Love is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker

S3 E1 | Waking Up to Privilege with David Bailey

June 16, 2020 David M. Bailey Season 3 Episode 1
Love is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker
S3 E1 | Waking Up to Privilege with David Bailey
Chapters
Love is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker
S3 E1 | Waking Up to Privilege with David Bailey
Jun 16, 2020 Season 3 Episode 1
David M. Bailey

Race, class, and the kingdom of God all come up in this conversation between Amy Julia and David Bailey, Director of Arrabon, a ministry to help churches become reconciling communities. In this introductory episode for Season 3, David and Amy Julia talk about why white people can feel afraid to enter into conversations about race, the controversies over Confederate monuments in David’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia, whether this moment of protest and activism will translate into lasting social change, and more.  

Show Notes:

David references a lot of rich material in this show, so hopefully I’ll get it all recorded in one place. First, there are some references to the Bible. David talks about the foundational Judeo-Christian narratives found in Genesis 1 and Genesis 3, and he also makes reference to the “Jericho Road” and the “Good Samaritan” which can be found in Luke 10:25-37.

Next, we discuss current events, including monuments along Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, Rush Limbaugh’s visit to The Breakfast Club, and Ezra Klein and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ conversation about non-violence and policing. We also talk about The Porter’s Gate project, a collaborative worship album David helped put together (and invited me to attend) with a disparate group of Christian worship artists. This is an album about justice and mercy, all taken from Scripture.

Here’s the essay about Christian anger that David mentions he wrote recently for Christianity Today.

Finally, to learn more about David’s work, go to arrabon.com. There are great resources for churches and individuals who want to become reconciling communities. David also directs Urban Doxology, whose most recent release is “God Not Guns.”

Also, I mention that I define privilege as “unearned social advantages.” To hear more about this idea, read What Privilege Is, and What Privilege is Not.

David M. Bailey is a public theologian and culture maker who believes the church should lead by example in effective cross-cultural engagement and practices in reconciliation.  He’s the founder and executive director of Arrabon; an organization that builds reconciling communities in the midst of a digital, diverse, and divided world. David is an active speaker, consultant and strategist for many national organizations about cultural intelligence and culture-making. He is the co-author of the Race, Class, and the Kingdom of God Study Series. David is the executive producer of documentary 11am: Hope for America’s Most Segregated Hour and the Urban Doxology Project. He's rooted at East End Fellowship and serves on the preaching team. David's greatest honor in life is to be married to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Joy. [bio courtesy of Arrobon]

Show Notes Transcript

Race, class, and the kingdom of God all come up in this conversation between Amy Julia and David Bailey, Director of Arrabon, a ministry to help churches become reconciling communities. In this introductory episode for Season 3, David and Amy Julia talk about why white people can feel afraid to enter into conversations about race, the controversies over Confederate monuments in David’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia, whether this moment of protest and activism will translate into lasting social change, and more.  

Show Notes:

David references a lot of rich material in this show, so hopefully I’ll get it all recorded in one place. First, there are some references to the Bible. David talks about the foundational Judeo-Christian narratives found in Genesis 1 and Genesis 3, and he also makes reference to the “Jericho Road” and the “Good Samaritan” which can be found in Luke 10:25-37.

Next, we discuss current events, including monuments along Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, Rush Limbaugh’s visit to The Breakfast Club, and Ezra Klein and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ conversation about non-violence and policing. We also talk about The Porter’s Gate project, a collaborative worship album David helped put together (and invited me to attend) with a disparate group of Christian worship artists. This is an album about justice and mercy, all taken from Scripture.

Here’s the essay about Christian anger that David mentions he wrote recently for Christianity Today.

Finally, to learn more about David’s work, go to arrabon.com. There are great resources for churches and individuals who want to become reconciling communities. David also directs Urban Doxology, whose most recent release is “God Not Guns.”

Also, I mention that I define privilege as “unearned social advantages.” To hear more about this idea, read What Privilege Is, and What Privilege is Not.

David M. Bailey is a public theologian and culture maker who believes the church should lead by example in effective cross-cultural engagement and practices in reconciliation.  He’s the founder and executive director of Arrabon; an organization that builds reconciling communities in the midst of a digital, diverse, and divided world. David is an active speaker, consultant and strategist for many national organizations about cultural intelligence and culture-making. He is the co-author of the Race, Class, and the Kingdom of God Study Series. David is the executive producer of documentary 11am: Hope for America’s Most Segregated Hour and the Urban Doxology Project. He's rooted at East End Fellowship and serves on the preaching team. David's greatest honor in life is to be married to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Joy. [bio courtesy of Arrobon]

Note: This transcript is generated using speech recognition software and does contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.

