The term “politically correct” has always made me cringe. Ways of speaking about others that fit their experience of themselves are respectful, not “politically correct.” We use appropriate terms for people we admire (mom, dad, teachers, mentors, friends) because they matter to us, not simply to be “seen as” speaking correctly. People we know less well ought to matter to us too, enough for us to use the terms they prefer.
So I cringed yesterday while reading Anxious to Talk About It, Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully About Racism. The author was writing with compassion about people who feel frustrated (and perhaps embarrassed) for not knowing the current words for various groups, especially when the preferred terms change. It was not a perspective that had occurred to me, even though I struggle myself at times to keep up with preferred terms. A major emphasis of the book is helping people see other points of view and stick with conversations that make us cringe, enough to honor each other by staying engaged.
The class on the book began last Sunday, and copies ($20) are still available, a small price given the racial tensions around us today. Those who don’t want to read the book, you are still welcome to come and take part in the conversation. I look forward to learning more myself about how to stay engaged and live up to my faith in the One who breaks down barriers.
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23