Systemic Racism – The Other Pandemic

Systemic Racism - The Other Pandemic

by Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile

Excerpted from her sermon delivered on May 31, 2020

In the midst of the anxiety, and fatigue, and irritability of the COVID 19 pandemic we are reminded that we have been living in another relentless pandemic, the pandemic of systemic racism. It’s a pandemic that you can become accustomed to, some people can almost forget about it, until it flares. It affects everyone, but is lethal for some. Its transmission can be as obvious as a sneeze or as subtle and hidden as an imperceptible speck in an empty room. You can have it for quite a while before the symptoms show. It is terribly, invisibly contagious. And it is not clear how to get rid of it.

The recent reminders of the recalcitrant reality of racism call out for redress, and put a special obligation on white people to self-educate and act. All Christians are invited at Pentecost to receive the one spirit that brings together Jew and Greek, slave and free. And as the apostle Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-13, that spirit will manifest in many ways – through teaching and discernment, compassion and prophecy. The work will be different for those who are white, or black or something else, young or old, rich or poor, or any other category that humans devise. Some will be learners while others teach. Each one of us will have our own journey, and our own part in the work to overcome this pandemic of racism. But we will not be alone. 

 

You can view the United Church’s United Against Racism Worship Service on YouTube.

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