Episode 278: White Supremacy Culture – “Either/Or – There Is No Between”

Have you ever been the victim of a lost story? Viola Davis tells a story in her autobiography “Finding Me” of a time when she was in elementary school wearing clothing that smelled badly. Her teacher could have told herself a story that black people like Viola didn’t care about standards of cleanliness and that the consequences should be that she deserved to be kicked out of the classroom because of how she smelled when she came to school. However, Viola’s teacher was curious about the reasons this little girl came to school smelling so badly. The teacher discovered that Viola was living in a home with no running water, and this was the reason she was showing up in the classroom the way she was. It would have been within the teacher’s rights to ask Viola to leave, but because she was curious, she discovered a story that allowed her to have a more helpful response and allowed Viola to have dignity.

But it would have been easy for the teacher to tell herself a simple story to come to a quick conclusion and remedy the problem. How rare is it to withhold rushing to judgement and instead slow down to make a decision that considers people as well as problems.

Our team of Christian antiracism educators and friends talk about the importance of slowing down, and perceiving nuance today in this episode called, “Either/Or – There is No In-Between.” We will be using the document White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun, a link to which is in the show notes for this episode.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.