Racial Justice and Church Discussion

By Chuck Landon

Date Posted Thursday, October 1, 2020


The black church celebrates! When there's something to celebrate, they celebrate. I picked up Heaven (a new baby girl in our church) and introduced her to the church, I got scolded that week. I interrupted the flow. Flow? I introduced a child!
We need to allow ourselves to be free.
The second thing is, if I go to a church where nobody looks like me, I'm going to immediately ask questions about how I fit in this place. We have people of color come here, and they may see a few other people of color scattered around, but they never see them up front on the stage, or serving, or doing things. Very seldomly you see them have a role in leadership or service. That means they're not accepted. So, we begin to see that if someone comes, and has a pulse, they're welcomed to serve but not lead.
Third thing. I'm a substitute teacher in Brooklyn Center. During the week, a teacher at one of the predominantly black schools in St. Paul, tried to intervene in a fight and got himself beaten up. So, I said to a couple of the kids at Brooklyn Center, what would happen to me here? A big kid named Rasheed - about twice my size both directions - put his arm around my shoulder and said, Mr.Landon, we got your back. Can any black person walk in here and know you got their back? That's a message we send.
I become very emotional, because Rasheed looks alot like George Floyd. When I saw what happened to George Floyd, I thought about Rasheed.
Auya begins to walk towards Chuck to offer some tissue.
Chuck: I'm fine sister, but thank you.
Auya undeterred, continued on her way to deliever the box of tissue to Chuck.
Chuck: Thank you sister, sit next to me.
Fourth thing. I started learning in different cities what is called "coding", learning to speak in different languages in different settings. We're a white church, we speak white. We radiate whiteness. I remember me sitting in a different world. Whole different set of words. I heard them talk about aunties. I used to just say, aunt. And momma, momma is a big word. In the white world we were always taught, mother. That's the way it is. Can we learn, as every black person in American has learned, how to be bilingual, instead of asking them to learn our language?
The most important thing you can do as a church, begin to allow freedom of the Spirit to happen here. To celebrate. People get married, people are born, people die, people get sick, people get promoted, people have things happen. Let's celebrate. Let's be sure we have love around each other. Let's be sure that people of any color, see people of their color in action.
One of the kids from BC, from a Christian Hmong family, came to our church on Sunday because he heard that I was preaching. They said, do you have any other people who look like us in your church? I didn't want to answer.
Or my teacher friend who's an artist, her husband is an artist, they're both white. They live in north-east Minneapolis and are a part of a multiple ethnic church. They came here and said the same thing, everybody looks like us.
Those are some changes we can make. That God, not that he changes other people that's not important. It's what He does to us as people. How he changes us.
We lamented Sunday. We left out of lamenting, repenting! Not just saying we're sorry. This is a bad situation and it's tough. We hear this every Sunday, "boy this crazy world, it's just not fair with covid and we can't do this and can't do that." Some of this has been inflicted on us, but not racism, not white privilege. We inflected that on ourselves and on others! The only way to change that is to repent, which means QUIT DOING IT! Start changing. Do the things that need to be done to accept people as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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