Author: Sr. Nancyann

The last two weeks our boys support group (mostly 12-year-olds) has had some deep and engaging discussions on racism. One of our very bright participants, Anthony, proclaimed that racism was finished…no longer existed. The other boys in the group challenged him intensely.

“Why does a security guard always follow me when I’m in a store with my white friends?”

“I think a lot of us are judged by the color of our skin and not for our talents, gifts and compassion.”

“I worry a lot when my big brother is out driving. What if he got pulled over by the police…would everything turn out OK?"

“When I’m someplace outside the neighborhood why do people look at me like I’m going to steal?"

"Why does my school have such a hard time obtaining and keeping teachers?"

“Why was Travon Martin Shot?” …and so the conversation went.

I’ve been thinking about this…wondering if Anthony is just naive about racism, still innocent of all the hurt and trauma that racism has caused…or if his “no more racism” is his way of hoping that someday judgments will never again be made on the color of one’s skin. In any case, I am so grateful that our program can encourage such reality-based conversations.  However, I hope and pray that these promising young men will never lose their hope or belief in transformation as they continue dealing with racism.