Skip to content

Fighting Racism is a Marathon, Not a Race

I have a rather pessimistic view on human nature as inherently selfish and sinful. Left to our own devices, I think humans tend to be self-absorbed. I wanted to take the opportunity to bring back two quotes, one from an article about performative allyship on the issue of racial reconciliation, and one from a conversation between Ryan Kwon (a Korean pastor) and Léonce Crump Jr. (a Black pastor from Atlanta, Georgia). I’ll share both below and then give my own commentary and reflection.

“If we think we’ll dismantle 500 years of thought-out, documented, strategic, systemic and structural oppression… in 3 months of Tweeting, Facebooking, and marching… we are really kidding ourselves.” — Léonce Crump Jr.

And in response to the Instagram and other social media explosions of solidarity, hashtagging, or “victory” posts whenever some small piece of evidence towards progress, or at least required justice, comes about:

“Still, as a black woman, instead of feeling inspired by this act of solidarity, I found myself feeling angry and afraid. Looking through my feed, I wanted to say to my white friends, “You’re here now, but where are you the other 364 days a year when anti-racism isn’t trending? When racism isn’t tucked safely behind the screen in your hand, but right there in front of your face?” — Holiday Phillips

It’s been a couple of months since the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery (Feb. 23), Breonna Taylor (March 13), and George Floyd (May 25), among countless others (do not doubt that for every story that gets picked up by the media, there are hundreds of other stories that go unseen). Already I’ve seen a decrease in the amount of social media coverage and outrage at the systemic injustices in this country. And I grieve that. I lament that even for myself, I’ve found the need to write, process, and speak out become less and less urgent as the days slip by. When I am less bombarded by the news, I settle back into my own personal “comfortable.” Humans are good at that. We let our individual lives distract us from larger issues.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing. We humans are also limited. It would be impossible to focus on every broken thing in the world: you would never have time not to think about world poverty, human rights infractions, oppression, sickness, and disease. There is enough brokenness that we need to be delivered from in our own lives, families, and neighborhoods.

But this post is me wanting to keep the issue of systemic racism in America alive for myself. It is important. I mentioned in a previous blog post that I struggle between blogging about what is important vs. urgent. The issue of race in America is important, and it affects everyone who lives here—whether we are white or black or any racial minority. I just pray for it to continue to be urgent for my personal life, and not just a theoretical exercise nodding along to what has been brought up in recent news. Even from a couple months ago, I had the thought and the wish that this “awakening” of the nation—both within and outside of the church—would persist even after the social media storm dies down. Real change was only ever begotten through long-term effort. I pray for God to sustain that long-term effort in myself.

Do you want a FREE eBook?


Unsubscribe or manage subscription anytime!

Published in#reflection#resource

One Comment

  1. […] consciousness has died down since then, which is sad. I remember posting last June about how “fighting racism is a marathon, not a race.” Is making Juneteenth a national holiday even considered “racial justice?” Or, […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *