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  • Reverend James Squire

Racism And The Chain

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

As my oldest son put it on an occasion. “My dad has run when he is well and when he is sick. He runs when it is bad weather or good weather including when it is too hot or too cold.”

That is true. Everybody is paying a price. Is It worth it? For me, I love to run. If you read my book, “The Times Of My Life”, it would be clear why running is something that is important to me. Over the years I have injured many body parts from the top of my head to my feet.

I have a terrific physical therapist, Michael Quintans, who has helped me recover after two spine surgeries and two total knee replacement and other running challenges. I saw him recently, and I was reminded of something that is a truth in physical therapy. The injury is often not where the pain is, but it is the pain that drives people into his practice. He talks about the chain. If you think you have injured your hamstring, it may be based in the lower back and not the hamstring. You have to find the source of the pain and work from there.

I think this is true for racism and the current protests. We see the pain that has led to the marches. It is important that we go down the chain to identify those parts that have led us to this moment. It starts with the evil of slavery and blends into a myriad of causes such as overt situations of inequality such as funding for urban schools, being in the back of the bus, bathrooms for colored and ones for white, and the various micro aggressions where black people feel the burden for speaking not only for themselves but their race. There are so many examples that I wouldn’t know where to end.

Although less than.01% of our genetic material determines skin color, the color of one’s skin has been 99% plus painful for people with black skin. Although it is difficult for white people to acknowledge this truth, as we move up and down the chain, let us listen to our black brothers and sisters’ stories of what it is like to be them. Those of us who have good intentions need to be reminded that “the way to Hell is paved with good intentions” or a phrase in diversity work referred to as the “eye of the beholder”. It doesn’t matter what we intend. What is important is how it is received.

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