I think we can all accept that people make mistakes. Some of them are worse than others, there’s no doubt about that, but mistakes often result in shrugged shoulders and a comment “Hey, we’re only human.”
So then, I wonder, why do we not extend the same courtesy to units of people? This could be a married couple struggling to parent, an organization that didn’t make exactly the right statement, or friends who didn’t offer the words of comfort you were looking for. Certainly, credit should be given for trying, right?
I’m not saying we need to throw a parade because a white supremacist says “hey, maybe people of color have value.” That would be stupid, because they should have come to that conclusion well before lighting their tiki torch and going on a rampage. A simple “I’m glad you’re trying to be better” will suffice. And then a lengthy conversation about why they felt an entire group of people didn’t have value before.
When a church realized that it’s statement that “people of any faith, or of no faith at all, should be troubled by the increase of intolerance in both words and actions we see everywhere,” was being touted by white supremacists within their midst as a statement supportive of their bigoted views (how? But whatever, I guess) and they update their statement to say “White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.” That’s the type of statement that should have you thinking “this organization has struggled with race relations in the past. Good for them for trying to move past it, they might be worth some consideration.”
Ultimately, I think that a lot of the horror we have been seeing is due to a serious lack of respect for one another. While not every attitude deserves respect, the person holding the bigoted attitude would benefit from respectful education about why their attitude presents a problem.
Do you always have to be the one to engage? No way, you need to engage in self-care and (at least for me) that often means not engaging other people. You say what you can and then you step away.
People make mistakes, that’s just part of the gig. Organizations are made up of people and even though we are better together most of the time there are also times when we fall short.
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