The Fight Against Racism Starts Within Our Families
by Beth K. Vogt
My son Josh and daughter-in-love Meagan stopped by our house on Monday.
“How are you?”
A simple enough question, right?
Not these days.
My son Josh is white. My daughter-in-love Meagan is black.
Meagan backed away from me. From responding. “I don’t want to cry. I can’t cry… I won’t stop crying… ”
I held her as she said, “I keep thinking of Jackson… ”
Their 6-year-old son.
And then Meagan wept.
After her tears came the words. How racism has exhausted her. Devalued her.
How her parents chose her name because it’s a white-sounding name so future employers wouldn’t evaluate her based on her race on a resume.
How a teacher once told her she was better off as a slave. And I can’t even comprehend a teacher saying that to a student… I can’t.
How she was constantly judged by her skin color… and often considered no better than an animal.
How she has been called the N-word.
How she and Josh have to defend their children at school because they are bullied because of the color of their skin.
Racism has seared my daughter-in-love’s soul in ways I can’t comprehend because I have never, will never, experience what she has.
Even as I held her and tried to comfort her, I couldn’t truly understand the life she has lived. The life she lives, day in and day out.
But I can choose to love her and love my GRANDkiddos. I can listen to her story.
I can stand with her, with my son, with my family, against racism.
I will not protest in ways that hurt and kill other people and destroy property.
I will choose family, again and again. Change starts within family—one family at a time.
I will choose hope. I will pray for change. For peace. For true, lasting reconciliation—which does not come through violence.
I want to recognize people for who they are.
I am a white woman—but I am not a racist.
My precious daughter-in-love is a black woman who has been wounded by racism. I see her for who she is.
And my desire is to see each person I meet, each person I interact with, for who they are: a reflection of the image of God.
I’m listening. Watching. Praying. Choosing my actions. And I am not abandoning hope.
Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. Somebody Like Youis the story of Haley, a young widow. Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an Army Ranger medic ends when he’s killed in Afghanistan. When she meets her late husband’s identical twin, she finds herself caught between honoring her husband’s memory and falling in love with his reflection. Connect with Beth at http://www.bethkvogt.com
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