Confessions of a racist nun* #3 spiritual tools

Denise West, OSB Living in Community, Racist nun 2 Comments

In my first blog post in this series, I diagnosed myself with the disease of racism. Some of my symptoms of this disease are denial of and defensiveness around racism as well as obliviousness to painful experiences of Black folks and other people of color. Simply put, most times we can’t handle listening to reality, so we don’t. We make the topic off-limits and go on enjoying the fruits of hundreds of years of systemic racism that has led us to a life of racial comfort. The problem is, despite our good intentions and stated values of justice for all, …

Reflections of a racist nun #2

Denise West, OSB Living in Community, Racist nun 3 Comments

This past Sunday David McKee gave a wonderfully Benedictine homily on the well-known passage from Matthew 16. All the quotations in this reflection are from his homily of August 30. 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”  David says that Jesus “then follows up by turning the disciples’ view inward, to the deeper truth of his ministry and his life. He explains to them what it really …

Reflections of a racist nun*

Denise West, OSB Living in Community, Racist nun, Uncategorized 14 Comments

Did the title catch your attention? I hope so, because it is intentional. I wonder what the world would be like if every morning thousands of white people took a page from 12-step programs and greeted one another with, “Hello. My name is _______, and I am racist.” I was recently diagnosed with the disease of racism. The strange thing is that I made the diagnosis myself, which is really the only way you can know if you have it. The metaphor of racism as a disease (as opposed to racism as individual actions carried out consciously by bad white …