I really want to write a spiritual reflection each week, and this week … I don’t even know where to start.
I am reading a very interesting book called How to be Antiracist, all about changing racist policies while retaining respect for diverse cultures. I heartily recommend it if you haven’t read/aren’t reading it already.
On a definitely related note, this past week I somehow I got embroiled in that touchiest of all sci-fi subjects: how terrible the Star Wars prequel trilogy really is. The conversation got surprisingly deep. What it all came down to is this: it’s hard to write a story about some sweet, innocent kid turning into an evil enemy.
People do terrible things. But everyone deserves a fair shot to make – or not make – terrible choices.
Sweet, innocent kids might still turn evil, but there is something deeply wrong when – for example, in the actually real world – we see such a disproportionate number of black men in prison – or dying earlier – or stuck in a well of poverty so deep that very few escape. And we say nothing.
Antiracism is not just having nice feelings. It’s not just having “one black friend.” It’s understanding all the people you never meet, never know, because they are dead or basically stuck in hell on earth, in the kind of place you never (need to) go.
Because – here is my problem with the Star Wars story. There are so many points at which someone could have reached out to this troubled kid. So why didn’t they? The neglect was so utter, I for one was cheering for the dark side of the force toward the end. To heck with you Jedi Council, you heartless cretins.
As MLK Jr famously put it:
That’s not to say I *wanted* to see the Jedi Council destroyed. It’s more the sheer horror and the slow, utterly predictable train wreck of it all. I hate siding with the bad guy even for a second. That’s the point. Please, human race, don’t make me feel like the bad guy does have a point in trying to destroy you all – is what I imagine God would say at certain points in history.
Here is what I do know. Everyone makes mistakes. We are all here by grace. None of us deserve life – or one another.
Real friends don’t let friends hole themselves up in ice castles and hope for the best.
If you find your brother or sister lying on the road after being mugged by this terrible world we all live in, at least try to help them. Even if it fails, at least you’ll know you tried. Who knows, you might be surprised by what you find.