Race in our nation is complicated with a violent past and present. It is complicated because it permeates all of our lives, but it is often unnamed and misunderstood.
After decades of teaching racial justice advocacy, I believe when white people ask me, “Haven’t we made progress?” it is a type of denial. It reduces racial justice advocacy to focusing on the good, making the bad seem less bad. There have been successes, but not as much progress as many white people prefer to claim.
What is often being reflected in this question is that because white people today are more frequently interacting with people of color in their day-to-day lives, this must be an indication of racial progress. It is not. It is only an indication of the changing racial demographic of our nation.
If you are truly interested in progress, look for ways you can get involved and make a difference. Visit Women of the ELCA’s Racial Justice Advocacy webpage to found out how.
This message is an excerpt from a Women of the ELCA Throwback Thursday blog by Inez Torres Davis, re-run in June 2020.