How do we talk about race, ethnicity, and justice–with love?

I’ve been posting a lot of a articles to my Facebook about race & ethnicity recently. A few (disclaimer: I don’t agree with 100% of everything in every link or quote I post. I post things because I want people to read/watch them.)

These have brought up some amazing conversations, and one conversation I’ve participated in today is about love. A friend pointed out that the first article, “Joseph Kony is famous. Trayvon Martin is not.” had a negative tone in some areas. We worked back and forth on it, discussing how the quotation marks the author put around the phrase “giving voices” wasn’t derogatory to the filmmakers, but instead an important nod to the discussion surrounding the “white savior” issue of foreign missions and race conversations.

But in the end, his point stood: many conversations about race become negative. Many race pundits, out of pain, frustration, or whatever else, develop an aggressively negative stance toward everything. Not this author, necessarily, but in general.

My friend pointed to Martin Luther King, Jr. as an example of how to deal with race, ethnicity, oppression, and justice in love. We have to approach each conversation, criticism, complaint, concern, and confrontation (all the letter C!) with love. And this reminded me of an article I posted a few days ago that wasn’t about race, but in hindsight fits perfectly into this conversation: Leading with Love, a mini-biography about Billy Graham’s consistent focus on love.

This conversation, and the inspiration of Graham and King, has led me to strongly desire to show as much of a consistent attitude and application of love as Graham and King did. Do you have any tips for me? Would you hold me accountable?

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