I am white.

I am Southern.

I am Christian.

I am NOT ok with what is happening.

God is love. Jesus is love. He died on the cross for every man, woman, and child. He sacrificed his life for us out of love. There was NOTHING about him that tolerated or portrayed hatred.

I grew up in the midst of racism. Crosses were still burned in yards of those who didn’t live to the acceptance of a few in the late 1980’s. It angered me that some believed they were superior to others just because of the color of their skin. I am sure my lineage traces back to the days of slavery. I wish it was not so, but it is the history of my family. It is the history of most white families of the south. It does NOT mean I stand on these values. It does NOT mean racism is ok. It does NOT mean racism needs to continue.

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world,

but has not solved one yet,”

Maya Angelou

When I moved to other areas in the US I was shocked when racism reared its ugly head over and over again. Apparently, because I have a southern accent it is assumed that I agree with this disgusting behavior. People feel ‘safe’ to spread more hatred just because of where I am from.

Let me be clear. Hatred and racism exist everywhere. Maybe not as public as some places in the South but it is there.

I choose to act in love, acceptance, and inclusion.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order

to bring praise to God,” Romans 15:7.

There is no love, acceptance, and inclusion in what happened in Virginia this weekend. They are racists. Fueled by hatred and evil. There is no love and Christian values depicted in any of their inhumane, indecent or insensitive actions. They are religious extremists who have developed ideas and ideals based on self, not God.

They do NOT speak for Jesus.

They do NOT speak for America.

They do NOT speak for the majority of white men and women.

We have to stand up in love and reveal it for what it is. Together. We have to stand to condemn this behavior so we do not become desensitized to the evil around us. Together. Racism does exist, sometimes behind the closed doors of privilege. Behind the closed door of our comfort zone. Behind the smile on the face. It is not just among the torch bearing angry protesters in Virginia. It lives amongst us.

We all have blind spots. Pull off the blinders. Go somewhere that is uncomfortable. Stop the racial slurs, jokes, and divide each time it rears its vile head in social situations. Stop being quiet when uncomfortable divisive speech happens in your presence. Push back against this bigotry. We cannot only stand when the hatred is so visible in the media. Hold others accountable. Hold Jesus’ love high. Speak loudly on behalf of love.

Let’s carry our lineage back to the ONE who created it all. Jesus, God, the man who walked among us with dark skin and Middle Eastern heritage. Let’s value the voice of all, not based on the pigmentation of their skin.

Speak these words with me and act in love toward others.

We do NOT stand with you, torchbearers, in Virginia or anywhere!

We do NOT consent.

We do NOT agree.

We stand against you, hand in hand with the very people you fear; every color, every orientation, every nationality, every faith.

We will no longer be silent.

We will act in love, the love of an all-inclusive Jesus.

We will not accept your sin in his name.

Your racism will NOT win!

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres,” 1Corinthians 13:6-7.

Love conquers all.