I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique of white pastors, “You speak privately, but not publicly.”
I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique of men, “I’m disappointed in the men who said nice things about your moms, wives, and daughters because that wasn’t the point of International Women’s Day.”
I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique of evangelicals, “You don’t challenge the Christians who are doing horrible things loud enough.”
I opened up my Twitter one day and saw the critique…
Some of us seek to speak for the oppressed and the marginalized. We are coming to recognize what is obvious to everyone around us, that we have tremendous power. As a result, there is a need to leverage that power for those whom we have set aside and created a system to oppress.
Many of us, don’t want kudos. We don’t need an “atta boy” for doing things that are right and just. I don’t think I need to celebrate my kids for doing their chores and I don’t think folks in the minority culture need to celebrate a person like me for doing what I should have been doing all along.
Please hear me, we do not need to be acknowledged nor do we have an expectation of acknowledgment for simply doing what is right. I am also not speaking to those, in this moment, who are in the minority culture.
I am speaking directly to those of us who want to stand in the gap and want to be the kind of people who are not satisfied with the status quo. We need to recognize that hearing critique is hard to hear when your whole paradigm is being shifted. The critique of our engagement can be draining and it can make us feel like we are never going to be enough. This simply is not true.
For those of you, who like me, are trying to speak up and love well, you are enough. Do not become discouraged by critique. We, I, deserve and need to hear the critique. We must continue to do better and to do so demands that we hear from those we seek to platform and lift up.
Yet, in this know that you are enough.
Keep working at it. Keep listening. Keep trying to be better.
Our friends who are women, black, Latino, or of any other minority culture can’t take a break from being who they are. You can’t take a break either. You can’t decide to just take a break for a few days.
What we can do is recognize that we are enough. You and I, we won’t get it right every time. There is a fundamental change in our thinking and perspective that has to shift. You and I have to recognize our implicit role in the systemic brokenness that plagues our world. It is the air we breathe and that means it is really hard to recognize. So, we listen and we hear critique and we try to do better the next time. Remember, it’s not about being right, it’s about getting it right. Those are two very different things.
Those days that you open your Twitter or Facebook and you see the critique of you as an ally, take a deep breath, reflect, and try again. You may grow weary, frustrated, and even annoyed. In those moments step back and ask yourself what must it be like in the shoes of our friends who walk around in a world every day where the deck is stacked against them. Demand from yourself tenacity and resolve.
We are enough. We won’t be perfect but we can acknowledge our willingness to be in process. When we do that we are able to hear the critique as not an attack but an invitation into loving well.