A Pastor’s Confession of Racial Ignorance

Wednesday night’s Charleston shooting points to another heartbreaking evil act done in the name of racial hatred.

It’s heartbreaking on so many levels, but a constant refrain keeps coming back to me. For years I’ve tried to comment with good intentions on racial issues without acknowledging a simple truth: I don’t know what it’s like to be black in America.

I don’t know what it is to have people target my ethnicity. I don’t know what it’s like for others to treat me as suspect because of the color of my skin. I don’t know what it’s like as a parent to try to explain to my kids what they need to know and prepare themselves for in regards to racism. I don’t know what it’s like to be told that the racism I’m experiencing “doesn’t exist anymore.”

They say that ignorance is bliss, but today it feels exceptionally painful.

What I do know is that God is able to restore and heal. I do know that if we look to Him he will guide us out of this darkness. I do know there’s healing in weeping with those who weep even when it’s hard to relate. I do know that Jesus said for us to not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. I do know now what I didn’t know before: I don’t know what it’s like to be black in America.