Repentance Must Come First

Repentance Must Come First

Author: Pastor Chad Johnson
July 01, 2020

In the flurry of overt racism that has been streaming before us, many are asking, “What am I to do?”  Some are living out of the belief that they had no idea how bad this systemic problem is.  Some just want to rush past the protest and hit the mute button so as to keep the peace. 

The cure for racism is not going to come quickly because for far too long, the hurts and hopes of so many have been deferred, delayed, diminished, and dismissed.  

Repentance – a turning and fine tuning of the heart, is past due and much needed. 

My heart has much to share in our own journey as a black and white family.  But for today, I offer the words of Easton Johnson.  May our eyes – ears – and hearts be open.

Around age 9-10
Went on a field trip in Des Moines, Wa. A white kid in my class insults a white girl and says she’s poor and stinks... without a thought, the girl points back to me and says “Well, at least I’m not black!”

I was in complete shock! … cried when I got home...pissed because I couldn’t respond. (Ironically, this woman is now married to a black man, lol).

I could have hated white people here, but I didn’t.

Ages 9-13
Growing up in a predominately white neighborhood, I had a lot of white friends. When I first met 99% of the parents, one of the first words would be; “Wow! You are raised so well! Your mother must have had a lot of help! You’re so polite for having such a young mom!”

Being 9-13, I had no idea what this really meant. I took it as being a good kid ... not a good BLACK kid ... until I never heard it again when a parent met a new white well-mannered kid. I heard this from EVERY. WHITE. PARENT.

I could have hated white people, but I didn’t.

Age 14
Leaving a friend’s house, in RENTON HIGHLANDS, a truck drives by with 3-4 adult men, they yell to me “HANG THAT NIGGER!!!” From the top of their lungs followed by a howl and laugh… did they know me? No. Just saw the color of my skin.  I sprinted home scared... That night, I bawled my eyes out, didn’t tell my mom at all.

I could have hated white people, I didn’t.

Age 15
I ask a white girl to homecoming; a WEEK before the dance the girl calls me to tell me “I’m sorry but I can’t go to homecoming with you, my grandma didn’t want a ‘colored’ in a picture with me, I’m so sorry Easton”. I asked another girl from Renton HS (minority).

I could have hated white people, I didn’t.

Age 16
Sitting in history class, we’re learning about slavery. They show the picture of all the slaves packed into a boat in our books. A student yells in front of the whole class “Hey Easton, where were you on this boat?” This was probably the closest I got to losing my shit on someone. The whole class gasps, a few laugh...  and the teacher just yells the kids name...  reading continues. No apology, no discipline for his actions. Me, just left embarrassed and confused...

I could have REALLY hated white people, but once again, I didn’t.

Ages 14-17
All throughout HS I would get “YOU TALK WHITE” or “YOU’RE NOT REALLY BLACK” because of the way I talked. Let that marinate... I wasn’t “black enough” because I wasn’t speaking Ebonics... white kids called me “WHITE WASHED” because I spoke proper English...

I could have hated white people, but I didn’t.

Age 17, Senior year
Had a white kid I ran track with in HS who claimed to LOVE black culture and literally bought Jamaican colored track shoes to “improve his time” and would always crack “You’re supposed to be fast, you’re black” jokes... now is mad that “Black lives matter”... ironic.

I could have hated this white kid, but I didn’t.

Age 24-25
Riding down Alki beach in the Mercedes with my African American friend. Cop going on opposite direction hits a fast U turn, then immediately turns on his lights... this was probably the most fear I had for my life... and to have NOTHING on me to even be fearful, but dread just hits me… then the officer to say that I have a broken headlight (which I didn’t) and had us waiting in the car for 30+ minutes to run my license (which was up to date) or just to scare us. Either way, it worked.

I could have hated white police, but I didn’t.

My point is this...  Just because we’re not posting these racist situations doesn’t mean they aren’t happening EVERY. DAY. These are only a few situations that I can recall!!!

And while we deal with these situations, we STILL are just asking to be EQUAL! Not MORE, but EQUAL!!!

The fact that anyone would argue this is the real problem. Any ONE of these instances could have given me a racial bias against white people, but through all that, I STILL gave white people the benefit of the doubt...

SIMPLIFY IT: Black people deserve the same rights as everyone else. Is it THAT hard?

It isn’t JUST about police brutality but about WHAT people are doing in their community... and to ASK the right questions. INFORM yourself before you speak on an issue.

For those who don’t deal with it, can’t fathom such mistreatment in the year 2000,2004, 2020... it’s easy to say “It was the past” because it’s a comfortable reply. But guess what, it’s not!

I’m not looking for pity or remorse. I want to be treated like a HUMAN BEING and in 2020 it’s still too much to ask for. I’ve been uncomfortable for 31 years...

So it’s time to make others uncomfortable... but for the better.

When the year is 2040, and your kids ask, what was 2020 like? What side of history do you want to be on?


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