4 episodes

H.U.E - Heal. Unite. Engage. - Redeeming the Race Narrative

Cultivating transformative unity in our homes, circles of influence and churches through informed, Christ-centered, cross-cultural perspective and actionable faith.

H.U.E Podcast Ebony - Worship and Music Director

    • Christianity

H.U.E - Heal. Unite. Engage. - Redeeming the Race Narrative

Cultivating transformative unity in our homes, circles of influence and churches through informed, Christ-centered, cross-cultural perspective and actionable faith.

    How to Forgive & Be Forgiven -

    How to Forgive & Be Forgiven -

    How to Forgive & Be Forgiven



    My Fight with Forgiveness



    This was an intimidating podcast episode to create. Before I even began podcasting I sent a survey out to friends asking what topics I should cover within the realm of faith, ethnicity, and culture. When one friend submitted the topic forgiveness I cringed. It’s an area I’ve had to grow in and it does not always come naturally, especially in situations regarding ethnicity and discrimination. In fact, it was only several months ago that I came to a crossroads with God about this topic. I knew in order to be used effectively to create change I could not be bitter or blindly defensive, but I could not get over the history of wrong. The centuries of oppression over multiple people groups that have left consequences in our nation still powerfully effective today. Then, and don’t remember how, I came across Corrie Ten Boom’s story.



    Corrie Ten Boom was arrested by the Nazis when she and her family were caught hiding Jews in their home during the Holocaust. She was sent with her sister to the Ravensbruck concentration camp were her sister died days before Corrie was released. After Corrie’s release she set up a recovery home for concentration camp survivors and traveled widely preaching God’s forgiveness and the need for reconciliation. At one of her engagements where she spoke on forgiveness a man approached her who she immediately recognized as a guard at the camp where she was imprisoned. He did not recognize her. Below is the story of her encounter directly from Corrie Ten Boom’s autobiography, The Hiding Place.



    Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi occupation of Holland; this man had been a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp where we were sent. ...



    "You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk," he was saying. "I was a guard in there." No, he did not remember me.



    "But since that time," he went on, "I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein, ..." his hand came out, ... "will you forgive me?"



    And I stood there — I whose sins had every day to be forgiven — and could not. Betsie had died in that place — could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?



    It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.



    For I had to do it — I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. "If you do not forgive men their trespasses," Jesus says, "neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." ...



    And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion — I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. "Jesus, help me!" I prayed silently. "I can lift my hand, I can do that much. You supply the feeling."



    And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.



    "I forgive you, brother!" I cried. "With all my heart!"



    For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then.



    Reprinted with permission from Guideposts. Copyright © 1972 by Guideposts, Carmel, New York 10512. All rights reserved. (www.guideposts.com)



     



    I barely got through the story without breaking down because I knew...

    • 15 min
    6 Ways Any Parent or Child can Stop Racism -

    6 Ways Any Parent or Child can Stop Racism -

    6 Ways Any Parent or Child can Stop Racism



    Have you heard about the Black Panther movie? Black Panther is an upcoming Marvel Comic release that I am excited to see. As I researched the movie I learned about a Go Fund Me campaign that was started to give underprivileged and underserved children in Harlem an opportunity to see the movie. The campaign was started by Frederick Joseph with a goal of raising $10,000 which would go toward purchasing tickets and refreshments for the children and their chaperones. Any donations exceeding the cost would be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. Within 10 days the campaign had tripled its original goal with more than 700 people donating[1]. Frederick Joseph said his intent in starting this campaign was to give young people an opportunity to see themselves in a story, and in particular a story that Clarkisha Kent of TheRoot.com writes, “remains socially and culturally relevant because it imagines a world where black people continually triumph over the influences of capitalism, Western imperialism and white supremacy[2]." To this date, Frederick Joseph’s campaign has raised $43,367. The latest update shared that through the generosity of Ellen DeGeneres and her team paying for the entire event, all donations would be given to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem where a new program will be created that teaches children to critically consume content and create their own stories. The new program will be called the BGC Harlem Storytellers.[3]



    So how does this relate to redeeming the race narrative?



