8 Reasons We Don’t Speak Up Against Racial Inequality
—And Why We Should Anyway + Infographic

It doesn’t have to be in writing. It doesn’t have to be online.

But we’ve likely all been in more conversations of some sort this past week about racial injustice in America.

And when we refuse to talk about it? Here are 8 justifications I’ve used in the past. Lord, have mercy.

I’ve revised this list from last Friday’s post: Whatever Your Volume, Say Something.

Download this infographic.

But it’s not meant to shame us when we’re quietly listening; there is immense value in that.

Listening needs to come first.

But after we listen, there is a second thing to do: use our voices. However God individually calls us to do it.

Whatever that way is, may we do it in love.

Who have you had conversations with? Have they been easy or hard? Please share in the comments.

30 thoughts on “8 Reasons We Don’t Speak Up Against Racial Inequality
—And Why We Should Anyway + Infographic

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Melissa. I’m always encouraged by others who speak out. It can be intimidating at times for me to do, so when others use their voices, it prompts me to keep at it, too.

  1. Martha J Orlando

    Growing up in the Atlanta area, I was intimately acquainted with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mission and ministry. I took the phase of judging someone by their character, not their skin color, to heart, and have lived that way my entire life. What disturbs me about all that’s going on now, Lisa, is that people can’t have an honest dialogue. If you say “All lives matter” instead of “Black lives matter,” you are labeled a racist, a hypocrite, and worse, some people have lost their job because they’ve either said the “wrong” thing or have taken the “wrong” side. This is not freedom of speech and thought. It is tyranny. Our country cannot survive if we let one group make all the rules.
    There, I’ve said it. Rant over! Much love to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How wonderful that you were blessed from the beginning with that non-judgmental foundation, Martha. My parents taught me the same, and I’m grateful. I went to public schools and had many close Black friends throughout my whole life. What I didn’t realize then is how much racism they were having to endure then and still do now. I was blind to it for years.

      And it makes me wonder how much I am still blind to now. 🙁 I’ve not walked in their shoes; I’ve never lived in a Black body.

      But thankfully, we all are still learning and listening to each other, and with God’s help, we are changing and growing.

      I also have heard about people who have lost their jobs or friends or reputation for saying things that were possibly misunderstood (or not), and that makes me sad when it ends the dialogue, but at least most haven’t had to lose their literal lives, like so many of our Black brothers and sisters have lost their lives through the years, and continue to today.

      I hope you will continue using your voice and keep the conversations going, even when you feel like it’s hard. I want to understand where you’re coming from. It helps us all work it out when we talk about it together.

      This is definitely a time of change in our country, and we won’t get everything right; we’re all still human. But hopefully we can make progress in repenting and reconciling of racial injustice so we can truly come to see the dream of MLK’s vision that you mentioned.

      I agree with you: All lives do matter. And I know you’ll agree with me, that means Black lives matter too. But not everyone agrees with that. That’s what has to change.

      You and I have more in common than in dissension. Let’s keep talking. I have a feeling we will! 🙂 Love you, too!

    2. Carolyn

      I know black lives matter. However, the group is losing any credibility with me due to their aggressive protests. Not all of them are aggressive; I know. Black and white police officers are losing their lives. Buildings are being burned. Stores are being looted. Their demands sound socialist or even communist… which my father fought against in the Korean Conflict.. Among the citizens of CHAZ I detect a form of reverse discrimination (white people give $10). I am of French, Irish, and English descent. Irish children were among first slaves brought to this country. French Huguenots (murdered for their Protestant faith) were advised to bring two slaves and a certain amount of money to America after near total annihilation of original Jamestown colony due to Indian uprising and starvation. Then the French were given land between the English settlers and the Indians. I guess the French settlers and descendants of Irish slaves need some apologies or restitution if we follow current line of thinking. I believe this is more about inequality of income than race. Jesus said that the poor will always be among us and to help as we are able. Being poor can happen to anybody of any race.

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Thanks for adding this to the conversation, Carolyn:

        “Jesus said that the poor will always be among us and to help as we are able. Being poor can happen to anybody of any race.”