Speaker 1 (0s): Hi friends. I'm Amy, Julia Becker. And I am your host for the first episode of a new season of the love is stronger than fear podcast. Today. I get to talk with my friend, David Bailey. David is a black man, a Christian he's a leader of a ministry called Arroban down in Richmond, Virginia. He doesn't tell you this when we talk, but he's also a speaker who has been around the country. Speaking at various conferences. He is well known for his work in the field of reconciliation. 

He is smart and thoughtful and such a caring kind guy. And I'm so glad you're going to get to hear us talk about reconciliation, about Confederate monuments, about where he sees signs of hope and of healing. But before I turn 

Speaker 2 (52s): To this interview, I do want to explain one thing, David and I met through mutual friends a couple of years ago, and these friends come up in my book, white picket fences. David makes reference to them and we talk about them a little bit because these friends of ours, about 15 years ago, my husband's college roommates, a whole group of them moved into a low income and predominantly African American neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, and David and his wife have also moved in to that same neighborhood. 

Speaker 1 (1m 24s): So I just wanted to let you know that. So you understand what we're talking about when we make reference to it. I'm excited for you to get to meet him and hear about his work. So without further ado, here is our conversation. 

Speaker 2 (1m 39s): I'm here today with my good friend, David Bailey, and I'm so excited to get to talk with him about white picket fences, but even more so about current events and about the work that he does that does involve race and justice and privilege and culture, but really is about a work of reconciliation and healing. And I want to actually turn it over to David and just ask you to say a little bit more just about who you are, where you're from and what you do as your vocation. 

Speaker 3 (2m 8s): Well, thank you so much for having me. I mean, Julia has been, yeah, just good friendship is good to be able to like share. I'm glad you're doing this podcast. Really love white picket fences. So I lead a organization called Aerobahn Aerobahn is a word that means a foretaste of things to come. It's a Greek word in the new Testament that the scripture says that the Holy spirit was given to the church as a foretaste of the chemo guy. That's the calm. And so in the world, like people who aren't Christian, they don't get the Holy spirit. 

Well, they get the, is the church and the church really needs to be a forte. So the keynote to the com. So I think in many ways, like the heaven that we, we hope for, that we see it's like a tribal before you buy type of policy. And, you know, I guess the kind of work we really try to help the church to be a foretaste of the human past. So what we do is in like the digital world that the world's going digital stuff with them before it's more diverse. It's over four, it's more divided than it's ever been before. 

We try to equip Christian communities to become reconciled community. 

Speaker 2 (3m 16s): We hear a lot about reconciliation, but I have always heard that term paired with the word racial and I've appreciated knowing you that you don't always pair the term reconciliation with racial. And I want, I'd love to hear you say more about that cause that's been helpful to me. 

Speaker 3 (3m 35s): Yeah. So I kind of see two things, I think like one and kind of like people who are involved, if you understand like the history of America, they use a word like racial reconciliation, the word reconciliation means, Hey, you want to like bring things back together. The relationship in the way that it originally was? Well, that's not a good thing in America like Europeans, Africans, indigenous people will never equal and existence of our country. So, so we don't want to reconcile that with a lot of folks that, Hey, the better language you use is conciliation. 

We can engage in with conciliation and bring some equality and healing and together. So I think I can't do the final reconciliation and that type of way. And you're starting an American narrative that I say, yeah, I agree with that. For me, I use it as a theological term and the scripture that talks about how Genesis one, that, that like the world was whole, it was good. It was diverse. And it was beautiful. Bree says, well, was broken. And ever since then, that's been a process of God working through Christ to reconcile all things. 

And so that's kind of the invitation of Christmas to engage in that way. I don't have to wonder our relationships broken. Our system's broken our way. People engage with one another it's broken. Right. We know that it's really more so about what are the details and how can we go in the process of reconciling often? 

Speaker 2 (4m 58s): So in the work that you do is that typically primarily related to helping Christians think about what God has to say when it comes to our racial divides, are there other aspects, like, what does that end up looking like? And kind of, you know, I come into a church that wants to work on this stuff and doesn't know what they're doing. 

Speaker 3 (5m 21s): Yeah. I mean, so what we do is we look at like issues of race, class, and culture, you know, and like there's a history, like one of the things, everybody has a thought and opinion experience with the issues of race. There's not a person that does it, you know? And so even if they're like, Oh, I never think about it. I don't know why people make a big deal about it. Like there's an experience that folks will bring to this conversation. And Alicia was there looking through. And so we help people to understand that and, and really kind of what's God's heart for people. How does God encourage us to engage with one another class is also going to be an issue like scripture tells us to be mindful of people who are poor, but we live in a country that's been designed in ways where the kind of promise of being middle class and above like the wealthy you become, the less poverty you have to see. 

