Sigh. I’m exhausted from preparing for a mediation session tomorrow.
A white highly educated straight man new to the church community has remained apparently oblivious to racist and unkind remarks, gestures and communications that he has done in the last number of years. I spoke up about them after I’d been profoundly hurt. Now we are going to have a mediation session. I’m nervous about so many aspects of this conversation tomorrow. I was doing my homework, but I thought I’d write to YAR for encouragement since I can’t concentrate anyway.
I keep praying that I don’t get angry or try to make a point to make myself feel better/look better. Vengeance is not mine. I must entrust myself to the one who judges justly. But the balance is hard when I have to speak up for myself and for others who are still silent. I’m praying that no matter what happens, myself and others who have felt isolated and marginalized by his behavior will be able to move on and not let him control our lives at church.
One thing I thought about is to make sure I am clear about my objectives for this mediated conversation, state them in the mediation, and combining with his objectives to stay focused on these. These kind of discussions can go anywhere…I have experienced that he is also the philosopher type that wants you to prove everything/defend everything perfectly in order for it to make sense to him. I’ve painstakingly worked to back up every feeling with a broader concept, fact or another piece of antiracism theory.
What’s been a hard time for you all when you’ve had to share with someone who has been instrumental in silencing you or another group of people (esp. young people, poc, women, etc.)? How did YOU hold it together? Humility is a virtue here…I don’t know the whole story…honestly I’m excited to know where he is coming from. I pray I will feel better afterwards. I want this pit in my stomach to untie.