White Fragility: What Next?

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To have a seat at the table, you have to sit down.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the privilege to hear from professors, pastors and church leaders of various backgrounds as we’ve reflected on White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. I am not one of those professors, pastors, or church leaders, though I hold each of them in great esteem. What I am is an adopted Asian-American woman, a recent graduate of Wheaton College, and the newly introduced Managing Editor here at The Exchange.

I do not pretend to have the academic or professional credibility that our other contributors have had, nor do I expect to have such expertise. I do not write despite this lack, but because of it—there is a certain hope that comes from youth, naivete, and inexperience that is difficult to replicate. For that reason, my aim is to focus less on textual criticisms that many of our contributors have had for DiAngelo’s work. Instead, I will focus on ultimately trying to answer this question: Where do we, as individuals and as a Church, go from here, now that we know what we know?

It is not lost on me that this series began mere days after the passing of Representative John Lewis, and the posthumous publishing of his final words to us all, Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation. Lewis’ words echoed through hearts and reverberated through social media upon its publication. One of my personal favorite lines from this essay was: “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.” Is this not who we, as the Church, are called to be—ordinary people with extraordinary vision? We have been made vessels, “set apart as holy, …

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