Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Don't Let Someone Rent Space in Your Head"

I met a dear African American brother, and new pastor/friend Ed, at a meeting last week in San Antonio. As we were killing time on the river walk and the Alamo, we found that we needed directions back to the van. Ed walked over to one of San Antonio's "finest" police officers to get directions. As we headed off toward the van, Ed casually mentioned to me that the officer had made a snide remark laced with racist overtones. After curtly giving Ed his directions, the officer asked snottily, "Anything Else?"
Now, if an officer would say that to me, a white guy, I would dismiss him as a jerk. But when the same thing is said in Texas to a person of color, he's a racist jerk at best. I wanted to go back and insert that guy's night stick...
Before I get too cranked up about this, you need to know that Ed was very cool about it. He shared his encounter with me more out of surprise than spite. As you can imagine, this episode launched me into asking a ton of questions about Ed's feelings and how commonly this occurs, etc.
I asked Ed, "How do you keep things like that from getting to you. Ed's reply was, "I tell my people (in my congregation) 'Don't let people rent space in your head."
Who "rents space" in your head? Why don't you give them an eviction notice?

1 comment:

  1. The issue of race is tougher than any of us white people get. A friend of mine (married an MK friend I grew up with - older than me) - is head of Sonshine Gospel Ministries - out of Chicago. His one son is the only white kid in the school I believe. Cool big family. He writes and deals with this stuff. Check out his blog - - if nothing else - go down and read "Is Colorblindness a virtue or vice?" I am really challenged by him.