Whitney Young (U.S. director of the National Urban League, Unitarian Universalist, 1921-1972), said
The danger is that people may mistake what is basically a change in vocabulary for a change in behavior, practices, and attitudes. While practically all Americans have learned to talk inoffensively, not enough have learned to think differently, nor act positively.
In what ways could your deepest thoughts and most outward actions more fully match your professed beliefs?
I invite you to a day of reflection on these questions.
#30DaysOfLoveAndReflection – Day 19
I think that this quote gets to the heart of the work that lies ahead for many of us. We know the world we want to live in and it is fairly easy to adjust our language to that vision. As one of my daughters once quipped, “We know how to behave in public.” But our hearts, and deeply ingrained habits, are slower to change. We will need to go deeper and we will need to be intentional. Since it is not on the surface, but rather deep inside, it is often hard to even see. And yet, see we must. We must come to see the reality of our lives and the lives of others.
Additionally, we need to remember that there is a difference between being “not a racist” and being “anti-racist.” In the first, we don’t do intentionally racist things. It is passive. It assumes that the world we dream of is here. In the second, we do things that counter racism. It is active. It assumes that we have work to do to get to the world that we dream of. And it commits us to be the people who can and will do that work.