White supremacy and me and you


I am driving through the Northwoods of Wisconsin, talking to a friend, a man I know very well, on the phone. Tall, snow-covered pines line the ditches; gray overcast hovers. The man and I are catching up, chatting about our lives. The tone of his voice becomes shameful, reluctant. My gaze moves over the wide, open road ahead as I hear his story. His words come slowly as he admits that he is on a leave of absence from his job after he said a racial slur while in a casual conversation with his colleagues. He is not allowed to work or earn money; he is expected to apologize to every one of his co-workers personally. He is humbled, broken. And yet he remains surprised. “I don’t know why I said it … I’m not that kind of person …” I keep driving. I don’t know what to say.


I am a newly professed sister teaching at a high school on Chicago’s South Side with a mission to serve African-American boys. I am learning to listen. I listen to my students when they explain why they need an extension on their assignments, when one says he spent the whole night in the ER with his cousin who was shot as they played ball in the park. I listen to my students when they come to class without…

[This is the beginning of my latest column for the online newspaper, Global Sisters Report. Continue reading here.]

(Dreamstime / Ben Gingell)

Similar Posts


  1. To whom it may concern, this is the commenting policy for Messy Jesus Business:

    Commenting Policy

    Comments are what add to the knowledge and community that we desire to build here. Feel free to comment. Feel free to have your say. There may be times where comments will not be approved or might be edited. So with that in mind here are the basics:

    Defamation, spamming, and copyright infringement are not allowed. All comments with any of those elements will be removed with or without notice.
    Please stay on topic.
    Different points of view are welcome – just be respectful of other readers and our authors.
    We are not responsible, legally or otherwise, for comments left on this blog.
    Lastly, we may contact you for clarification before we publish your comment. As we discuss this Gospel together, let’s keep our conversation rooted in the words of Jesus: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

    (As posted here: https://messyjesusbusiness.com/about/)

    Thanks, Sister Julia