Christena Cleveland provocatively and honestly writes that everything she knows about racism she learned in church communities. Her painful stories are shared in the post, and she remains committed by grace that racism in church communities can be addressed:
As a millenial, I’ve lived most of my years in our so-called “post-racial” American church. Yet my earliest and most painful experiences of racism have all occurred in the church – at the hands of sincere Christians. And unfortunately, my stories are consistent with the stories of many other people my age and younger.
The ongoing racism in the church exposes an explosive hypocrisy. If we do not consistently and courageously confront it, the church will continue to instruct people that being different is a curse, demonstrate to them that God doesn’t love them, eviscerate their identities and compel them to seek refuge from the church outside the church. Those of us who are aware of individual and structural racism in the church must continue to point it out, facilitate discussions, speak the truth in love, challenge our pastors and leaders, pray for healing and work for justice.