within that society, power distributes just enough privilege to sustain the myth. In our society that privilege is portioned out to those that are “white like me”. Today that privilege is subtle, undetectable by those who see no problems in today’s society. White America, generation after generation has discerned no problem. Yet, generation after generation of Black and Brown America say there is a problem. Our stories are different, our realities never the same, yet intertwined one with another.

Sustaining a myth is always a problem. Power, though, has a solution: fear. There are those who point to statistics; claiming they tell a whole story; more Black and Brown Americans are incarcerated than White Americans. The myth would say that is proof that Black and Brown tend toward criminal behavior, and so should be feared. Black and Brown say it is proof that the judicial and criminal justice systems are full of racial bias.The anxiety of power is the ability to accumulate more and more; creating the fear there is not enough. In this anxiety of accumulation power ignores the needs of others; ignoring (deliberately?) the cries of community. And power fears community because community is countercultural. Community recognizes creation and that our stories are different, our realities never the same, yet intertwined one with another.

Oppressive power cannot survive with unity and unity cannot survive without truth.

Can we have a conversation on racism, one that assumes none of us has a grasp of it? Can we speak of power, privilege and fear? Can we listen to each other recognizing our stories are different, our realities never the same, yet accepting we are intertwined one with another?