        Yes. If helping the poor was important to Jesus, it should be important to us. I appreciate you bringing that up. Income inequality definitely needs to be addressed, and has definitely contributed to the issue at hand.

        There are so many nuances to be considered. It’s easy for me to get distracted by all the things happening around the main thing.

        One thing that helps me stay focused is to keep centered on the big picture, which at this moment is racial reconciliation. Each person can help heal the divisions in different ways, depending on their opportunities, friend groups, experiences, etc. Like you said, bridging the gap of income inequality is one very important way to do that. Maybe that’s an area you are already working in.

        Just make positive change where you can, Carolyn. If we can each do that, the world will be a better place. I’m glad God gives enough grace to each of us to do what he calls us to do.

  2. Laurie

    Keep speaking out on this important topic, Lisa. I have used each one of these excuses too and none of them are valid. It is time we step out of our comfort zone and step up to show love for our brothers and sisters of color.

  3. Yvonne Chase

    Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Whatever is in our hearts will come out of our mouths therefore, we never have to worry about saying the wrong thing. Instead, white people of the Christian faith need to ask God to search your hearts to reveal any traces of white supremacy, privilege, and racism and surrender to the cleansing process. This is a heart issue.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      May it start with me. I pray that God will show me my own blind biases and apathy and fear, and bring me to full repentance and change. Create a clean heart in me, Lord.

      Thank you for your grace, Yvonne.

  4. Andy Lee

    Hi Lisa,
    This is tough. My ministry partner, one of my closest sisters in Christ is black. I’ve done a lot of listening and learning from her. We both believe the problem is much deeper than black and white. If we ever truly get to the spiritual root, we could live as Jesus taught and the Father intended. I pray every day for wisdom with my words and for love to win on both sides. Visiting from Purposeful Faith’s linky party. -Andy Lee

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s awesome that you and your friend have already been having conversations as you work alongside each other in the kingdom. I agree with you, Andy. Racism is a poisonous fruit that comes from deeper roots, deeper sins, including pride and self-centeredness. I join you in praying for wisdom and love for all. Thanks so much for sharing here.

  5. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, I value your thoughts and insights here so much. And I have to agree with Michele … the conversation in the comments has been enlightening as well as respectful. Thank you, my friend, for showing us how this can be done.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate how thoughtful everyone has been with their words. I know our opinions can vary, but we all remain convinced that God loves everybody and so should we. With that foundation, we can push forward together! Thanks for your encouragement, Lois.

  6. Jeanne Takenaka

    Lisa, I so appreciate this post. It’s important to counter each mental argument we may be having with ourselves and look to God’s truth. Your application points/thoughts were enlightening. And I really appreciate Yvonne’s comment. I’m praying about my heart.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I continue to pray about my heart, too. It’s worrisome when we can’t see our own blind spots! But trusting God and friends to help me see what I have yet to see. Thanks, Jeanne.

  7. Debbie Wilson

    Lisa, what would happen if those in authority and those on the streets followed the example of the statue of justice by looking at each case blindfolded, based on facts not on race or personal bias?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if justice really could be fair and impartial? I love that thought, Debbie. May it become so. With humans involved, I know we’ll always be prone to error, but hopefully we can and will do much better.

  8. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    This is very thought-provoking and I think it is important to be challenged on our reasons for not speaking up against inequality. I know I don’t speak up anywhere near as much as I should but I do try and listen to the voices of others and learn from them. Thank you for making me think a little more and question my silence on things. #WotW

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Listening and learning is so valuable, Louise. If we could all have done more of that, we might not be in this situation to begin with. Thanks for what you’re doing.

  9. Anne Sweet

    A very thought provoking post and I think too many people would rather that others not speak out at all, all the more reason to do so. But, it’s important to learn why first.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right, Anne; first learning why is a necessary step. When it’s skipped, we can make a mess. I’m sure I’ve done that too. So thankful for grace to cover all the mistakes we make along the way!

  10. Jean Wise

    Listening does come first and that is my first step. I am going to open my heart in prayer and ask that hidden misbeliefs be revealed. Hard to do but it’s time.

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