    I would respond to that question with this question: have you ever wondered why prejudice, discrimination, and the ethnic divides in our society still exist? Studies as recent as 2017 show that millennials, the generation applauded as being “aware” and different than those that went before them, are actually divided on the same ethnic, discrimination, justice and opportunity issues as their parents and other generations before them. When categorized as African-American, Latino, Asian and white these groups showed the same divisions and preferences as polls taken in the past. This reality shows that unity cannot be accomplished via a trend. It can never be popular enough where one generation automatically falls into it. Change does not happen without intentionality.



    We wouldn’t assume our children will have a strong foundation of belief in God by chance. There is a reason we follow Proverbs 22:6 in training up our children in the way they should go (The Bible, NASB Translation). There is a reason God said to the Israelites “fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19, The Bible, NIV Translation). It is clear that consistent intentionality in teaching children the “way they should go” is essential in building up their identity in Christ. We teach our children who God is so they can know who they are. But sometimes we focus so much on the fact that we are not of the world, that their identity is in Christ, that we forget we are still in the world. The societal issues of this age influence and impact us.



    Creating change via children is no small effort or impact, especially when we realize that prejudice is not a biological tendency – it is learned[4]. A research study published in Psychology Today shared that a child’s awareness of race and racial identity is present as early as three years of age[5]. By the tender ages of 3-4 children can already show preferences toward one particular race. The rationale that a child is color blind and will have no bias in choosing friends or in how they treat others perceived as different f

    • 10 min
    Hope… A 4 Letter Word -

    Hope… A 4 Letter Word -

    H.U.E Podcast – Redeeming the Race Narrative



    Heal. Unite. Engage. - Cultivating transformative unity in our homes, circles of influence and churches through informed, Christ-centered, cross-cultural perspective and actionable faith.



     



    H-O-P-E… A 4 Letter Word



    HOPE is a four-letter word. It’s risqué and can be spoken with anger or disgust. The difference is that the meaning is not crude. Webster’s dictionary defines HOPE as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  But if you study the biblical definition of HOPE the meaning is far more dynamic. There are two parts to the definition:



     



    The essence or very nature of a promise (Acts 26:6); An act/action (Acts 26:7); Requires belief in potential or promise (Romans 4:18); Expectancy (Acts 28:20); Produced by character (Romans 5:4); Deliverance (Romans 8:20)

    Reliant/based on God (Acts 24:15), Does not disappoint because of the love of God in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5); Wait for it through the Spirit, by faith (Galatians 5:5)



     



     



    If this is what HOPE is then why do we ever develop a love/hate relationship with the word? When I heard about the latest police shooting of an African – American, particularly Philando Castile, I was done with hope. The reality was I was bitter. And finished with the church in all her good intentions – especially my white brothers and sisters.



     



    You see when all the events around ethnicity had been tearing our nation apart I saw an overwhelming number of responses from non-white friends. But in contrast, the vast majority of white friends on my Facebook feed or in conversations were painfully quiet, it was like the absence even of white noise – just still.



     



    I raged to God and asked what’s the point of starting a podcast? Of meaningful, constructive conversations when sincere Christians I know, respect, admire & love are so oblivious or disengaged? The level of disengagement made me question my conviction, what I saw with my own eyes. I thought: well maybe things aren’t that bad, or maybe it isn’t wrong, or maybe it isn’t injustice, because if it was injustice surely my friends would say something? I was beyond weary of Christian clichés to address or more accurately dismiss the issues and their impact. Scriptures that were given to comfort but felt more like placation. Or the theology of: “focus on God, it’s ok, it will get better, don’t be mired down by what’s not good, you should always be up and encouraged in the Lord”.



