"Hi, my name is Christopher and I am a racist."
That line from the twelve step model is a funny way for a new priest, a student in the 60s, a young, liberal priest in the 70s and a worker for migrant farm labor justice, dignity and empowerment to introduce himself. But it is "Confession, Repentance and Commitment to End Racism Sunday" so I'd best come clean and announce that I am in recovery.
I wish I were not racist and I have struggled to grow and change ever since my intellect told me that racism is a profound and deeply rooted evil. But I am struggling against threads that were woven into my being by the society that raised me. It was not vicious or cruel, but it was the purveyor of stereotypes and prejudices about the world its people. This has an effect.
I am thankful for so many people and experiences who have helped me see, change and grow. I am thankful that my children are freer from this curse than I was at their age. I pray that my grandchildren will see an even brighter day and that our country, and humanity as a whole, will strive to overcome this global and ancient stain on human life.
Meanwhile, I will just try to keep practicing what I preach, to reach out to others and to let them reach out to me. We shall overcome someday.
Christopher L. David