And our cities were designed like, not in a way, like you could even want to go see poverty. You could actually want to engage with people of all different socioeconomic space. But most of us, like most of our cities have been designed to keep wealthy people away from poor people. And it really is really hard for us to be Christians in that kind of way. I feel that I wasn't ever, there will be at a Krista and it's like, but he read the good Samaritan. It was a story about like, this is say, Hey, what, what, what's the greatest commandment to love God and love your neighbor. 

Well, who's your neighbor. That's the religious lawyer says, and it's like, Hey, it's the guy. That's all across town when that bad part of town where people could beat up. Right. And there was a nice Levi to church member that walked by and it was a nice minister. The priest walked by and it was this other Samaritan, this person that they grew up despising, that they were taught that they should despise of a different ethnicity, different religious background. They became the, he wrote a story. They were the ones that show what it's like to be a neighbor. 

And so basically our society has been built where there's highways and byways to skip over the Jericho road. And that makes it really hard for us to do some of the core Christian practice. 

Speaker 2 (7m 29s): So I know you've thought a lot about this in your own life and how to actually live that out. Can you talk a little bit just about the decisions you've made to actually be encountering people who are not exactly the same as you all the time? 

Speaker 3 (7m 45s): Yeah, I mean, so, well, it's interesting because I grew up both like, and I have two parents with college degrees. African-American my dad grew up in poverty and, and so I, by the nature of living in the suburbs, I was with people who were different than me, you know, and it kind of, it chose me versus me choosing that. But then when my wife and I decided to move, so I'm supposed to do with college with some of the people that you're in the white picket fence book, we decided to live in this neighborhood. 

And so part of reason why was because a lot of, you know, your friends, like the Cory's and Sarah's, and most of them are Masha and Danny and Mary Kay, all these folks, they either were white or they were like Asian doctors. Right. And so literally like, you know, and so I was friends with them just from just being friends and in what they were doing, being a community. 

And particularly like 12, 15 years ago, when they started, they went to a, a poor black neighborhood. Right. And a lot of the kids associated, but economics is the ability marriage with being white. And they didn't see like married black couple with a decent home. Like our home is not going to be on cribs. But if I, you know, it's like a decent home, but it's like we said, Hey, you know what, we should, we should move into a community amongst kind of like brothers and sisters who are black that are in a different socioeconomic space. 

Like when my dad was growing up during segregation, like, you know, he, he grew up around black lawyers and doctors and we live in that same neighborhood that he grew up in. And, and so now, you know, the kids could see something. I mean, like if this like college educated, married black couples, isn't an anomaly in a way that it was 16 years ago. 

Speaker 2 (9m 52s): Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. 

Speaker 3 (9m 53s): It's also been a really good gift for me. Like I thought I was coming there for them. It's really been a great gift for me that like, like, it's your, go ahead. 

Speaker 2 (10m 2s): I was just going to say in what ways, because that's certainly, you know, this because we've been friends and talked about this before, but for me, similarly, every time I have stepped into relationship or community, especially with people who seem different from me, I have had to feel vulnerable and I've had to give, and it's been uncomfortable and I've gained so much in terms of just understanding who I am and, and just being freed, I think from some of the constraints that I put on myself and that the world has put on me. 

So anyway, I'd just love to hear more about that from you. 

Speaker 3 (10m 39s): Well, I mean, I think you nailed it. I mean, I think, I think people, so some people are taking issues with the word privilege, you know, and, you know, and privilege is a thing. I mean, just means that you get more options than other people, right? Like, and you get, you get more access than other people. So, you know, and it could look a lot of different ways. Well, it's part of me as a male and there's a lot of privilege that comes just being a man. You know, whether it's even like when you start talking, people listen to you versus having a higher pitched feminine voice, you know, people don't always stop and listen, you know, having a, versus having a deeper masculine voice, there's also privilege that comes from like in America from having white skin, you know, like it's not necessarily, I think the way to understand that is there are a lot of poor white people. 

Right. And they're, you know, it's, it's a lot of white people, but the reason why they're poor is not because there was a government policy that put in place that made them poor or, or ask ahead, overcome because of the way the white skin. 

