Last fall, Paul and Mariko Metzger began a serious discussion about race at Imago Dei Community in which we were asked: Are you a passive racist? The event drew more than 100 people and there was a strong desire in the room to learn more about what passive, invisible forms of racism might exist in our attitudes and practices at Imago Dei. In January, 12 Christ-followers were invited to meet with the Metzgers to continue this journey. I feel very lucky to have been a part of “the twelve.” We prayed, studied the bible, and shared personal stories of how race and racism has shaped our lives. Half of the group was white and half were minorities.
Dr Metzger loves to say “this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.” As Americans, we love to solve problems ASAP. But realistically, prejudice is as old as race itself, and it’s epidemic, yet it’s invisible to the perpetrators (I don’t know many people who claim they’re a racist, do you?). Let’s not declare the “mission accomplished.” Both systemic change and discipleship take time. People from the dominant culture need to take the time to listen, examine their attitudes and habits, listen to the Word, and retrain themselves; their brothers and sisters of color need to participate in this journey with them.
We have been so “stoked” about this journey that we decided to invite others to join. Because it’s a marathon, we’re pacing ourselves and preparing for the long haul. This spring we expanded this discussion into class offered through Imago Dei’s School of Theology. You can view the class syllabus below. If you would like to write your own story, we would welcome that as well. Send it as a comment, up to 1500 words, and I can post it for others to see.