Hannah and Ben
Some of us know Hannah and Ben. They describe their experiences of racism in Lowestoft.
Ben describes random, isolated incidents: ‘Sometimes I can be in the town centre and things are shouted at me. I made eye contact with someone once and he started shouting abuse. There are just thousands of little incidents.’
Hannah says: ‘…the last few weeks have made people more aware racism still exists, but I don’t think it has achieved anything. People are scared to show it at the moment because they are trying to prove they’re not racist, but it is still going on.’
Dionne’s identity, culture and family is ‘Black British’. She describes the prejudices that Christians of colour face in white majority churches:
‘I’ve seen churches boasting about their ethnically diverse congregations, yet their leadership is made up of mostly white men, and occasionally white women… churches are filled with pictures of a white Jesus, a white Mary and a white Joseph.’
‘They’re saying that our culture, music and way of worshipping is not appropriate, and therefore not as good as the white majority equivalent. They’re saying that unless we conform to the white, middle class way of church, we can never be accepted.’
Clear Christian teaching: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ.’
‘Racism is wrong.’ ‘I am not a racist.’ Cheap easy words.
As a white middle class male in a predominantly white town perhaps I am blind, prejudiced or wrong.
Ben: ‘We almost live in a culture where it is easier to do nothing about it…’
Dionne: ‘Too many of our Christian brothers and sisters have stayed quiet about issues of racial justice.’
I need the wisdom to see truth, humility to see myself honestly, and courage to change and act.
Ben & Hannah Mensah – Lowestoft Journal 3rd July 2020 (first on line 1st July). Picture Sarah Lucy Brown
Dionne Simpson – Premier Christianity 24th June 2020