Speaker 2 (11m 45s): Yeah. I've thought, I mean, as you know, I've thought a lot about privilege and there are two things that come to mind. One is I think a lot about it as unearned, social advantages, you know, just like I didn't earn it. It's a social advantage. I didn't earn it. And my friend Nero, who also is in white picket fences, she says that, you know, just because you have a hard line, like white people have hard lives just as Brown and black people have hard lives, but the hardship is not coming because of the color of your skin. 

And that I thought was another just helpful way to be like, Oh right. Yes. Okay. We can, yeah, we can move on now. 

Speaker 3 (12m 23s): But then there's also like a side to it too, when you're like educated. Right. And you have access, you have relationships, you have networks. I don't really, I mean, I can't tell you the last time I applied for a job, you know, I just, and when I did apply for a job, it was like a matter of formality. It was like people, you know, I just, I just have a certain amount of access and privileges. 

Speaker 2 (12m 47s): Right. So the relationships you already had were what led into job opportunities as opposed to, I need to go searching and go through a formal process. Yeah. 

Speaker 3 (12m 57s): Yeah, totally. So as a result, like, I mean, even like I might not be as privileged as a white person or, you know, but there is poses that I do experience by being a person that could speak w like I have a college degree and have a college degree and networks and all that kind of stuff. And I just have found me literally living and being in relationship with people who don't have those kinds of access and privileges helped me not to be so pretentious, like be a human being, like, instead of like, if you and I meet for the first time being like, Hey, Amy, Julia, what do you do? 

And we, you know, and like, we got this like social hierarchy scale, just trying to be like, you know, I just like, when people like my neighbors, they don't really fully know what I do. They don't understand what I do. And so I can't really find like status off of that. Right. And this just helps me to relate to folks like as just a human being. And it's just good for my soul. 

Speaker 2 (13m 59s): I was about to say, and to know that you are related to just as a human being, that it's not like, Ooh, there's my important neighbor, David, you know, it's like, he's just my neighbor. Like, and I I've found that. I mean, I think kids can offer that, but especially in terms of relationships with people with disabilities where my college degree and like how many articles I read yesterday, like, it doesn't matter, but whether or not I can like listen and attend and be present in love, like that matters a lot. 

And while does that matter to me too, you know? And does it change me to be in that place? Well, so I'm curious to hear a little bit, I'm just bringing it into this moment. I know Richmond has been as a seat of many protests in the past couple of weeks. I've been following that more closely just because of knowing y'all down there. I've seen that there have been some calls for monuments to come down. I've seen some of the photos on Instagram of prayer gatherings in your neighborhood, as well as other places around the city. 

So I'm just curious, like how you are seeing what's happening in Richmond over the course of the past two weeks. Is this a kind of moment where people are just jumping on a bandwagon and it's a fad, or is this a sense of an, like a real season of change in that city and, or potentially in our nation? 

Speaker 3 (15m 28s): That's a good question. I mean, I think time will tell whether it's a fad or not. I would say that this feels a lot different to me. I think when I saw that rush Limbaugh went on the breakfast club, that was like, Oh, this is something different. So, so if you know who rush Limbaugh is, you probably don't know who the breakfast club is. If you know what the breakfast club is, you probably don't know the rest. 

Speaker 2 (15m 50s): So why don't you explain all of that? 

Speaker 3 (15m 53s): So rush is like probably the most popular conservative radio talk show personality. And then you have the breakfast club is like the most popular morning radio station led by black and Brown millennials. And, and let's just say these two paths, don't cross and Westland. While when George with George, when that happened, he reached out and kind of went off for like an olive branch and say like, Hey, I'm sorry for what happened. 

And something has to be done with policing. And so, you know, that conversation was very interesting. 

Speaker 2 (16m 31s): Yeah. I didn't know that that happened. Wow. 

Speaker 3 (16m 33s): Yeah, it is. It's really fascinating listening to you kind of see, you can also kind of see like why it's so tough and our society right now to actually find unity because folks are so entrenched into the ideologies that they don't end up finding any common ground to begin to build some bridges on. So where somebody was like, Hey, I'm sorry for what happened to George foil. That was tragedy. Something needs to happen, you know, and we need to change that with the police officers, but he did not want to submit to the idea of white privilege because he called it that, or, or white supremacy. 

He didn't want to like give even like an inch to those, those ideas, because they were Democrats, they were liberal democratic ideas that were like made up. Right. But it, for them, they were like, Hey, if you can't admit that white people aren't polluted, like even just when it comes to like policing and that just wouldn't happen to a white man, I kind of way. And then that's, that's, that's, you know, we can't make any traction, you know? Right. So that was a really, 

Speaker 2 (17m 44s): I was when it all first happened, the fact that I, this situation, this killing of George Floyd was so condemned left and right. Made me actually one, I was surprised that that then actually led to such a conversation about police reform, because I thought it was going to be held up as this exceptional case. Like this isn't what usually happens. This is just a really bad situation. And instead it really has led even right now to some, you know, both Republicans and Democrats saying, we gotta, we gotta address this, which has been encouraging to me. 

