I confess, I don't know what to do in situations like this.
I have my opinions about the KKK, white supremacists, Nazis, and terrorists. To put it bluntly, I think their racism makes them awful human beings. I'm pretty vocal about it too, telling all my Facebook friends, twitter and instagram followers, and readers of this blog how I feel. I tell my friends how I feel in real life too.
If I know they agree with me. Fortunately, most of the people I know in my private life are as progressive as I am and feel the same way.
A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to Renegade Mothering's article Dear White Women: This is Definitely Us earlier today:
"They say the truth will set you free, but first it will really piss you off. The reason it pisses us off is not simply because we are wrong, but because the truth – the great truth – sets aflame everything we thought we knew about ourselves. It uses us up and spits us out into a pile of something we never imagined could exist in us, let alone thrive at the core of our being.
"Do we believe people of color now?
"Do we believe our silence is compliance? Do we believe our silence is not revolutionary? Do we believe that it is only through pointed, conscientious action that we can break down the system of supremacy from which we all benefit? Do we see that watching slavery movies and feeling bad isn’t doing a goddamn thing?
"Do we believe we are responsible? That we must speak? That we must call out the fifty racists in our families–oh come on. I know they’re there. Even in Portland–that we must RAISE CHILDREN WHO UNDERSTAND AMERICA WAS BUILT ON RACISM?
"We are not post-racial. We have never been equal. And it is an outright delusion to convince ourselves “This is not us.”
"This man [Trump] was brought to power because of his white supremacy, not in spite of it.
"This is a backlash of eight years of black presidency. This is a backlash against people of color rising to power. This is white America reclaiming its Empire.
"This is every race-based immigration law in our history. This is Native America genocide. This is anti-miscegenation laws, the one-drop rule, and American colonization. This is white nostalgia and the rewriting of history.
"This is Jim Crow after slavery. This is the prison pipeline after civil rights. This is redlining and white flight after the GI Bill of WWII.
"This is exactly how America has always wanted it. HAS ALWAYS DONE IT."
(Really, you need to follow the link and read the whole post. Stop and do that now. Come back when you're done.)
I have friends and at least one family member who I know voted for Trump. I talk on social media about how abhorrent bigotry and racism are because it's easy. But I don't like confronting actual human beings about their personal bigotry because I don't like confrontation.
My silence is compliance. I need to be more vocal and active, but other than praying about it (which I believe can help change the situation more than my actions alone), I don't know how.
[Insert a lot of inner turmoil and hand-wringing here.]
Fortunately, about the time this inner turmoil and repeating "WHAT DO I DO?" in my head showed up, I found an article from the Southern Poverty Law Center with a list of things we can do to combat racism and bigotry:
The first thing I'm going to do is keep reminding fellow Christians that we are commanded to love everyone, even those we see as our enemies or different. We need to pray that we (including our own selves), the Body of Christ, love people as Christ loves them and renounce hatred in our own lives. Loving other people is probably more difficult for me than confronting them, so this challenge is pointed at me more than anyone else.
I'm going to work on gently and lovingly confronting those people in my life who say bigoted and hateful things.
I'm going to continue to work on my own prejudices, facing them and eliminating them.
I'm going to continue to speak against bigotry and hatred on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and in my writing.
And I'm going to continue praying the God will use me to help end bigotry and hatred.