     



    Maybe you’re coming from a different perspective, where the police shootings, BLM protests, the KKK Charlottesville rally and other issues have come as a shock in their existence and intensity. You had no idea things were so bad and now it seems they can only get worse.



     



    Or maybe you’re the turtle in the shell. Regardless of how these events have impacted you or loved ones you simply can’t engage on any level. There’s no time, energy or emotion that you have to give, so the HOPE you have is more of a wish than a belief.



     



    Why Does Faith Matter?



    But we are called to HOPE. Not because it is good, or the right thing to do, or even a practical way to live peaceably as a society. We are called to HOPE because we know God. HOPE is contingent on the power and love of God. It’s cliché when I say it like that, but here’s why I think HOPE depending on God makes a difference. Here’s how I answer the question: why does faith matter?



     



    There is nothing significant about addressing the concept of reconciliation or the reality of white supremacy (passive and aggressive), discrimination or injustice through the Christian world lens.

    • 11 min
    Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? -

    Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? -

    Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?



    Sharif El-Gamal was slammed when his proposal to build a mosque near the grounds of the 9/11 attack were publicized. Passionate protests were held in the streets of New York with advocates from both sides declaring why they did or did not support the construction of what was to be a 15 story, $100-million-dollar mosque[1]. A firefighter who responded during the 9/11 attacks filed a lawsuit against Sharif and his backers, stating that the building of a mosque near Ground Zero would impede his ability to commemorate[2]. Ultimately Sharif won the lawsuit, however the mosque he envisioned was never built.



    At face value, the responses were extreme in their attacks against the establishment of a religious institution. But in order to understand the passionate reactions of people on the street, you need to know the historical and emotional context of 9/11. In our current, tension-filled and racialized society this truth also applies. When I read through Facebook quotes regarding police brutality, the most common sentiment I hear questions the validity of seeing these cases as systemic problems, accusing that approach of simply being an excuse to deny or gloss over the individual facts of a case. This begins a cyclical debate of accusations, where both sides ridicule each other’s awareness, sensitivity, and knowledge of “what is really going on”.



    The problem is, both sides can be woefully unaware of why their debates exist in the first place. To be clear, the current non-majority people groups (i.e African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American) are not unaware of our nation’s white supremacy on an experiential basis, but all groups can be lacking the historical information that put us here in the first place. The issues of police misconduct and the sincere disconnect between both sides knowing and understanding one another’s experiences are not happenstance - they were intentionally created and developed through social and legal strategies for the exact results we have today.



     



    It is easy to demonize another person or judge them from a safe distance. Are all white people really born pathological “racists” and ignorant of all other people but themselves? Are African-Americans really born pathologically violent and self-destructive? To be honest, if I didn’t know many white people, I would be tempted to think the previous judgment is true, based on what I’ve seen and heard. But I know too many African-Americans to believe the latter judgment, even if I know some people who practice those qualities.



     



    Noticing the Past



    It’s important to understand that in our nation’s history it was illegal in many states for whites and other groups of people to live by each other. Neighborhood contracts banned white residents from selling their homes to African-Americans, and cities created school and housing borders that told whites and other groups of people where they could and could not live[3]. You can guess which areas had significantly better living conditions.



    And before we assume that these practices were restricted to southern states, we only have to look into the past of a northern state like Minnesota to learn that legal methods were not the only ones used to prevent people from living together.



    Arthur Lee was a postal worker and World War 1 veteran who bought a home and moved in to the Linden Hills neighborhood in 1931. Protest over his family’s presence escalated until a mob of 4,000 white Minnesotans stood outside the home pelting it with rocks and threatening the police officers and friends who stood outside to defend the Lees in their home. Ultimately the Lees fought back and stayed for several more years, but not without experiencing several months of severe trauma.[4]



     



    Why are We Here?

    • 11 min

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A Needed Perpective

This podcast is balanced. It’s about bringing people together to talk about racial issues that divide us. If you want to learn but don’t understand or feel misunderstand, this may be for you.

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