And to see, I mean, I've listened to this podcast between, as her client and Tallahassee coats earlier this week. That was so interesting. Starts with Tallahassee coats saying I'm really hopeful, which are not words that he says. And, but he also said, the reason he's hopeful is that this is a movement that is more, both national and global. Then most of the protests have been after police killings in the past that it's been sustained in time, even after Derek Shovan was indicted. 

And that it's more diverse that you don't just have people who, you know, kind of your typical, whether it's black lives matters people or people of color, but you actually do have a lot of white people who are saying enough, we gotta do something. So that's certainly what, you know, I've kind of been seeing, but here I am in my 3000 person, predominantly white town in Western Connecticut. So it's curious. Yeah, 

Speaker 3 (19m 23s): I think it's true. You know, and I think like, I definitely think that I think the looting and stuff, the rioting, or even even opportunist, or just some folks who just like wanted to kind of destroy do stuff. Like there were a lot of folks, like there are so many testimonies that I've heard around the country of like actual official black lives matter organizers that were like, yo, we're not doing this. Like, this is right. You know, this is like a piece of protest. And if somebody is doing all that kind of activity, so, you know, the night, I mean, I, I walked down my main Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, and we've had, we have five Confederate statues and on this Lake street called monument Avenue, it's the only historically registered only street that's on the historical registry site of the United States. 

And so it's a really significant area. And I just saw the van, the, the vandalism, the, the, what people call blight, you know, and I looked up the word blight and was really fascinating is that there were lightnings it's kinda used oftentimes, like it's something that will kind of take the value down, you know, and it's kind of also like a plant kind of like diseasing of a plant that will take the life out. And so it was really interesting. I was looking at it because I was like, the van was almost, we'd be considered like blight on these like monuments, but then it could also be a blight that one would see the actual mind mess itself. 

Right. Then there's kind of like a blight about our history deal, disease of racism. And that's kind of a blight on our ideals as Americans. 

Speaker 2 (21m 8s): I think that's a really helpful way to think about it. Like where is the blight here? And I will say, so when I moved to Richmond right out of college, I was 22 years old, newly married. And I lived on monument Avenue and my husband and I literally walked to church in the morning past two of those statues on Sunday mornings. And we just didn't think about them. Yeah. I mean, it's not as though if we had stopped and had a conversation, we would have said anything admiring about the men on those horses. 

Like, but I mean, both of us a few years later, not like 20 years later, but nevertheless we're like, why did it not even cross our minds? That it was a blight on our street that we were passing by these? I mean, there are humongous anyone who has not been in Richmond, they are towering edifices of stone and metal. Right? Like, so I, I am glad for, you know, just the attention that in recent years, not just in recent weeks has come up with these Confederate monuments and, and hopeful for the conversations that can come about what our history is. 

I mean, one of the things like that sense of even when we tell the ugly parts of our history it's so that, that can be healed, brought into the light. It's not so that we can just flip the power and shame the people who were once in power. Right. Like it's okay. How can we actually make this a more equitable place for everybody? 

Speaker 3 (22m 45s): And I think it's important because like a lot of folks, like there's kind of a, a kind of slight of hand in the conversation that happens that like, when you take the monuments down and you're trying to erase history, and it's not necessarily trying to research the theory is that those biochemists were put up to share a narrative. And so like, you know, as like, as a white man, like, and a white woman, I mean, you could walk by it and not, I think about it as somebody, a black person growing up in Richmond, like it was, it was set up so that black people knew what time it was. 

Speaker 2 (23m 23s): Well, and yeah, like I assume, you know, this history, like we use shared though, just when those monuments were set up, because it wasn't like a few years after 

Speaker 3 (23m 34s): If I remember correctly, I think it may. And do I feel like it was between like 1880 and like 1910, 19, 

Speaker 2 (23m 43s): I think that's right. Like, so it was essentially, as supremacy was becoming the rule and Jim Crow Crow was becoming the law of the land. There were literally, let's make there be symbols of this that are very clear to everyone. And again, for me as a white person, a hundred years later, it was like, huh, look at that interesting thing, you know, if I even thought about it, whereas, but if you're a black person, it's like, I know exactly what that represents. And it does not, it is not a space of belonging for me. 

