Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Concrete Jungle Psalms, by Antonio Lucero

While coming from a gathering this past week there was a block of time devoted to discuss diversity. Diversity is always a tough issue to discuss as it has so many layers. In most, if not all circles I find myself in, it is my experience the difficulty usually manifests itself in two areas: where to begin the discussion and establishing the actual goals of the discussion.

Antonio is the DOOR Denver Director
In this particular discussion these two areas where unclear.  Despite the murkiness, the discussion organically seemed valuable.  A couple of wonderful stories were shared and trust was established. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to continue to other business in the agenda.  However, we were encouraged by our facilitator, if we were interested, to continue the diversity discussion during lunch in a small group setting.

I am a small group type of person and always appreciate the discussions that occur on an intimate level during lunch, break, the end of the day, or later in the night.  I am an internal processor and, if I am interested, I usually process at an overwhelming level (ADHD!) i.e topic of discussion, who is speaking, who is not speaking, demeanor, deference, difference, similarities, energy of the room, etc. etc. 

During lunch there were a few of us at the table where we continued the diversity discussion. In this particular setting I mentioned when talking of diversity in an institution we must look at the power, leadership and systems from the top.  Essentially the DNA of the institution.  If this DNA is functioning from a dominant culture perspective then we need to understand this institution is functioning through a ‘white supremacy’ lens.  I continued by saying in order to be a diverse program you must also be a diverse institution.  Which requires changing the DNA of the institution.  She quickly replied by saying isn’t ‘white supremacy’ a little harsh?  I responded with a few examples and it seemed like she understood.

This was a few days ago and again as I processed this internally for a while I came up with a lil’ somin somin ..

Concrete Jungle Psalms:

Why White Supremacy? Is it too harsh???

white supremacy is the world we live in, it is what we read and learn.

white supremacy tells me what is beautiful and what is ugly, it is the cultural norm

white supremacy tells me how to talk and be respectful.

white supremacy is the code of ethics!!

White supremacy is a group dominated by itself.

white supremacy is a murderer while smiling at you.

white supremacy is what runs in the veins of this country.

white supremacy LOVES when I’m tired of talking about racism

white supremacy wants to be my friend to be cool.

white supremacy doesn’t work hard. Only if it means to keep me down.

white supremacy will never give up its power. It loves it’s power.

white supremacy is cunning and deceitful and comes in forms of gifts, hugs and pats on the back. It’s kind and nice.

white supremacy knows and doesn’t know its white supremacy.

white supremacy ALWAYS wants to be safe.

white supremacy changes definition of words, traditions and culture.

white supremacy speaks for me.

white supremacy is hypnotizing

I’m f*cking tired of talking about white supremacy!

DOOR people, though.  Some of the most courageous Christians I'll ever know.  Antonio on the right.

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