I think that these events, rules, and laws have created difficult barriers and deep rifts between many different populations of people within the United States that are often exacerbated by lack of knowledge and general ignorance by those that are not affected negatively by them.
Although I am a minority ethnicity who was foreign born and came to the United States at a very young age, I have still experienced a life of relative privelege free of many of these barriers. This being the case, I think I have often overlooked the plight of other minorities and not considered or made concerted effort to understand how these barriers and rifts affect their lives in significant ways.
In regards to the videos more specifically...I think it is interesting that I do not remember being taught these parts of history in school. Or, if I was, I was not ready at that time to accept that the country in which I lived would do those types of reprehensible things. These videos also reminded me of another documentary I was watching regarding the SS Nazi Death Squads that exterminated Jewish and other minority people throughout Europe. The documentary described how the German officers in charge of this part of the Holocaust were well-educated men, sometimes with multiple PHD's, who were specifcally chosen for their ability to logically and philophically rationalize their deplorable actions to their mostly less-educated soldiers in their command. With gradual steps and slow inoculation to these vile acts, they convinced their men to commit worsening crimes against humanity. That stood out to me because it shows that education alone cannot racism and racist actions.
I am also currently reading, watching (on Amazon Prime, *not a sponsor, lol), and participating in a Facebook study group around Jemar Tisby's "The Color of Compromise". This book delves into the unfortunate way the Christian church (or at least those who claimed to be Christian) participated both passively and actively in racism within the broader American context.
Reading these stories and watching these module videos has helped lift up the rug and expose some of the 'less than desireable' aspects of our American and church history to me. I think this has been important for me to realize that I cannot begin to be anti-racist without first acknowleding the past injustices towards people groups/demographics considered "other" and that it has not been an event isolated to the year 2020. My wading into the deep pools of racism within my country and church is filled with rivers flowing from the past. Understanding those headwaters will help inform me how I can start stirring these deep pools until they can be transformed so that "...justice flow[s] like water, and righteousness like an unfailing stream." (Amos 5:24, HCSB)
I think my next steps are to:
Listen and seek understanding. Listen and embrace common ground.
Listen and self-evaluate.
Listen and seek forgiveness.
Listen and experience life with (as "we", not "'us' and 'them'") Listen and share the Gospel life in truth and love.