Right. Like if you're, and I think for cities to think about what their architecture communicates, not just in terms of monuments, but in terms of where highways go and what you were just saying earlier about how cities are designed, all of that communicates, who belongs here and who are we for? And, you know, how can we do more to be for all of the residents in our spaces? You know, 

Speaker 3 (24m 38s): Totally. And I think there's this other one element, another element of light that I think has this conversation. And I think this is, this is like disease of redemptive violence, you know, and I think this like a wider conversation that we really need to have, that we oftentimes, in my theological opinion and conviction, is that Christians should not have a myth of like a, of a redemptive violence. Like violence never leaves the healing, you know, and, and Jesus, like whenever there was violence committed against a person, Jesus moved towards healing, but you know, there's a story of like the union. 

Well, the Confederates and the Confederates against the union, the protests are about like people in a power of authority, like kind of overstepping and violent ways of like a minority community. But then also it's really interesting. Cause some of the complaints, like there were a lot of people I know in spaces that weren't complaining about the violence of police officers on our citizens, but are planning about the violence, the property that's happening now because of what it's doing to the economy. 

So when it's like, well we're just in the property. And again, I, I have a, a strong effort against violence. 

Speaker 2 (25m 59s): Right, right. In either case, 

Speaker 3 (26m 1s): Any case, I think, I think in my I'm saying like, I think it's all wrong. Right, right. But I just think like we oftentimes pick and choose like where violence is redemptive and, and at least towards healing and reality, it just never does. 

Speaker 2 (26m 16s): Right. Well, and we've also got the irony, which of the predominantly white protests that were happening before the George Floyd protests in which they, you know, there was not the same type of police presence or combative action, right? 

Speaker 3 (26m 36s): Yeah. You just, you just hit a vein on that way. Like, I mean, and this is like a, this is like a total definition. Like if people don't believe white privilege is real led a group of black or middle Eastern American citizens go up to any state Capitol with some guns and protest. And like, and I'm our question is if you're upset about COVID and what it's doing to the economy, why do you need semiautomatic weapons to process that point? And why would that be considered to be a peaceful protest? Right. 

So then you go with unarmed folks coming to talk about racial violence and, and even like, even in the, that looting the damaging property, not even like, I mean, they can't, I mean, again, you know, police, police officers, there are ways that human beings can be harmed in a situation like that. I get that, but just the level of escalation is challenging. And if you're kind of like, Oh, well, that's not true. Like literally when the black Panther party did this in 1967 and they went up to the California state government building and they went and got their attention, like with guns to bring attention again, police violence in the Oakland neighborhoods, the governor who was Reagan at the time, conservative governor create a gun control law, right. 

So that guns couldn't have in California with the NRA, his approval. Right. And so, again, I don't believe in violence at the same time. I understand why people will get so upset and engage in that kind of way because the rules change for black, black and people and people of color when it comes to change the rules of life change in American citizenship, doesn't apply for black people in the same way for, for their own issues, 

Speaker 2 (28m 29s): Right. Who is allowed to be violent or to demonstrate their capacity, to be violent by carrying a gun. All of those questions. I'm curious too, though, because we've got these extremes, I think on both sides. So to speak the extreme, you know, white gun carrying protester or the extreme looting, you know, not even protester, but the person who is just causing mayhem. And then you've got all these people who are much more in the middle and especially white people who I think, and I've been thinking about myself in the past and some people I know now as restless sleepers where I know there's something that's not right about how our society's working, but I'm kind of doing okay, so I'm going to try to keep sleeping, but it keeps waking me up. 

And then I think the past couple of weeks has literally woken a lot of people up and there's, but when you wake up, you're disoriented and you feel like maybe you have, you know, are stumbling around from the night before, or, Oh my gosh, I'm late to the party. Like this is, you know, what am I doing here? And so I'm thinking about that group of people who are kind of just starting to really, what does it mean to be a white person or to even have like a racial identity? Should I feel guilty for that? 

Should I feel shamed for that? And I think there's just a lot of fear that comes up. I, in the beginning of white picket fences, I write about how in writing the book, I figured out I had developed an eye Twitch and I literally was finally someone said to me, I think you're afraid. And it's as if you think people are going to throw things at you, if you try to write about race and class and privilege, and you're flinching, like it's like the subconscious reaction. And so I started literally praying every time my, I flinched that God would protect me and it stopped, it stopped twitching. 

But I'm just curious, like, from your perspective, why does it feel so scary to have even like, well, you know, conversations about race that shouldn't look threatening from the outside, I guess, but why does it feel so scary and threatening for white people who are just coming into this conversation, do you think? 

