Tomorrow, I will lead a spiritual retreat on “Leading the Race-less Life” for members of a spiritual support group at the Servant Leadership School in Washington, D.C. I began the blog this past March and to now have an opportunity to share with others the work of The Daily Race in this setting is encouraging. I am grateful to Mr. Harold Vines for the invitation to serve.
So, today, I thought that I would offer you a snippet of what persons at the retreat will be experiencing and discussing or perhaps some thoughts that are on my mind this morning that I may take to tomorrow’s presentation.
It has been my experience that often persons agree to something before they understand it. We sign papers before we have read them. We enter into agreements before we understand the terms of the commitment or their costs. And we do this with our lives.
Race is a term that we agree to and accept without reading the fine print, without asking questions as to how our acceptance of race as an identity will affect our lives and determine its outcome, without asking to see something different. Is this all that society has to offer? All you have to give me, the only thing that I can be is a race?
And I don’t choose my race but based on my appearance, you will assign to me a color, a prejudice and a stereotype. This is what I am signing up for? I cannot return it; I cannot exchange it. I cannot get my life back if I don’t like it. There is no redemption; there is no reassigning of the position. This is the agreement of race. Take it or leave it.
As the old spiritual says, “Give me, Jesus” because I’m going to leave it and claim the words of Frederick Douglass as the reason for my decision: “I prefer to be my true self, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than be false and incur my own abhorrence.” No deal.