Responding to Racism

During the past week, we have seen our nation and the world journey through uncertainties and frustrations.  People are struggling with how to process emotions and impulses that affect their moving back to normalcy.   

Attempting to wrap our hearts around the current and tragic incident that claimed the life of George Floyd in Minneapolis is challenging.  The media and social media are fueling emotions and creating barriers at every opportunity.  

I want to assure you that The Brook Hill School is intentional about educating and protecting our community when it comes to racism and ethnic bigotry.  Our goal at Brook Hill is to stand on God’s word and use the tools God has provided for smashing unholy philosophies and tearing down barriers of hatred that may be erected against God’s truth that we are all created equally in His likeness and image (Ephesians 4:20-24).

Silence means tolerance and we at the Brook Hill School will not be silent when it comes to any display of unrighteousness. This incident is a heart issue. This act and display of disregard for human life cannot be ignored. Romans 12:15-17 reminds us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.  We should all as Christians weep for any injustice or display of unrighteousness. Verse 17 continues that we should respect what is right in the sight of all men.   

As Director of Diversity and Intercultural Engagement, I will continue to work to educate and protect our Brook Hill community on the matters of ethnic and cultural bias in any form.  Communication is key to any successful attempt to squash fear from those voicing issues related to building a healthy, harmonious, and Christ-centered learning environment for every part of our Brook Hill community.  

I would encourage and even ask you to have a conversation with your children about the events that are unfolding. Challenge them to look for opportunities to demonstrate empathy and intentionality towards those who may have been impacted by this incident specifically, or in the larger conversation, a target of misunderstanding and hate. 

On the wall of the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. are these words by Martin Niemoller, a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany during the outbreak of World War II, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” 

My hope for our Brook Hill students and families would be that we are people who use our voice to speak against injustice — to counter hate with the love of Christ.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I invite you to join me, Brook Hill family, in being a shining light in our community. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing more resources for learning and conversation with particular attention to ways that we grow together in our mission to stand for truth and love one another. 

 

Blessings,

 

Ivan Johnson

Director of Diversity and Intercultural Engagement

The Brook Hill School