Speaker 3 (30m 46s): Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, I think any conversation about this is a workshop that we offer at airbikes any conversation about race, class or culture is always going to bring up issues of fear, grief, anger, and shame, you know? And so it's like, you might be fearful about saying the wrong thing or fearful that, like, if I kind of share a little bit more vulnerably that somebody could really like that, well, like really painful, you could be grieved because the world is not the way that you thought it was, which, you know, or grief, like some legitimate things that were wrong, you know, and you, you gotta go, it kind of sparks a grief cycle of denial of, you know, I was in denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. 

And the thing is everybody doesn't go through that same process, the same thing, like even within your own family, right? Like you could lose the same, loved one, but everybody doesn't go through the grief process in the same way. That's also true as it relates to race, right. Class culture. I mean, there, then it's all about like anger. Like there's some things that we really should be angry about. Right. You can kind of get fed up with three at a time and then, you know, that's shame, right. And st Luke's different for people to call it different for white people. And one of the things is that you can have, like, nobody's responsible and had a choice about what skin color they were born with. 

Nobody also had a choice with what would that skin color has meant legally and culturally in American society. But sometimes when you come to the revelation of like, what that has meant, and you realize like, Oh, it's really bad. Then you're like, Oh, I feel ashamed of the skin color that I had. And that's not the, that's not the proper response, you know? And so you gotta kind of like be able to name it and it kind of work through with it and to begin to discover, you know, and again, I'm a person of faith. 

And so whenever you see shame, you know, like want to kind of like, bring that before the Lord and see like, Hey God, like, what's this about how, like, is there a fiction that you've like underneath the shame? Is there something that I should do or be able to learn or journey in or something. I think you want to kind of bring all of these complicated emotions before God in it. 

Speaker 2 (33m 9s): Yeah. And there's kind of a, if you can bring it before God, like a trust that what the desired and will be is healing, right. Is wholeness. It's certainly not to stay in that place of shame or even, I mean, like, even when there's inappropriate place for anger, it's not even to stay in that place of anger. Right? Like it's, it's always moving us towards hope and healing. Well, I'm curious just as we kind of come to an end, whether there are places right now where you are seeing signs of hope and healing, I love the name of Aerobahn. 

And that sense of just the foretaste of the kingdom, I've thought a lot about signposts of the kingdom, where it's like, and just pointing in that direction. That's what I want my life to be that whether or not it is, but I want to point in the direction of who God is and that Shalom like that peace wholeness to community. So I'm curious whether you're seeing tasting in any ways, hope and healing right now. 

Speaker 3 (34m 10s): Yeah, man, I do. I mean, I see a lot of, I mean, I can say, I see a lot of peace protests that are multiethnic. I see a lot of people really trying to dig into the, like the story of the history of our country. I think people are coming to the reckoning realizing that like our country has been very problematic in the area of race overtly for centuries. It hasn't even really made us significant corrective hadn't even been a full six decades. 

You know, like you said, it's been decades in the way of, of trying to, to, to make a turnaround where they can be illegal. Right. So I do see hope in that space. I think the different types of conversations that folks are having. Yeah. I just, and I don't know. I feel like I'm like being a positive Pete. I don't think I'm like, I really do see a lot of things. I think the conversation is about the monuments. I think the monuments should be like in like in battlefields or in museums and places to be able to kind of like tell a story, but it's like, Hey, is that the story that we wanted to share and like, to create a different, a new cultural artifacts? 

Like I think prior to the, to the vandalism of the monuments, I am, I would have been more of like, Hey, let's build some new cultural artifacts around it to kind of like create some different stereotypes, but I'm like, instead of like spending the time to clean it up and that money just like put the money towards removing it, putting it into a proper place. And then like, can we create some new monuments this year, a different narrative or story. 

Speaker 2 (35m 48s): I want to ask one more thing because you and I got to go together to Nashville a little over a year ago for a project called the Porter's gate project that you were a part of. And one of the things you talked about there was creating collaborative spaces. And to me, one of the great hopes is in that possibility of collaborative spaces. So I just wondered if you'd share a little bit about what you meant by that. And, and again, like what, whether it's what happened when we were in Nashville or other examples that you've had of collaborative spaces being essentially like, I mean, for me, at least that weekend was a foretaste of the kingdom. 

Like that was exactly what I think you've been talking about. So I just love, I'd love to end there just with a vision of a collaborative space that gives us that little taste of heaven. 

Speaker 3 (36m 37s): Yeah. So I think one of the things is I say this often and like to borrow some ideas from Andy crouch, we, what I think we understand the point of cultural makeup we're here today because of the culture that was made yesterday. So if we want to see some stuff, then we see something wrong today, we'll see some better tomorrow. We've got to create new culture today. And that's something that we really need to pay attention to. What are the types of things that we're making, you know, and the natural thing is to make stuff with people that think like us act like us, that's a very natural way to do it, but could we, particularly, we live in a society that has spent more than a year segregate, but the way our cities were built, where if I had a black son and, you know, you had a way of data that they would not grow up together, right. 

To fall in love and marry each other and have a mixed race baby. Like, I wish I could tell you that our cities were designed with something else in mind, but literally from 1930s and 1950s, that was the most important privately where we feel a lot of our city infrastructures during that period of time. And so what we need to do is not just when you do collaborations to just think about, Oh, let me just think about somebody. That's just like David and just fucking Amy, Julia, but we need to do is think through, okay, is there some kind of cross cultural collaboration that we can engage in? 

Whether it's race, class, culture, education, what somebody calls like unusual coalition, there's some kind of unusual COVID coalition that we can engage in. And then we can begin to think that way what's broken in the world and how can we create some new culture about it. And I want to always encourage people to like the conversion and like the beauty comes in that cross cultural collaboration, you know, like my wife and I, the beauty that comes out of like the work that we do just in our marriage comes out of light. The beauty comes out in difference, you know? 

Right. And so I want to encourage people to think about that, that I find those things and not just like, Hey, let's get together and have better conversations, like talk while you do. Right. 

Speaker 2 (38m 40s): Right. But like make something together, like have a shared goal and purpose, and even recognize on the front end, what we have in common across our differences that can allow us. But at the same time, seeing those differences is actually the strength in making something new. Right. Because instead of you just reinforcing the idea I've already had, because we're the same. And so we make the same thing as they would have made yesterday. It's like, Oh, you actually can enhance. I mean, that's what I loved about this weekend because you had all these Christians, but they were come from different churches and different cultural racial backgrounds and so same scriptures, same faith. 

But anyway, 

Speaker 3 (39m 20s): So philosophically different too. And like, if we would've like jumped in and like, Hey, what are your thoughts about any particular controversial issue? It wouldn't have been as much of a beautiful place. 

Speaker 2 (39m 33s): No. And instead what they did was they made beautiful music that was more enriched because of their diversity. And that also starts building relationships and friendships and allowing conversations to come out of a place of shared trust instead of, Hey, we're here to talk about hard things, right? Yeah. Totally. For sure. Well, David, thank you so much for giving your time. I know that it is precious right now because you are being heavily called upon to serve all sorts of people. And I'm grateful for the work that you do. 

And we will make sure just to put in the show notes, links to Aerobahn and to the resources I shared, actually your posts. I quoted your newsletter the other day about anger. Cause that's something as a white Christian, I need to learn about. And I also am just really grateful for the conversations we've had over the course of the past couple of years and for the way you use your gifts to bless other people. So thank you. 

Speaker 3 (40m 28s): Thanks. Thank you. And if anybody, you know, I just, there was an article in Christianity today that we recently also just put a, if you just Google David Bailey and anger or something like that. 

Speaker 2 (40m 40s): Oh great. Okay. I didn't know that. I'll make sure that gets in the show notes as well, but awesome. Thank you David. You too. Thanks 

Speaker 1 (40m 49s): So much for listening. I do invite you to look at the show notes or just visit <inaudible> dot com. It's a R R a B O n.com. You can learn more about David's ministry. You also could learn about the work they do and how you could support that. Whether by inviting a team of people from Aerobahn to your church or by utilizing some of their resources, or even just by making a financial contribution to the work that they're doing, you also can find out more about white picket fences. 

If you haven't read it already, but if you have read it and you want to find some people to discuss it with use it in a Bible study at church, or look at other ways to have white picket fences, enter into conversation with people right now, you can go to my website, Amy, Julia, becker.com. And of course, this is a podcast it's a new season and I would so appreciate your support in getting the word out. You can do that by sharing this episode with friends, send them a text, send them an email, put it up on social media. 

You also can rate and review the podcast wherever you find your podcasts that helps people to know that it exists and that it might be relevant for what they want to be thinking about. And talking about right now and just a little sneak peak. Next week, we are going to be talking about disability and contemplation and activism and what it means for life to be a gift with my friend and author, speaker, pod caster, and mom, Micah boy yet. 

So tune in next week, you can subscribe right now and it'll just drop right into your hour, wherever you get your podcasts next Tuesday morning. And again, thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you for working to trust alongside me. That love is stronger than fear. 

Speaker 4 (42m 46s): <inaudible>.